Thursday, December 06, 2012

Sweet Treats

Betty always jokes that from the time of the Cookie Bakeoff til Christmas Eve my mixmaster is a permanent fixture on the island, and she isn't far from wrong. Really, why keep putting it away when you know it's going to be used again the next day?

The Official Cookie Tester and I have a few people that we like to give tins of cookies to at Christmas so it's time to start work on those. I made another batch of Snowballs (we had made two batches for the bakeoff) and then tried a new recipe, one that Linda had brought to the bakeoff several years ago that I had a vague recollection about but had never made. Besides, I was on a mission. I have this huge pile of recipes that I have collected & ripped from magazines so I have resolved to either try them or pitch them, so that was part of the thinking. I'm SO glad I did.

I'm not sure what they are actually called because the name was cut off the copy that I have, but I'm thinking it's probably Hazelnut Thumbprints. The dough is lovely with a nice sprinkling of orange zest and then they are rolled in egg whites and finely ground hazelnuts and filled with gooey, rich nutella. Wonderful!

Hazelnut Thumbprints
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
grated peel of 1 med. orange
1 tbsp orange juice
3/4 tsp salt
1 c flour
1 egg white
1 c toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella)
whole toasted skinned hazelnuts

In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until very creamy. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla, peel, juice and salt. Gradually beat in flour. If dough is too soft to handle chill for about 20 minutes. Place egg white in a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Place nuts in another small bowl. Shape into 1" balls, roll in egg white, then finely chopped nuts. Make a small impression in the centre of the cookie & fill with about 1/2 tsp nutella. Bake at 350F until firm and bottom edges are golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and, if using whole nuts to garnish, place one in the centre of each mound. When cool, store in an airtight container, in a cool place or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Do not stack cookies. Frozen cookies will keep will for up to 2 months.

NOTE: The recipe calls for a roasted hazelnut on top of each cookie but I preferred them without - I tried a few but wasn't convinced that the nut would hold and it was overpowering the cookie. The nutella is not as pliable as jam so filling them is a bit more time-consuming, but they are worth it. Several had to be tried before the rest found their way to the freezer.

This recipe's a keeper - thanks Linda!...M

1 comment:

Kate said...

Thumbprint cookies have always been one of my favourites ... I like the addition of orange in yours. I'm going to give your recipe a try - thanks for sharing.