Friday, March 28, 2014

Nutty Crunch Cookies

When we were on vacation a couple of weeks ago, our hotel room had a copy of Bon Appetit in the room. I don’t read a lot of cooking magazine, except the British ones we subscribe to on the iPad. Now I’m not really a cook, and it seems like Bon Appetit is more focused on cooking than baking. This particular issue had a bit more baking in it, and I found this recipe there.

The picture in the magazine looked like a super crunchy cookie. I looked at the ingredients and then method for making the dough and it’s quite an unusual cookie. You use two types of nuts, and thankfully I had those on hand. The almonds I used were blanched, which I think is better when you grind them up. The hazelnuts I had were roasted and primarily blanched. That was fantastic as I’ve never had good luck blanching hazelnuts. I just made sure that I picked the ones from the bag that had the least skin.

You make these up in the food processor, which I use for pie dough but rarely for making cookie dough. I think that I ground up the nuts enough, but I knew that my cookies would be a slightly different texture than they looked in the picture. If I would have ground them more the mixture would have been like peanut butter, which might have worked but I wasn’t sure. The cookies end up being fairly crumbly, but that was ok! They have a great nutty flavor from the hazelnuts and almonds. Don’t miss out on roasting the nuts; it really makes all the different to the flavor. These cookies were a bit different, but they tasted very good.

Nutty Crunch Cookies
1 cup blanched hazelnuts
½ cup unsalted, roasted almonds
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter, cold and cut in pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large food processor, place ½ cup toasted hazelnuts, the almonds, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Pulse until finely ground. Add the flour and pulse to combine. Add the butter pieces and process, using long pulses, until the dough comes together.

Shape the dough into 1” balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten the cookies with the palm of your hand until they are about 1/2“ thick. Coarsely chop the remaining hazelnuts and sprinkle some of the chopped hazelnuts on top of each cookie and press the nuts into the dough slightly.

Bake for 15-16 minutes, rotating the baking sheets half way through the baking time. Remove the cookies from the oven when they are golden. Do not over bake, as they continue to cook on the baking sheets after they have been removed from the oven. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe from Bon Appetit

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