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Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies

Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies

This is my fourth and the last cookie recipe in December. I always loved hazelnuts in chocolates but, surprisingly, I never used ground hazelnuts in a cookie until this recipe. The flavor and the texture of these cookies are really nice: cookies taste like chocolates with hazelnuts and at the same time crunchy. I love chocolate-nut-shortbread combination. My two favorite nuts to use in cookies are, without question, hazelnut and almond (as in this and in this cookie recipe).

For these cookies, I used a recipe from Epicurious, and the only thing I changed was that I removed baking soda, because I like my shortbread’s texture without it. The recipe also calls for toasted and husked hazelnuts, which is pretty easy to do.   I preheated oven to 350, placed raw hazelnuts (with skins still on) on the baking sheet and toasted them for 5-10 minutes. After I took the hazelnuts out of the oven and after they cooled off, I husked them by rubbing a handful of hazelnuts between my hands. This did a pretty good job of getting rid of most of the skins.

Once cookies are baked, they can be decorated in 3 different ways – dipped and covered only in chocolate, like on this photo:

Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies

dipped in both chocolate and coarsely chocolate hazelnuts:

Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies

or you don’t have to dip them neither in chocolate nor in coarsely chopped nuts. Or, you can do all 3 combinations (plain, dipped in chocolate, dipped in both chocolate and coarsely chopped nuts) for an easy holiday cookie assortment that will look like this:

Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies

Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies, Christmas cookies, holidays

Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies

Adapted from Epicurious.

Prep time: 60 min

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely ground husked toasted hazelnuts (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for decorating:

  • 4 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, such as Lindt, chopped
  • 1/3 cup husked toasted hazelnuts (see notes above about how I toasted and husked raw hazelnuts)

1)  To make finely ground nuts, place husked toasted hazelnuts into food processor and process until finely ground.  See my note above the recipe about how to husk hazelnuts once they are toasted (between your two hands – it’s very easy and effective)

2) In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy, then add 1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts and vanilla and beat to combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt, then add mixed flour and salt to the creamy butter-sugar mixture.  Do not overmix, mix just enough to combine all ingredients and form a cookie batter.

3) Shape dough into 4 logs of different thickness (to make cookies of different radius – large and small). Wrap each log in plastic wrap and put wrapped cookie dough in the freezer for 30 minutes, then in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4) Preheat oven to 325. After cookie dough has been in the freezer and refrigerator, unwrap plastic and slice each log into thin cookie slices. Place cookie slices on ungreased baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, don’t let the cookies to get brown. After 20 minutes of baking, transfer cookies to rack to cool.

5) To decorate cookies, melt chocolate in a small skillet over medium heat, just until chocolate melts, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

6) Using spatula, brush half of the cookie on one side only (no chocolate on the bottom of the cookie) and along the cookie side. Transfer to rack to dry. Do that with each cookie (if desired). Then you can dip the chocolate side of the cookie into coarsely chopped hazelnuts. Return to rack. You can leave some cookies just covered with chocolate, without hazelnuts crumbs.  You can also leave some cookies just plain (no chocolate, no hazelnuts on top of chocolate). Repeat with remaining cookies. Let cookies dry on rack for at least 1 hour, for chocolate to harden.

hazelnuts in food processor

Placing husked toasted hazelnuts in food processor to grind them or coarsely chop

grinding hazelnuts in food processor

Grinding hazelnuts in food processor

adding hazelnuts to the batter

Adding ground hazelnuts to the cookie batter

mixing ground hazelnuts into the batter

Mixing ground hazelnuts into the cookie batter until well combined

batter looks like coarse meal

Cookie batter forms, looking like coarse meal

rolling cookie dough into logs

Roll cookie dough into logs of different sizes (to make cookies of different radius – small and big), then wrap in plastic before placing in the freezer/refrigerator

slicing cookie dough

Slice refrigerated cookie dough logs into thin slices

sliced cookies on a baking sheet

Place sliced cookies on a baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart

ground hazelnuts and melted chocolate

To decorate cookies: coarsely chopped hazelnuts and melted chocolate

dipping cookie into ground hazelnuts

Dip chocolate covered cookie into ground hazelnuts

dipping cookie into ground hazelnuts1

Cookie dipped in coarsely chopped hazelnuts

dipping cookie into ground hazelnuts2

Cookie dipped in coarsely chopped hazelnuts

Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies

Cooling cookies on wire rack – some of them are chocolate covered, some of them also have coarsely chopped hazelnuts on top. It’s fun to have different cookies

Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies

Cookies on a wire rack

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • JulieD December 21, 2012, 6:20 am

    Oh my! I have never baked with hazelnuts before…not sure why. these cookies look so divine!!

    • Myjuicingweb December 23, 2012, 5:45 pm

      You are same with me, i also have never baked with hazelnuts before, this is my first experience.. Thanks Julia..

  • Laura Dembowski December 21, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Hazelnuts are such an underutilized nut. The have great flavor and I bet are wonderful in these cookies.

    • Julia December 27, 2012, 5:02 pm

      Hazelnuts make cookies so flavorful. I love hazelnuts in chocolate bars so why not use them in cookies, too?

  • V December 23, 2012, 6:23 pm

    The cookies look delicious! thank you for sharing the recipe – Happy Holidays.

    -V
    http://stylishlyme.com/

    • Julia December 27, 2012, 5:03 pm

      Thank you!

  • sippitysup December 24, 2012, 10:21 am

    Visions of sugar plums dance in my head. Merry Christmas my friend. GREG

    • Julia December 27, 2012, 5:03 pm

      Ha-ha!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress) December 28, 2012, 5:35 am

    Ooooh hazelnuts, chocolate, and cookies!!! SUCH a yummy combination! These look fab! Pinning them!

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