Friday, September 10, 2010

Hazelnut-Almond Cookies

Fall is not messing around here in Chicago. It saw it's chance to jump in after Labor Day and didn't think twice. It was 51 degrees when I woke up yesterday! I have to admit - I'm always sad to see summer go, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited for fall. It's my favorite season, and I can't wait for cooler weather, new sweaters, football (Buckeyes! Jets!), and pumpkin-flavored everything. I've already had two pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks in the past week.

Fall also means warmer dishes with things like squash and apples, soups, and roasted chicken. Peter's birthday was earlier this week and we had several proper celebrations in New York, but being me I still felt the need to cook a birthday meal.

A whole roasted chicken, garlic-roasted potatoes, and a spinach, pear, goat cheese, and pecan salad. And cookies! What's a birthday dinner without dessert? I thought long and hard about making this pie, but then I got a new cookbook (Jacques P├ępin Celebrates) and found this great little cookie recipe. I am still going to make that pie though, hopefully soon.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies
3/4 cup hazelnuts
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet, and bake until light brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Process the nuts, flour, and cinnamon until finely chopped in the bowl of a food processor.

Add the butter, orange peel, sugar, vanilla, and orange juice, and process for a few seconds to incorporate.

Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie, roll the dough lightly in your hands to form it into an oval shape, and place the cookies about 2 inches apart on a cookie tray lined with a reusable nonstick baking mat. Press cookie with tines of a fork to mark it lightly. Each cookie should be about 1 inch wide, 2 inches long, and 1/4 inch thick.

Bake in the 350-degree oven for 15 to 16 minutes. Dust the warm cookies with the confectioners' sugar, cool on a rack, and store in an airtight container.

These were really easy to make, and so good. A little crispy on the outside but still soft in the middle. I love orange-flavored cookies, but if you don't you could easily replace the orange with lemon or lime. Or no citrus at all, but they might be a little bland. Just make sure to replace the 2 tablespoons of juice with water or milk to keep the same consistency. The only part of the recipe I skipped was pressing the unbaked cookies with a fork, I tried it with a few but the cookies were in danger of coming apart if I pressed too much so I didn't bother. And I used a fine mesh sieve to dust the cookies with sugar and it worked perfectly. Aren't they so pretty?


  1. You have a very nice blog! Good to read & follow.
    Drunknmunky - Pikavippivinkit

  2. thank you, i'm so glad you like it!