Holiday season is here and I’m enjoying every moment of it. I’m still trying to find or develop cookie recipes that will make the holidays even more special. Few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for Thin & Crispy Coconut Cookies. They are great cookies and make perfect gifts. In fact, they were so good that a squirrel stole a bag of cookie that I gave to a friend. Today, I’m making another great recipe that squirrels would probably love even more: Hazelnut & Chocolate Sandies.
This recipe is adapted from the Pecan Sandies in Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery cookbook. I like the original recipe but being the gourmande that I am, I wanted to be a bit more playful with it. I replaced pecans with hazelnut and instead of incorporating chunks to the dough, I used hazelnut meal for the dough itself. The sandies in the book are plain. In this version, I top the cookies with dark chocolate and a whole hazelnut.
Since I had a big bag of hazelnut, I thought I would make my own hazelnut meal. You can buy it from the store or also make your own. The process is simple, toast the hazelnuts as indicated in the recipe and grind them in a food processor. I also went the extra mile of removing the skin to get a perfect look.
This is pretty obvious but if you like hazelnut, these sandies are a must try!
Hazelnut & Chocolate Sandies
Yields 20 cookies
- 2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup (180g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (70g) hazelnut meal
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (70g) icing sugar
- 100g 70% dark chocolate
- 1 tsp vegetable shortening
- fleur de sel
- 20 whole hazelnuts, toasted
- Mix flour and hazelnut meal in a bowl. Break up lumps with the back of a spoon. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer cream butter on medium low speed until smooth. Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
- Add flour and mix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to combine any dry lumps. Cover with wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper. Set racks in the upper and lower second in the oven.
- Divide dough into 20 grams balls, gently flatten with your palm and use the back of a teaspoon to make a dent in the center.
- Bake for approximately 18 minutes or until sides is golden brown. Switch pan half way through baking. Transfer cookies to cooling rack.
- Toast hazelnuts for 10-12 minutes at 350F. Place hot hazelnuts on a kitchen towel. Tighten the towel like a candy wrap and rub hazelnuts to remove the skin. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Place chocolate and vegetable shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 20 seconds and stir. Repeat until melted and combined.
- Fill each cookie with melted chocolate and top with fleur de sel and one whole hazelnut.