I can’t get enough of these two flavors. Put them together and I’m in heaven! I recently cleaned out my enormous recipe file and got rid of a stack of clippings from newspapers and magazines that I haven’t looked at in years. I did scrutinize all of them before tossing into the bin and came across some that I definitely wanted to save. I then pulled out the those that looked like I should try sooner rather than later and this recipe was right there on the top of the list. It helped that I had all the ingredients in the pantry and didn’t have to run out to the store. Use the best chocolate that you can-it makes a difference.
2/3 cup hazelnuts (toasted for about 10 minutes at 350, then wrap in towel and rub skins loose)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 ounces good quality (I used Callebaut) bittersweet chocolate
2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
Cool nuts completely and pulse with granulated sugar in food processor until finely chopped.
Melt chocolate in double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder and crushed nuts in a bowl.
In another bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with mixer until creamy and then add eggs 1 at a time. Beat melted chocolate until combined. Add milk and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Sift confectioners into bowl. Halve dough (refrigerate half until you are ready to use). Roll remaining dough into 1 inch balls (I made them a little smaller), roll in confectioners to coat generously and place on sheets, 2 inches apart.
Bake for about 16 minutes, switching sheets halfway through baking. Cookies will be puffed and cracked, edges dry but centers still slightly soft.
Transfer to cooling racks and cool completely. Bake the rest of the dough.
Yield: about 7 dozen
When I bite into these I’m reminded of my favorite gelateria in Arezzo-Il Gelato-where I almost always ordered a small cup with nocciola and cioccolato-hazelnut and chocolate! Ah, the memories…