I can’t seem to get enough of these two flavors. It’s a classic combination (Nutella) and whenever I’m in a gelateria in Italy my first instinct is to order nocciola e cioccolata-hazelnut and chocolate. These cookies have a slightly crisp exterior with a lovely soft center. I couldn’t resist sampling a few, but my real intent is to package them up for holiday gifts. Next up-pecan cookies with a lemon glaze so stay tuned.
Chocolate Hazelnut Crinkle Cookies
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 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, 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 5 dozen