Hazelnut Cookies

Less is more.  If I think about this saying, I realize that I feel the happiest and the most complete when I have little but well chosen things on my daily plate. This is not only meant literally. In my life it all boils down to not having to rush things through, but actually being able to enjoy or, sometimes even endure things, events, feelings without much distraction. That's my philosophical food for thought today.
Now back to food, the real thing: Less is more applies very well to these shortbread cookies. Traditionally, short breads were made by only four ingredients: butter, sugar, vanilla and flour. This is what I have been trying here, replacing the vanilla by freshly ground hazelnut and replacing the flours and sugars by slightly healthier versions. The simplicity of these cookies are just amazing. I must admit, I get carried away sometimes by all these ingredients and spices that can give an extra note to a food. These cookies are hazelnut all over and that's all they need.
Don't you wanna have that little bowl in the picture above on your desk, like I have now?


(Print Recipe)

1/2 cup whole hazelnuts + more chopped hazelnuts for garnish
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
100g (3-4 oz) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup agave syrup

Yields ca. 20
Toast 1/2 cup of hazelnuts in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat. Rub off the peel of the hazelnuts with a kitchen towel. Not all peel will come off, but that's fine.

In a food processor,  blend toasted and peeled hazelnuts until it becomes a fine meal. Combine with flour and salt and blend again. Add the butter in small bite size pieces and process until the mixture becomes crumbly. Slowly add the agave. Mix until batter gets texture of a dough.

Form into a round log with about 2 inch diameter. Wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unwrap the dough and cut slices off the log, each one about 1/2 inch thick. Place on baking sheet and garnish with chopped hazelnuts. Press the hazelnuts into the dough a little, so they will stick. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges begin turn golden brown. Let cool completely on wire rack. Keep in airtight container.