06 May, 2010

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?

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HAZELNUT COOKIES


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
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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.

6 comments:

  1. I adore the cookies. Especially since there is hazelnuts.

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  2. They look gorgeous. Last time I made old fashioned cookies
    http://kuchennie.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/ciasteczka-babcine/
    They are made from butter, flour, sugar and sour cream and they were fantastic. I never used agave syrup, because it is so expensive in Poland, but maybe it's possible to replace it.
    And you are simplicity is amazing.

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  3. @ Wiosanna

    The agave syrup can easily replaced by the same amount of normal sugar or honey.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Anja I know, I always do so with your recipes, but someday I'd like to try agave syrup, because I read how good it is.

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  5. Can anyone give me the US oven equivalent to 180c/ also I had some cookies at a local German Bakery and they seem to have the same ingredients as these, but they had a sweet, (maybe egg-white wash or glaze on them) Have you heard of that?
    Thanks--Mika

    ReplyDelete
  6. 180C is 375F.
    I don't recall any particular cookie from Germany that is similar to this one. However, Germans are big with sweet stuff like cookies and cakes. The recipe above is a variety of shortbread.
    The glaze on the cookies would probably be a regular sugar glaze, made of powdered sugar with either water, milk, or egg whites and lemon juice. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

    ReplyDelete

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