Sunday, March 14, 2010

Browned Butter Hazelnut Drops

This is a pretty homely little cookie, and I wasn't too thrilled with them at first bite, but they grew on me. I liked the nutty richness of the dough. These cookies are very dense with no spring to them, but they are not hard or brittle. It really is just like turning a delicious nut into a chewy cookie dough.

Browned Butter Hazelnut drops

1/2 c. butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 cup toasted hazelnut flour
1 recipe browned butter frosting

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat until it reaches the color of light brown sugar, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Stir in both flours until combined.
  4. Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. Let stand for 1 minute on cookie sheet before transferring to rack to cool.
  6. Cool entirely before frosting.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Italian Cocoa Honey Spice Cookies

Um yum, yum. These cookies are good! They are a little different style for me, I usually go for chewy sweet cookies with or without delicious chunks, but these were more like a tea cookie, denser, toothy, almost like a cross between a cake and a biscuit. They were also more richly chocolatey than I expected considering the only chocolate in here is cocoa powder and the only fat (!) is from the almonds.

That's right. I am on a diet so that I am not mistaken for Godzilla when Favorite and I make our momentous trip to Japan at the end of the month. That means I had to break out my "Perfect Light Desserts" book when Favorite's parents came over this past weekend.

Italian Cocoa Honey Spice Cookies

3/4 c. cocoa
1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 cup whole almonds, processed until fine
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 c. water or red wine

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center and pour in water and honey.
  4. Incorporate wet mixture until a soft dough forms.
  5. Break dough into 6 pieces and roll each piece into a 12 inch log on a lightly floured surface.
  6. Use the palm of your hand to gently flatten the logs and then slice the log diagonally to make 2 inch diamonds.
  7. Place on parchment 2 inches apart in every direction.
  8. Bake cookies for about 15 minutes or until they are well risen and feel firm but springy when touched.
So the recipe makes a note of being sure not to overcook them because they don't have much liquid and, again, not fat but what's in the almonds. I actually ended up taking mine out at ten minutes and though I was a little nervous that they would be liquidy somewhere in the middle, they came out perfectly. They were in fact firm with a little give, but not dry at all.

I recommend, if you are not being too cheap with calories or time, that these cookies with drizzled with melted dark chocolate.