Best Christmas Cookie
If you crave Nutella, if you love Ferrero Rocher, if you adore chocolate….I have the cookies for you!
These “Hazelnut Espresso Truffle Cookies” from “Beberman” are some of the best Christmas cookies I have ever tasted. No wonder the judges choose this recipe to win our recent Holiday Cookie Contest!
There is something so sophisticated about these cookies. If you are a fan of Nutella, you know that chocolate and hazelnuts are simply a match made in heaven. The addition of the espresso powder adds more interest and Italian flair. This rich sandwich cookie is an outstanding addition to any holiday cookie exchange!
Hazelnut Espresso Truffle Cookies (click here to print recipe)
1 cup Shelled Hazelnuts
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
1¼ cups Superfine Sugar, or granulated sugar processed 30 seconds in food processor
½ tsp Salt
1 Whole Egg Plus 1 Yolk
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Plus 1 Teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder, available at italian delis/groceries
2½ cups All Purpose Flour, plus extra for work surface
½ tsp Baking Powder
1 cup Heavy (whipping) Cream
14 oz Semisweet or Dark Chocolate Morsels, or chopped
1¼ cup (or About 8 Oz) Semisweet Chocolate Morsels
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roast hazelnuts on baking sheet 13-14 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from oven, let cool a couple minutes, and then rub briskly while still warm in clean towel to remove most of skins. Place cooled nuts in food processor; process until finely ground. Set aside.
2. In bowl of electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, yolk, vanilla, and then espresso powder. Add nuts and beat until well blended. Combine flour and baking powder; add to nut mixture, beating on low speed until just mixed. Divide dough in quarters, shaping into discs, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove one disc of dough from refrigerator. On lightly floured work surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut dough into holiday shapes with small size holiday cookie cutters. Place cookies ½ inch apart on parchment-lined or ungreased large baking sheet.
4. Bake 7 to 8 minutes until edges are just golden and cookies are set. Cool cookies on the sheet for 1 minute; then transfer cookies to wire cooling racks to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining dough.
5. To make truffle filling, heat cream in small heavy sauce pan over medium heat to just boiling. Remove from heat, and pour over chocolate in mixing bowl (not plastic). Stir vigorously until chocolate is melted and smooth. Chill uncovered in refrigerator for 40 minutes, beating occasionally until ganache thickens and is spreadable. Spread filling 1/8 inch thick on flat side of cookie and place another cookie on top of filling, sandwich style. If ganache thickens too much before you finish filling, just briefly set the bowl in a larger bowl or pan of hot water and stir. It will quickly soften again.
6. To trim cookies, melt chocolate over very low heat, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with a fine writing tip. Pipe thin lines of chocolate back and forth over the top of each cookie. Place sheets of cookies in freezer for 10 minutes until chocolate is set. Store cookies in airtight containers in refrigerator; serve cookies at room temperature. These cookies will keep 5-7 days in the fridge, 3 months in the freezer, or may be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.
QUICK EASY METHOD: Some bakers are intimidated by rolled, cut out cookies, or need to save time. Instead of doing a rolled and cut out cookie, these cookies can also be made using the slice and bake method. Just take a quarter of the dough at a time, shape into a log about 1 ½” in diameter, roll up in plastic wrap (then roll on counter to smooth), refrigerate for 2 hours, and then slice with a thin, sharp knife into 1/8” thick slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake 7 minutes. Trim is optional, or can be drizzled from a fork.
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