Chocolate Hazelnut Crinkle Cookies

Winter break is here! I was finally able to go home and sleep properly, and not worry about exams or papers or anymore of that craziness. It's great to be back home, but even better, yesterday I woke up to this beautiful scene:

My mother had pulled out all of the baking things from the depths of our kitchen; it was Christmas Cookie Day. We made a list of the seven kinds of cookies and candy we planned to bake that day. Why you might ask?  To just, you know, gorge ourselves give them to our loving friends and family.

So I tried to record some of the treats I was in charge of. The first is a rich chocolate crinkle cookie. I got the recipe from Epicurious' beautiful list of holiday cookies.  They're really quick to bake, but the dough takes a little time to form. If I learned anything, it's that cookie dough chillin' takes forever. By noon we had 7 little packets of dough resting in the fridge, but no cookies to be seen! Patience, as always, is the supreme overlord of all bakers.

Total time: 2-3 hours
Bake time: 15-20 minutes

2/3 cup hazelnuts
2 Tb sugar
4 oz bittersweet chocolate (no more 60% cocoa)
2 3/4 cup flour
2 Tb cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk

Even got my little brother involved.
Short Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool.
3. Toast the hazelnuts, rub between a clean towel to remove skin. Grind until fine with the 2 Tb sugar.
4. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
5. Beat the softened butter and light brown sugar until fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time.
6. Add the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla, and beat medium-high speed until smooth.
7. Finally, stir in the chopped hazelnuts. Chill in fridge 2-3 hours, until cool and malleable.
8. Roll dough in 1-2 inch balls, roll in powdered sugar, place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie tray.
9. Bake 12-18 minutes at 350 degrees.

Extended Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
2. Melt the chocolate, and set it aside to cool.
I used a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, but using the microwave works just as well.
3. Toast the hazelnuts in the oven, about 5-10 minutes, until the hazelnuts are golden brown and the skins are loose. 

4. Place the hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub between your hands to remove the skin.

5. Grind the hazelnuts and 2 Tb sugar till they are the consistency of coarse sand. 

6. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl.

7. Beat together the softened butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until well incorporated.

8. Add the eggs one at a time.

9. Next beat in the flour mixture slowly. Add the milk and vanilla, and the melted chocolate.  Beat on med-high till smooth.
10. Finally mix in the ground hazelnuts. 
11. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 2-3 hours (till malleable).

12. When they're ready, form the dough into 1-2 inch balls and roll them in powdered sugar. You can make one half while the other is chillin' in the fridge, or let them sit in the fridge after they are formed, you want them to be nice and cool.
13. Bake at 350 degrees, for 12-18 minutes.
Sorry this is the best picture I got...
14. The cookies are ready when they break and the crinkles are dry.  
Delicious, pretty, and simple to make; these would be really fun for kids to roll themselves.


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