Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guest Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut Butter Cookies

By Kristin Viola of Confections by Kristin

Yield: Approx 40-60 cookies (depending on the size of the cookie cutter)

1 cup finely ground hazelnuts, toasted and blanched (plus more for garnish)
1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour, sifted
2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz 50-70% Cocoa Dark chocolate, chopped finely
1 ½ teaspoons vegetable shortening

In a medium sized bowl combine 1 cup of the ground hazelnuts with the sifted flour and whisk until combined. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and then slowly add the flour and hazelnut mixture by the spoonful. Beat cookie dough until all ingredients are well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Divide cookie dough into two flat discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least two hours or up to 2 days. At this point you may also freeze the dough for up to 2 months.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Once the dough has chilled place one disc of cookie dough on a well floured work surface. Roll dough out to approximately ¼ inch thick and cut cookies out with a 1-2 inch cookie cutter in the shape of your choice. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool completely and place on cooling rack. Repeat the same steps with second disc of dough.

Once all cookies have cooled completely place finely chopped chocolate and vegetable shortening over a double boiler on moderate heat until all chocolate is melted. Alternately, chocolate mixture may be melted in the microwave on low heat stirring ever 30 seconds until all chocolate has been melted.

Gently dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate and sprinkle with finely ground hazelnuts. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and let set until chocolate has hardened about 2-3 hours. You may also place in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes until cookies are set.

Store in a cool location in an airtight container with wax paper separating each layer for up to 1 week.