Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nuts for Nuts!

1 cup Almond Meal
1½ cups Freshly Ground Pistachio Flour
¼ cup Unpasteurized Honey
1-2 cups Chopped & Hulled Pistachios
2 Egg Whites

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine almond and pistachio flours with the egg whites and mix well.
Gently warm honey and stir into the almond pistachio mixture. If the mixture is too wet, add more pistachio or almond flour, 1/4 cup or less at a time. It should remain fairly moist. Balance it out with more flour and another egg white, if needed. On parchment paper, spread out 1-2 cups of chopped pistachios or another nut preference. Using a spoon, scoop out 1-2 inch balls and roll into the pistachios until fully coated. Flatten the balls slightly with a fork and bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow the cookies to bake longer they are soft to the touch.

Note: Watch the bottoms, mine almost browned a little too much.  Always stay close to the stove when baking.
Add a splash of rose water or orange blossom water if you wish. Or almond extract to bring out the flavour of the almond and give more of a marzipan flavour. 

Basic vanilla dough:


3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 egg white
Chopped pistachio
Apricot Jam


Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and beat until combined.

Follow the instructions below for the basic dough, once it's made and chilled a bit roll them into small balls (bite size)
Next you poke a small hole in the centre with the back of a wooden spoon.
Beat a little egg white until frothy and set aside, then dip the tops of the cookies in the egg white and into the chopped nuts or coconut, it will stick to the top nicely.
Next use a small spoon or tiny piping bag to drop a tiny bit of jam into the centre (the thumb print/hole you made with the wooden spoon) not too much jam or it will over flow.

Bake on 350 for 12 mins or so.

This is a new recipe I decided to try this year, however it seems flawed because there is no egg and tons of flour and ground hazelnut.  It was like trying to bring sand together into a ball.  I added an egg, but I think you could add 2.  
The end results after my adjusement were quite good. 

Nusstaler (Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Cookies)

12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs? 
4 oz. toasted hazelnuts, very finely ground  (I used 3/4 cup after working it out), plus whole raw hazelnuts to garnish
2 cups flour
½ cup natural cocoa powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted


To toast hazelnuts place on a baking sheet on 325 for 7-10 minutes or so.  Place on a tea towel and cover with another tea towel (or fold one in half) and use a rolling pin to lightly roll over or your hands to move them in circles over the top of the towel.  This will remove the shells of the hazelnuts.  If there is some left on the nets it's ok.

Heat oven to 350°. Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer until fluffy  (I would beat the eggs in here at this point). Whisk together ground hazelnuts, flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl; add to butter mixture; beat. Portion dough into 1" balls; transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced 2" apart. Place a whole hazelnut on top of each. Bake until cracked on top, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Dip bottom of each cookie in chocolate; chill until set.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Yield: 18-20 cookies

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/2 cups Shredded sweetened coconut

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, for dipping.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

 In a large mixing bowl, combine the condensed milk, egg white, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine well. Add the coconut and stir again.

With a medium size scoop or a couple of spoons, scoop 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoon size mounds of the coconut mixture onto the baking sheets. Once the cookies have all been scooped onto the sheets, use your hands to press them firmly into mounds that have a peak at the top.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until the coconut looks toasted on top of the cookies and they are lightly browned. If you are baking both sheets at the same time, rotate the trays half way through the baking time. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 5 minutes on the baking sheets. The cookies should be firm and set. Remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

At this point you can store them in the fridge, and if you want to dip them in chocolate then you can go ahead and melt some chocolate over a double boiler and dip the bottoms, cool and store back in the fridge. 

I found it easier to work with them cold so I had them in the fridge for a day before dipping. 


For the complete cookie list this year check out the list for 2012 here

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