Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hazelnut Cookies With Chocolate Filling

3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 stick plus 1 T unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour
1 level T cocoa powder
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preparing the cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Grind the nuts with confectioners' sugar until powdery (do not make into a paste).

Blend together the butter, lemon zest, salt, and nut mixture in a large bowl with a spatula or spoon until creamy. Add the flour and cocoa powder, stirring until incorporated. Do not overwork the dough.

Roll level 1/2 teaspoons of dough into tiny balls and arrange 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time until lightly crisped, about 12 minutes. Slide the parchment paper with the baked cookies onto a rack to cool.

* * * * * *

Preparing the chocolate filling:
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave.

Spoon a mound, about 1/8 teaspoon, of melted chocolate onto the flat side of a cookie then top with the flat side of another cookie to make a "sandwich." Repeat.

Plain cookies can be baked and cooled 1 week ahead and kept at room temperature in an airtight container. Fill when ready to serve.

Makes about 30 cookies


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