Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Thursday, 16th December 2010
I finally started my Christmas Cookie baking with the ever so popular Spritz Cookie. But I didn’t want to just share with you any Spritz Cookie; these are Chocolate-Hazelnut Spritz Cookies.
One of the biggest dilemmas I face around the Holidays is choosing which Christmas Cookies to bake. The varieties are endless! And to make the choice even more difficult every food magazine declares they have the “Best Holiday Recipes” with a photo spread that will have you yearning to make each and every one!
The Spritz Cookie is basically a Swedish Butter Cookie. Usually this rich, buttery cookie is put through a cookie press, but not this one. I saw these piped Cocoa Hazelnut Spritz Cookies featured on Delicious Days I was instantly inspired to do the same.
I set out with my normal enthusiasm but it didn’t take me long to realize there was a reason the dough was usually put through a press; piping these cookies was very hard work (tough dough). I kept reminding myself that not only was I producing some delicious cookies; I was also working on my biceps! Of course, the spread in Delicious Days was very impressive. How Nicky was able to make hers look so perfect, I don’t know!
We were snowed in yet again yesterday and I thought it would be the perfect day to start my Christmas baking. I was wrong! The phone was ringing off the hook, the doorbell was chiming endlessly and the kids were full of questions. It was all good but I was in cookie-baking mode!
I realized I baked the first batch a little too long because they started to crack a little on top. I was confident the next batch would be better, but then the phone rang and I missed the ding of the oven timer. Did I get one batch perfectly baked? Absolutely not! But sometimes that’s life. I’d rather have a crazy kitchen, loving family, caring friends…and over-baked cookies any day!
Regardless of the complications in the preparation and baking process, this Spritz Cookie recipe is pretty forgiving. The results were definitely worth the effort! Plus, how can you go wrong with the classic pairing of chocolate and hazelnut? Especially when it’s combined with a mouthwatering buttery, tender texture and then dipped in luscious chocolate and sprinkled with yet another layer of nutty deliciousness. That’s better than visions of sugarplums any day!
I really enjoy the pairing of chocolate and nuts, not only the flavour combination but also the texture. I baked these Dark Chocolate-Almond Crackles the other day. And we couldn’t possibly go through the Holidays without a batch of Chocolate Thumbprints with Chocolate-Vanilla Bean Ganache filling (family favourite). I also plan to make a batch of Lime Meltaways for the citrus lovers (me) in my family. And I am so anxious to try Marly’s (NamelyMarly) Chocolate-Topped Shortbread Cookies. I love shortbread!
Don’t you just love this time of year, taste testing everyone’s family favourites? What are your family’s most treasured Holiday cookie recipes?
Chocolate-Hazelnut Spritz Cookies
- 2 cups (310 grams) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (55 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 grams) hazelnut meal
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 227 grams) butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (138 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces (200 grams) good quality chocolate (bittersweet, semisweet or milk), melted
- Finely chopped nuts or chocolate sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Line 3 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper or silicone mats; set aside.
- Using a fine mesh sieve, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa into a medium bowl. Add the hazelnut meal and whisk to well combine, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat butter for 1 minute.
- Gradually add the sifted confectioners sugar and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks one-at-a-time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract and beat to just combine.
- Reduce speed to low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to just combine.
- Place the cookie dough into a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Pipe 2½-inch log shapes, spacing 2 inches apart onto baking sheet.
- Bake, rotating baking sheet halfway through for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of just simmering water and then using a wooden spoon, stir until chocolate has melted.
- Dip the ends of the cookies in the chocolate, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Place on a sheet on non-stick baking paper and sprinkle with nuts or sprinkles. Keep on sheets until chocolate has set.
- Store cookies (in a single layer) in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.
Tags: afternoon tea, chocolate, chocolate cookies, chocolate dessert, chocolate recipes, Christmas Cookies, cooking, dessert, desserts, food, food photography, food photos, hazelnut, Holiday Cookies, individual dessert, individual desserts
Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Biscotti, Cookies, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base