Wednesday, February 17, 2010

[Cookie 065] Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies (And PARTY TIME!)


It's time to celebrate! Unleash the balloons! Start the party! Get the piano out, round up all my horse, pig, mouse, and other bizarre unnatural animal friends and get this party going. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch that video--it's worth it, the best part's at the end.

Aaaaanyways....Hurrah! One year DONE! I've been on this project for a year now, and I'm still goin strong. I feel like now is a good time to reflect, and while most recipes from The Book are pretty simple and delicious, occasionally a recipe might go something like this:


Okay truth be told, that was just an excuse for me to post that video, which just cracks me up every time. Look, the point is, some recipes suck, most don't, and I like baking. Hurray for this blog's first birthday--now let's move on.

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Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies! Yeah, so I didn't go off and make something spectacularly exciting to celebrate the monumentous event. Big deal. These cookies were just fine, so I'm happy. They weren't anything shockingly amazing, but they tasted nice and could be easily modified in a bunch of different ways. Don't like hazelnuts? Try walnuts, or pecans, or maybe even pine nuts. And you can choose whatever filling you want: jams, preserves, even Nutella could work (when could Nutella not work, is the real question). You could even fill the centers with home made whipped cream and top the cookies with macerated bits of strawberries if you're really feeling ambitious. Or you could make your own preserves--fig, perhaps?

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I only had one main bug with these guys, besides the fact that my food processor totally didn't evenly chop up my hazelnuts. The dough breaks easily, so you have to make the thumbprints very gingerly. I used the back of a wooden spoon to make the indentations both times and that worked well. I filled the thumbprints with a currant jam which was really tasty!

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All in all, these taste just like you expect them to. No hidden surprises, and though that can be a good thing, I thought it made these a little on the boring side. I think it's because the actually cookie part just wasn't very interestingly flavored. Maybe you could use the flavorings from the Sweet Cardamom Crackers instead--that was such a great flavored dough, and would taste amazing with the hazelnuts! I can't believe I just thought of that now. That's a million dollar idea there, that is.

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So yeah, a little bit anticlimactic for a milestone like this one, but who cares! I've got some more recipes coming up that are...interesting. And delicious. And I'll try to post them sooner rather than later! Au revoir, mes amis, and I'll leave you with this last entirely unrelated, yet hilarious, video (ignore the weird gibberish part in the beginning):



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Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated, each part lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted skinned hazelnuts, ground
  • Strawberry jam, for filling

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put butter and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and mix well. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt, and mix until just combined. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours.
  2. Stir together toasted hazelnuts and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; dip balls in egg white, then in hazelnut-sugar mixture. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press down center of each ball with your thumb. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; press down centers again with the end of a wooden spoon. Return to oven. Bake cookies until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes more. Let cool slightly on sheets on wire racks. Fill each center with jam. Cookies can be stored in a single layer in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.

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{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 3/5
Ingredient Accessibility: 3/5
Tastiness: 3.5/5
Attractiveness: 4/5
Is it worth it?: If these sound tasty to you, bake them. If you're not a hazelnut fan, don't bother.

{Pairings}
Drink: Almond Milk might be nice, yes?
Song: I Can't Give You Anything But Love -- Cliff Edwards
Activity: Rent Duck Soup or A Night at the Opera! Embrace the old! Paint on a Groucho Marx mustache!

7 comments:

ali said...

thanks for the video's they were priceless :) And you have pictures that are so beautiful even your raw eggs look amazing (and that's sayin something)

Memória said...

I enjoyed the videos, too, especially the last one of Salvador Dalí is priceless!! I adore the way they all talk and wish we could all be that intelligent today. It was a sad reminder of how less intelligent we are these days. I guess that is because we stand on the shoulders of giants instead of creating pedestals for the future population.

Anyway, on another note, happy blogiversary!!! The cookies look fabulous!

P.S. I think the so-called "gibberish" at the beginning of the video was actually a different language. :)

מתכונים said...

אחלה מתכון

Erin said...

I used to make something similar to this with my mom. I didn't even realize this recipe was in the cookbook! Happy blogiversary!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Just found your blog, and I think its awesome. Happy blogoversary. I'm going to bookmark this recipe.
*kisses* HH

Jenn/CinnamonQuill said...

If only I could have one of these cookies--right now, please--oh, and a cup of tea. I can taste the perfection...

And, yeah, happy blog birthday; you've accomplished much here!

Dina said...

these look great. love the generous dollop of jam!