It’s once again the time of year when we’re all oh-so very busy with the festive season. For many of us there’s more work, which is obviously fantastic, and for many there’s also more fun. Holiday parties. Finding time to get together to meet old friends. Shopping. Cooking. Decorating. Whew… am tired just thinking about it all – but in a good way.
As it happens for me, in the midst of the holiday reverie, I’m working on some big things in my life. Really big things. Some of which need to change, and are going to change. I just have to figure it all out… Sometimes, just sometimes, and I think it’s because I never seem to be able to stop thinking… I wake up with an answer. I love when that happens.
While I think, and ponder, and search for some answers, I’ve come up with one answer, that is for a variation on Arabesque Lemon Cinnamon Scented Almond Cookies from Laura Calder, I posted on awhile ago. Dainty, chewy and with the main ingredient of ground almonds, I just knew I had to make them again, using ground hazelnuts – which happen to be one of my faves. Changing up the citrus & cinnamon for chocolate & coffee were the next steps, followed by rolling the dough in icing sugar.
The result…? Chewy. Delicious. Pretty to look at, with a taste reminiscent not only of brownies, but also of Baci, the classic Italian chocolate from Perugina. What’s not to love…! A not too sweet treat just in time for your holiday table, whether those you know and love eat gluten free or not, these will be enjoyed by all. Buon appetito~
- 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg white, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted to remove lumps
- Preheat oven to 350°
- On a baking sheet spread the hazelnuts in one layer, and toast in middle of oven 7 - 8 minutes, or until lightly colored and skins are blistered. Wrap nuts in a kitchen towel and let steam 1 minute. Rub nuts in towel to remove loose skins (don't worry about bits that don't come off) and cool completely. Blitz in food processor until finely ground.
- Heat oven to 325°
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat.
- Sift icing sugar onto a plate and set aside.
- Coming all ingredients except icing sugar together in a bowl until it forms a dough.
- Lightly wet your hands and roll the dough into roughly 1 inch balls (dough will be sticky).
- *Roll the dough balls in the icing sugar, to coat.
- Place on the baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart and bake until cooked through, 10 - 12 minutes.
- Cool on a rack.
- *You can leave some cookies plain, if you like.