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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hazelnut-Anise Cookies



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This lovely European-style icebox cookie is perfect to serve with afternoon tea or coffee. The recipe, which was developed by Kate Ramos for CHOW, uses five basic ingredients and while the dough needs time to chill, it can be made in about 15 minutes, if you have a food processor and can buy skinned and toasted hazelnuts. That's not a problem for those of us who live in Oregon. Hazelnuts are grown here and they come to market in all guises, including skinned and toasted. I was a bride when I first made hazelnut cookies, and, in my rush to impress and fill a cookie tray with every variety known to man, I decided to save some time and bypassed skinning the nuts. It turned out to be a huge mistake because the skin of a hazelnut is very bitter and my cookies were ruined. If you have to skin the nuts yourself, Fine Cooking has a fantastic article on the two ways this can be done. You can find the article here.This recipe also works well with almonds which you may find easier to deal with. I like to make the dough for these cookies the day before I plan to bake them. The dough is crumbly and much easier to slice when it is really cold. The finished cookie is slightly sandy in texture and its buttery flavor is made more interesting by the hint of licorice that comes from the anise seeds. The kids won't care much for these, but lovers of just sweet European cookies will enjoy them. They are a sophisticated slice and bake cookie that might be a nice addition to your repertoire. Here's how they are made.

Hazelnut-Anise Cookies...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Kate Ramos and CHOW.com

Ingredients:
1 cup toasted hazelnuts, cooled
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons anise seed
2 sticks (8-ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Directions:
1) Combine hazelnuts and sugar in bowl of a food processor. Pulse about 10 times until nuts are finely ground. Add flour, salt, and anise seed and pulse to combine.
2) Add butter and pulse until dough just comes together, about 1 minute. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 1-1/2-inch wide log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour or keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
3) When ready to bake, arrange a rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
4) Working with one chilled log at a time, slice dough into 1/4-inch thick rounds and place them about 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet.
5) Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the bottom edges become pale and golden. Repeat with the other log. Cool cookies for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Yield: About 50 cookies.

Cook's Note: The cookie dough  can be frozen for up to1 month. Frozen dough should sit at room temperature for about 40 minutes before cutting and baking.







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9 comments:

Hovkonditorn said...

These sound delicious!

sweet road said...

What an interesting combo, and I love how few ingredients there are. More room for each ingredient to shine!

Tartanpancakes said...

When I read the title I wasn't too sure about the combo, but after reading they do sound great and simple. I love making cookies people won't have tried before, I think this is one for the list

Lilli said...

must be so good! love hazelnut! xo

Martha said...

I love both hazelnuts and anise! I adore those liqorice flavored European sweets and this sounds like a winner. However, I'm waiting for Trader Joe's to get in this year's stock of hazelnuts! So they will hae to wait!

Priya said...

Scrumptious cookies, wish i get some.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I don't like overly sweet cookies and these sound delicious. They would be perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon.

Melinda said...

Yummy!

M:)

Sue/the view from great island said...

I love these kinds of simple slice and bake cookies, and anise is a flavor I haven't worked with yet. I must have an unusual tolerance for bitter tastes, because I always keep the skins on hazelnuts when i cook and bake with them, I actually like the added color and flavor they give. Now I'm off to check out your chocolate maple walnut bars!

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