CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CRINKLE COOKIES (7 dozen)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 ounces 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- Make the dough. Preheat oven to 350* and place rack in middle position.
- Toast hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan in oven until skins split and nuts are pale golden, about 10 minutes. Turn oven off, remove pan from oven, then wrap hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and rub to remove any loose skins. Cool nuts completely. Pulse nuts with granulated sugar in a food processor until finely chopped.
- Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Beat together softened butter and brown sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in melted chocolate until well combined. Add milk and vanilla, beating to incorporate. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in hazelnut mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill until firm, 2 to 3 hours.
- Form and bake the cookies. Preheat oven to 350* with racks in upper and lower third positions. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Halve dough and chill 1 half, wrapped in plastic wrap. Roll the remaining dough into 1 inch balls, placing them on a sheet of waxed paper as rolled. Roll balls, 3 or 4 at a time, in confectioners’ sugar to coat generously and arrange 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets.
- Bake, switching position on sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are puffed and cracked and edges feel dry (but centers are still slightly soft), 12 to 18 minutes total. Transfer cookies (still on parchment) to racks to cool completely.
- While first batch is baking, roll remaining dough into balls. Line cooled cookie sheets with fresh parchment, then coat dough balls with confectioners’ sugar and bake in the same manner.
NOTE: Cookies keep layered between sheets of parchment or waxed paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days.
from Gourmet Holiday, special edition