Hazelnut Sandies

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Growing up in Singapore, hazelnuts looked like a jar of Nutella.  I would plunge my biggest spoon into this chocolate pool of heaven and devour it like a monster child.  Now that I am an adult, live in LA and know what real hazelnuts look and taste like it has become a favorite.  This recipe is my hazelnut version of Ina Garten’s pecan sandies.  Her use of turbinado sugar was genius because it gave the cookies a nice crunch.  I cut out a few steps in my modification to reduce the “UR”, utensils required.  Resting the dough overnight is an added step to help the flour absorb moisture, resulting in a firmer cookie.

Ingredients:

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  • 1 cup of hazelnuts
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar
  • 3 tsp of pure vanilla extract

Steps:

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toast 1 cup of hazelnuts in toaster oven for around 5 – 10 mins.
  3. Remove skin from hazelnuts.
  4. Place cooled hazelnuts and 1/4 cup of flour into food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground.  Do not process until oil separates from nuts.
  5. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups of flour, salt and baking powder. Pulse 5-8 times to combine.
  6. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow.
  7. Reduce speed to low, slowly add vanilla and flour mixture.  Mix until dough combines.
  8. Empty dough onto a sheet of parchment paper.  Roll into a log, wrap and place in fridge overnight to rest.
  9. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut dough log into half inch slices and place pieces one inch apart on baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 20 – 25 mins until the edges turn golden brown.
  11. Cool for 20 mins.  Do not touch until cookies have cooled completely.

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Cook’s Notes:

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The cookie is delicious as is.  But if you want a more decorative look try placing a chocolate kiss or hazelnut on each cookie.  Using enough salt in the dough is necessary to bring out the flavor of the hazelnuts.  Another option is to sprinkle flakes of Maldon sea salt on the cookies.  This enhances the flavor of the hazelnuts and creates an unexpected twist.


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