Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 17th-Hazelnut Sandwiches

Lana and Nolan on the Star 92.9FM were so gracious yesterday. We all ate cookies, drank hot beverages, talked about food, and had some memorable laughs. One funny moment was when Nolan spread powdered sugar all over his face and Lana spilled powdered sugar on her black jacket. Yes the Pecan Blizzards can be messy but, they brought us new snow that I took a beautiful walk in. I just love the falling snow flakes.

What can I say? I love these cookies. Seriously, chocolate and apricot jam smothered between thin hazelnut cookies. They require a couple steps but are so worth the effort. How is your holiday baking going? Send me an email and let me know.

Hazelnut Sandwiches
Makes about 30

1 1/2 cups butter (three sticks), room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons brandy
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups ground hazelnuts

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup apricot preserves

In medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder, set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer until softened. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg and brandy. Beat well, scraping the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture and hazelnuts alternately, beating until combined.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pack the dough into a cookie press using a flower or Christmas tree plate. Force the dough through the cookie press onto prepared baking sheets. Or roll into 1 inch balls, place 9 onto baking sheet, spacing well. Cover with wax paper and evenly press down using the bottom of a heavy glass expanding the cookie to three inches. Carefully remove wax paper. Bake 6-8 minutes until edges are firm and the slightest bit golden. Cool cookies on a rack.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Put about 1/2 teaspoon of the melted chocolate between the delicate bottoms of two cookies. Heat apricot jam just to spreading consistency. Use about 1/2 teaspoon of the preserves between the bottoms of the two cookies. Press together and repeat with the rest of the cookies. Set up for 1 hour.

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