Hazelnut-Butter Cookies

 

These slightly sweet cookies have a wonderful aroma from the roasted hazelnuts, that shine through with a buttery melt-in-the-mouth richness. They are another one of my favorite hostess gifts I like to make, and they are sure to please.

When I was in the UK, I never understood why some biscuits/cookies/cakes tasted so buttery. When I was a novice baker, my items were never as buttery as the ones you’d buy in the supermarket (grocery store). A good example would be Sainsbury’s all-butter flapjacks. I’d use butter, not margarine, but no matter how many times I tried a recipe, they’d never be as buttery as I’d like.

It’s only in the last few years have I realized that the butter really does make a difference. You need butter with high butter fat content to get the real, buttery richness. Since I’ve been in the US, I like to use Kerrygold unsalted/salted – it’s imported from Europe, it’s not too expensive and it tastes really buttery, without giving me diarrhea/hives/mild anaphylaxis. Hmm… sure you wanted to know that, right?

I made two batches of these cookies within the same week. One batch was to give to a French friend of mine, S and the other to neighbors. S got the Irish butter version and the neighbors got the American butter version – you could really taste the difference. The Irish butter was so much richer, more butter-y and the resulting cookie was melt in the mouth. So, it IS true – the quality of butter really does count!

 

HAZELNUT-BUTTER COOKIES

Makes around 16

 

Ingredients

  • 65 g (¼ c) unsalted butter*
  • 15 g (2 T) icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 45 g (⅓ c) hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed and roughly chopped
  • 75 g (½ c) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • Sifted icing (confectioners) sugar to toss

* Use the best quality European (or European style) unsalted butter you can find or afford

 

Method

1. In a medium sized bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

2. Add the nuts and stir. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to incorporate.

3. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F.

4. Take 1 T of the cookie mix, roll into a ball and slightly flatten onto a parchment lined baking tray. Repeat until all of the dough has been used up.

5. Bake the cookies in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes. Carefully transfer each cookie using a large spatula onto a wire rack until fully cool

6. Once fully cool, toss in icing (confectioners) sugar and set aside. Bag up or devour. Enjoy!

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