Nusstaler (Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Cookies)
Yields about 3 1/2 - 4 dozen
Adapted from Saveur (December 2012)
The original yield of this recipe was supposed to be 2 dozen, but, because I make my cookies small, I ended up with a lot more. Even with the extra cookies, however, I didn't need to melt any additional chocolate for dipping.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 ounces toasted hazelnuts, very finely ground
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sea salt, for garnish
4 ounces 60% Bittersweet Chocolate (I prefer Ghiradelli), melted
-Preheat oven to 350 F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
-Cream butter, sugar and vanilla either in stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer.
-In a small bowl, whisk together ground hazelnuts, flour, cocoa powder and salt.
-Add to butter mixture and beat until just incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The dough should look crumbly, like a coarse meal.
-Roll dough into small balls (see above note about cookie yield) and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. The cookies should be 1-2 inches apart; they won't rise or expand, so, depending on their size, you should be able to fit about 20 cookies per baking sheet.
-Lightly sprinkle sea salt on cookies.
-Bake until lightly cracked on top, about 8-10 minutes.
-As the cookies cool, melt the chocolate in either a double boiler or the microwave.
-Dip bottom of each cooled cookie in the chocolate and place back on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
-Chill until chocolate is set (N.B. I opted to keep my cookies in the refrigerator since the chocolate starts to soften at room temperature; make sure to remove shortly before serving).