Yeah, I know. An odd choice of featured image for a recipe that actually contains relatively little butter. I was flipping through The Baking Bible, looking for this recipe, and landed on the header page of the “Cookies and Candy” chapter. How can you not love a cookbook that has a full page image of a stack of sticks of butter like that? Mmm… butter.
Anyway, on to this week’s assignment. As Marie said in last week’s Baking Bible round up, these cookies would be super easy if it weren’t for the blanching and de-skinning of the hazelnuts! I made them the same day that I tackled the double batch of Rose’s Sugar Brioche. Skinning hazelnuts was certainly one way to pass the time while waiting for the various stages of the bread. I can definitely think of better ways to pass time, though.
The first step in the blanching process is to bring water to a boil, then add baking soda.
That, by itself, would make a bit of a mess if you’re not prepared for it. Fortunately, Rose includes statements like “It will bubble up furiously.”
Next, add the hazelnuts.
This looks rather like the beginning stages of grape jelly, but tastes absolutely nothing like it. If I weren’t prepared for it, I’d think there was something wrong with my hazelnuts, because, really, why would the water turn purple? Fortunately, this is another one of those things that Rose warns about, so there’s no need to freak out.
After the hazelnuts are blanched, rinsed, de-skinned (a somewhat tedious manual process), and dried off, you toast them, then pour on some caramelized sugar. Let that cool, then turn it into praline powder.
Mix butter & sugar, add the praline powder, then add egg and flour. At this point, I started to wonder why I’d gone to all this trouble, because there was a *tiny* amount of dough.
I used a small disher scoop to shape the cookies. It turns out that the first one I dished out was exactly 10g, which is what the recipe called for, so… perfect! I managed to get 31 cookies out of this dough… and 30 of them were delivered to my friend Gilad, for his final installment of his prize from last year’s Movember auction. Jay and I split the 31st.
Jay indicated that he’d be happy to have these again. Or, at least, he’d be happy to have more than half of a teaspoon-sized cookie. Fortunately, there’s some hazelnut praline powder in the fridge, if I want to make another tiny batch. 😉