Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cookie #57 - Oregon Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

Oregon is one of the four major hazelnut growing regions in the world. 
Oregon produces 95% of the domestic hazelnuts in the United States. 
I came across quite a few hazelnut cookie recipes, but when I went shopping to buy ingredients I couldn't find hazelnuts. 
No hazelnuts? 
What's up Oregon? 
After trips to three different grocery stores (this happened once before with key limes) I decided I'd have to resort to using something hazelnut based. 
Of course!
Rich, chocolaty, velvety, nutty Nutella

So, I crafted a delicious, sugary butter cookie and sandwiched the Nutella in between.  Scrumptious! 
I've eaten three already. 
My hips are gonna hate this project....

Oregon Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

2 3/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup toasted & chopped hazelnuts*
Extra sugar for coating cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla until well mixed.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well after each addition.  Roll teaspoons full of dough into small balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, about 2" apart.  Dip the wet bottom of a glass into sugar and then press each cookie until about 1/4" thick.  Top half the cookies with the hazelnuts.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Don't let the cookies brown too much on the edges.  You want them to be soft and delicate, yet firm enough to handle the Nutella.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, spread a small amount of Nutella on the cookies that don't have the nuts.  Top with the nut topped cookie. 

*Though I didn't use hazelnuts in this batch, I included them in the ingredients.  Since I don't know exactly how many chopped hazelnuts the recipe will use, I used the typical measurement for a bag of hazelnuts for baking.

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