There are so many variations of these cookies online that you could make a new version every week of the year. This is my favorite version from Piemonte as it combines finely chopped toasted hazelnuts with dark chocolate which reminds me of that famous Baci chocolate from Perugina. Chocolate and hazelnuts are a match made in heaven, and one or two of these cookies make the perfect afternoon treat with a cup of espresso, and everyone will love seeing them on your holiday cookie tray.
I prefer using a double boiler to melt my chocolate, but you could also use your microwave if you prefer. To roast and skin your hazelnuts, place them on a baking sheet in a 350 degree F. oven for about 8 minutes. While still warm, dump the nuts in a kitchen towel and rub briskly to remove most of the skins.
Deborah Mele 2018
- 2 Cups Finely Ground, Skinned Hazelnuts (See Notes Above)
- 1 Cup All=purpose Flour
- 2/3 Cup Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 5 Ounces Butter At Room Temperature
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, ground hazelnuts, sugar, and salt.
- Add the butter, and using an electric mixer, mix until combined.
- Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets.
- Once all the dough has been rolled into balls, refrigerate the baking sheets for 1 hour.
- Just before baking, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Bake the cookies for 16 to 17 minutes until they just begin to brown.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave and stir until smooth.
- Spread less than a teaspoon of the chocolate on one cookie and cover with another cookie.
- Continue to finish all of the cookies in this manner, then allow the chocolate to cool and set for at least an hour.
- Store cookies in an airtight container.