Flu season rages on and coupled with the current cold snap, I've been spending a lot of time in my house. We've been moving (which looks a lot more like Yoni moving both of us) and after Yoni's moved, he loves to sit down to some cookies and milk. The problem is while I love to cook, I'm not much of a baker. Maybe I don't like to follow directions. Maybe it's just not my gift. Either way, Yoni has been a cookie-less spouse since we were wed.
But last time we were in Cleveland, I had a cookie that changed they way I thought about baking. It was from Zoss Bakery in Cleveland Heights. It tasted like roasted hazelnuts in cookie form. I HAD to recreate it. When we got home, we had a bag of hazelnuts from trader joe's in the cupboard, eggs in the fridge and ... well ... the results blew my mind.
You'll need ... 6 eggs whites, 2 cups hazelnuts, 1 cup confectioners sugar, 4 tablespoons sugar, one tsp. vanilla extract, one half teaspoon salt (optional), and a ziplock or pastry bag.
1 Place 2 cups of hazelnuts or filberts in your food processor or blender with 1 cup confectioners sugar (this can be made by putting 1/2 cup sugar in blender for about 30 seconds). Pulse until it's a flour-like consistency.
2 Beat 6 egg whites with a half teaspoon salt (optional) and a half cup sugar til you have stiff peaks.
3 Gently fold vanilla extract and hazelnut mixture into the egg whites. 4 When it's mixed, put batter into a pastry bag or a zip lock bag. If using the ziplock, snip about 1/3 of an inch of the bottom left corner. 5 Pipe onto a cookie tray lined with parchement paper. Cookies should be about 2 inches apart. 6 Let sit for 30 minutes and preheat oven to 325. After 30 minutes, place cookies in oven.
7 Cook for 18-20 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges 8 When done, Cool for another 20 minutes.
9 This step is TOTALLY optional, but there is a fantastical spread popularly known as Cookie Butter originally called speculoos. Imagine if the best little cookies you ever ate were the consistency of peanut butter. It is amazing. It will change your world and your dress size. I get mine at Trader Joe's but I first had it from the Wafels&Dinges guy in NYC. Once the cookies are cool, spread them with about a little less than a tablespoon of the stuff and top with another cookie. You can also use chocolate, custard, caramel, whatever suits your fancy.
10 EAT! These are wonderful for tea or dessert in front of your post-Valentine's day flowers or painting. You could also eat one while reading Piper's new post on her blog A Matter of Life and Breath. We're both Colorado girls and share a lot of friends (fun) and medical challenges (not so fun) and she's great.
11. Stay healthy, eat cookies and wash your hands!