December 16, 2012
I really wanted to make a cookie this year with all of my favorite ingredients rolled into one. I also wanted to make a cookie that used almond flour. So what happens when these two ideas come together?! You get Hazelnut and Orange Snowflake Cookies. I know it may sound confusing, so let me break it down for you. The entire cookie translates to a sandwich cookie. Hazelnut = ground up hazelnuts in the dough and hazelnut spread as a filling. Orange = orange zest and juice in the dough and orange marmalade as a secondary filling. Snowflake = the shape of the only Christmas cookie cutter I have. The snowflake really has no meaning. I just really wanted it in my cookie name. I know I say this every time, but this is my best cookie here to date.
The super sad thing about these cookies is the work that went into them and only getting 8 total sandwich cookies out of the dough. This wasn’t all the dough’s fault. It was partially my fault for breaking three cookies which really translates into four cookies since I was missing a half to a pair. My cookie cutter is also the size of a small country. So with a “normal” sized cookie cutter, I could have probably gotten twice as many. Sad, I know, but you have to be prepared for these sorts of things. Cookies are going to break. The world is a cruel and inconsistent place.
So let’s talk about the difficult things. Crushing hazelnuts in a powder can be cumbersome. It may seem easy, but don’t let those delicious hunks of protein fool you. Be careful with that food processor when it comes to crushing nuts. You can quickly go from powder to paste in a matter of seconds. It’s happened before and it will happen again. The end result does not have to be a complete powdery substance. You just want the general amount to be powdery. It’s ok to have some larger chunks in there. It adds texture and I really think makes the dough all the more better.
These cookies are also very time consuming. Not only do you have to let the dough chill for hours on end, but the idea of cutting out cookies then re-rolling the dough out to only cut again can be a daunting process. It is so worth it in the end. The pros officially outweigh the cons in this cookie recipe and the cookie you get in the end makes life in general worth while! Speaking of which…
*Please Note* It does not take over three hours to prep these cookies. Yes, it will take 3 hours of inactive time, but the actual prep work should only take about a half hour. Don’t worry!
There’s not a better combination out there than orange and chocolate, in my opinion. Once you add a little bit of hazelnut in the mix, my oh my. Another little touch I added to this cookie, was the combination of almond flour and all purpose flour. Almond flour is a hidden gem with so much flavor. I find that it can be “almondy” though, so use with care and use in the proper setting. I believe it’s a fabulous idea that when you first start using almond flour, to work your way up. Use half almond and half all purpose. It’s the subtle differences like this that will put your cookie way up there.
I really loved how these cookies come out, and I hope you do too. Tomorrow, Zach is baking a cookie for us! Can’t wait to see how these come out =) I’m sure there will be a lot of chocolate and peanut butter goodness involved.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup orange marmalade
- ¼ cup hazelnut spread (Nutella)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (with paddle attachment fixed), cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed. Add the egg yolks and mix to combine. Then add the vanilla extract, orange zest and orange juice. Mix until all is incorporated.
- In a food processor, pulse your hazelnuts to a fine powder (with a couple of added chunks to spare). In another bowl whisk together your almond flour, ap flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Now begin integrating the dry ingredients into the wet. On low speed, add the flour mixture in ½ cup increments. Once all is integrated, begin adding the ground up hazelnuts. Mix until just combined, but not overly combined.
- Split the dough into 4 equal pieces and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
- Once the dough is chilled, set your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- One by one, roll out the dough on a liberally floured piece of parchment paper. Roll to about ¼ – ½ of an inch thick. With a 2-3″ (in diameter) floured cookie cutter (I used a snowflake) begin cutting out your shapes. Lay out your cookies about an inch away from one another on your baking sheets.
- Once you have your baking sheets ready, stick them in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from freezer, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, swapping the sheets halfway through.
- Remove from oven and let cool on sheets for about 5 minutes. Remove from sheets and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, spread the flat, underside of one cookie with a teaspoon of hazelnut spread. Take another cookie and spread a teaspoon of orange marmalade. Sandwich to the cookies together. Repeat this step for the rest of the cookies.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.