Hazelnut Molasses Spice Cookies

These hazelnut molasses spice cookies may look understated and almost overbaked, but if you look closely, they’re studded with small chunks of hazelnut and pack a flavorful punch.  Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves make them reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie but without the spicy bite.  Thin and crispy, rich and buttery, and not too sweet, they’re a perfect complement to tea time.

Note, the dough needs a few hours in the fridge to firm up, so make sure to leave enough time for that.
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Hazelnut Molasses Spice Cookies

Makes about one hundred 2 1/2 inch cookies
(from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies)
My notes are in [   ] below.

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups (7.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) raw hazelnuts, skin left on
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) sugar
1/4 teaspoon slat
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup light unsulfured (but not blackstrap) molasses

Directions

  1. Put the flour, hazelnuts, and baking soda into a food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground.  Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, and cloves until well combined.
  2. In a mixer bowl, combine the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.
  3. On low speed, beat in half of the flour mixture followed by all of the molasses.  Add the remaining flour and beat until just blended.
  4. Shape the dough into a cylinder about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter lengthwise on an 18-inch-long sheet of wax or parchment paper. Wrap tightly.  Refrigerate until firm enough to slice, 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  6. Grease cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper. [I always use parchment paper because it makes for easier clean up.]
  7. Cut slices 1/8 inch thick from the cylinder. [Make sure the dough is evenly sliced so the cookies bake up evenly and are done at the same time.]
  8. Place the slices about 1 1/2 inches apart on the lined or greased cookie sheets.
  9. Bake for 7-12 minutes [the original recipe indicated 10-12 minutes, but my cookies were done by 7-8 minutes so make sure to keep an eye on them.], until golden grown with darker edges [my cookies darkened quickly, so again, make sure to keep an eye on them and check to see how dark the bottoms are too.].  Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway though the baking time.  The cookies will puff up and then settle down before they are done.
  10. For lined pans set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool; for unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks.  Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing.

Note: Cookies can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for up to one week.

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