Welcome to decadent. Having this stuff in my house is injurious to my health and I find myself contemplating an impromptu donation to a dear friend.
My son’s school had a fundraiser on Friday and we parents were encouraged to donate baked goods. Wanting to make something that didn’t have the words chocolate chip, rice-krispie, mono-ethylglycolene (just making this up) or peanut butter in it, I decided on some lovely hazelnut cookies found on a blog titled At Down Under. Specifically I had run a search entitled ‘eggless cookie’ on foodgawker, and this recipe was one of many which popped up.
I felt entirely too lazy to go down to my basement (the dungeon, really) to find the cookie cutters, and therefore merely employed my knife and a fork to make shortbread style cookie bars. The recipe was followed to a T with the exception of adding the recommended chocolate coating. I didn’t want the chocolate to start to melt all over the cellophane bags in which these lovelies were to be stored and sold. And it was lovely. Delicious. Addictive. Four cookies to a cellophane bag, tied with garden twine, and a stamped tag, these adorable things were way too cute to be prizes at a school fundraiser. But then, I am a good mommy and brought them early Friday morning to the school.
There were still plenty of ground hazelnuts at home and as the age-old adage goes ‘waste not want not.’ What better way than to turn them into more of these delectable cookies. This time, though, I allowed my meddling ‘can’t-leave-a-recipe-alone’ personality to play and what came of it was nothing short of a culinary coup. The cookies were enhanced with two ingredients. Yes, just two. But it’s amazing what two ingredients can do. I included dried cranberries (craisins) and then drizzled the baked and cooled cookies with some leftover semi-sweet chocolate I had in my baking cupboard. That took these cookies from really good to ‘Oh, Wow!’
Without further ado, here is the recipe as adapted from Viviane of Down Under.
Hazelnut-Cranberry Shortbread with Chocolate Drizzle
220 gr. flour
80 gr. ground hazelnut
200 gr. unsalted butter, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
40 gr. ground brown sugar
a handful of sweetened, dried cranberries
some semi-sweet chocolate for drizzling
If using a standmixer, place all ingredients except the chocolate in the mixing bowl. With the paddle attachment mix until you have a well mixed dough. Invert dough onto some parchment paper, and flatten to a thickness of about 1 cm. I used a rolling pin for that. Slip parchment and dough onto a cookie sheet and place in cool place or refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice cookies into bars an prick with fork. If your cookie sheet has enough space (mine didn’t) move the bars slightly apart. If you can’t, you’ll need to slice the cookies again when you remove them from the oven. Allow the cookies to bake for 14-18 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Melt the chocolate per manufacturers recommendation and put into a plastic bag. Cut a small hole on one end and drizzle the chocolate all over the cookies. A little chocolate goes a long way here.
Let the chocolate set and enjoy with your favorite coffee or a chilled glass of ice-cold milk.