Thursday, December 17, 2009

petered out

Alice has done so well traveling. Last night after a good play session she found this foot stool with her blanket and my sweater on it and quietly curled up for a sleep.

Today I'm making a shopping list for christmas baking: jam thumbprints, hazelnut shortbread, pecan tarts and cardamom pistachio cookies.
Maybe a chocolate cake as well.

Hazelnut Shortbread

Yields about 20

1 cup organic pastry or spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted organic butter, room temperature
1/3 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup finely ground husked toasted hazelnuts (about 2 ounces)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 ounces organic dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup coarsely chopped husked toasted hazelnuts

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture until just combined.

Shape dough by tablespoonfuls into 3-inch-long logs. Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies until light golden brown around edges, about 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool cookies completely.

Stir milk chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Place 1/3 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts in small bowl. Dip 1 end of cookie into melted chocolate, then into coarsely chopped hazelnuts. Return to rack. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let stand until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.

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