24 December 2008

chocolate hazelnut stars *

chocolate and hazelnut is one of my favorite combinations. add in some spiced rum, and you know you have a winner!!

1 cup hazelnuts (5 ounces)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch-process)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon spiced rum

  1. toast nuts in a small baking pan in oven until centers are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. wrap in a kitchen towel and cool to warm, then rub off any loose skins. chop nuts.
  2. sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  3. beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in egg and rum. at low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches just until a dough forms. stir in nuts.
  4. divide dough in half and form each half into a 5-inch square. wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
  5. preheat oven to 375°f with racks in upper and lower thirds. line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. roll out 1 piece of dough between 2 sheets of parchment into an 11-to 12-inch square. freeze on a tray until firm, about 20 minutes.
  7. remove top sheet of parchment and cut out with star (or any other shape) cookie cutters, arranging them 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets.
  8. bake cookies, switching position and rotating sheets halfway through, until firm and tops are slightly cracked, 8 to 12 minutes total. transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.
  9. repeat with remaining dough (cool baking sheets and line with fresh parchment). reroll scraps once for extra cookies if desired.
  • dough can be chilled up to 1 week.
  • cookies keep in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.

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