The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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dstroy's picture
dstroy

This week has been the week of baking lots of Christmas cookies - this year I've been doing the cookie baking (Floyd's still in charge of supplying our dinner breads ;) Im nowhere near making those pretty sourdoughs myself!)


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Yesterday I made a big batch of Sour Cream Sugar Cookies. I didn't have any lemons on hand to add the rind so I substituted some lemon juice (and only after dropping it in did it occur to me that with the baking soda in there I might have been producing a volcano, but luckily nothing of the sort occurred and the cookies turned out delicious) and I separated the icing into different bowls and added some color and let the kids paint the cookies with little paintbrushes so they were nice and festive. I'd forgotten that the cookies grew a little bit, so they held their shape but did spread out a little.


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The exciting new thing I tried this year came about after an accidental purchase of too much Nutella. I'd not seen the double-jars I had hidden in the back of the pantry and had purchased yet another jar - well with all that Nutella something has to be done!


Someone sent me a link to this recipe and I decided to try it. The recipe there was a bit more uptight than my patience allows, so here is the slightly simplified version of what I made:


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Start with roasting the hazelnuts: I got a bag of shelled hazelnuts in the bulk section and spread them on a pan and broiled them until they were toasted. I used about 1 1/2 cups. Next, put them in a little food processor to chop them into little crumbs. (As it turns out, I'm hearing that most folks peel the skin off the nuts when they roast them - I didnt do this and think they taste fine, particularly with such a sweet cookie. I'm also finding that the skins are actually better for you - does anyone know why the norm is to peel them?)


Next, the dough:


Into the bowl of a mixer, beat until creamy a stick of butter and ½ cup sugar until it starts to get fluffy (I skipped the step of waiting to bring it to room temperature, but it didn't seem to matter - this helped too with not having to wait to chill the dough later)


Separate out 2 egg yolks, saving the whites in a smaller bowl for later use, and add the yolks in.


Add 1 tsp. vanilla


Then add 1¼ cups all-purpose flour,


1/8 tsp. coarse salt


and ¼ tsp. baking soda slowly until combined



Preheat oven to 325° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.


In a shallow bowl, mix the chopped hazelnuts with about 2-3 Tablespoons of sugar (to taste)


Roll the dough into small balls and then dip in the whites and then roll them in the nut mixture before placing them on the parchment with about an inch of space between them.


Squish a little hole in the center of each dough-ball to make a depression with a finger or little spoon, then bake for 10 minutes at 325° F


Remove and using a small spoon, squish the hole again, as it will grow a little bit puffy, before returning to the oven for another 10 minutes.


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Allow them to cool a few minutes then move them to a rack, fill with a spoonful of Nutella. (Microwave at 30 seconds to get the chocolate stuff melty and runny)


Throw them in the fridge for a bit to let them set a bit, but these are going to be goopy even cooled.


 


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gothicgirl's picture
gothicgirl

Poted on www.evilshenanigans.com on 4/20/2009


If given the choice of any dessert I want, I almost always pick the cookie.  I adore them.  During the Holidays I tend to eat and bake so many cookies that I get a little tired of them and I can't stand to make them until Spring is fully underway. 


Almond and Chocolate Filled Butter Cookies


These cookies have a delicious secret hidden in them.  A mixture of ground almonds, mini-chocolate chips, vanilla sugar, and cinnamon.   I love little suprises like this in my desserts.  People always think you slaved to make something so impressive, but I must confess ... these are so easy to make!  The dough is supple and easy to work with, and they hold the filling well. 


Fresh From the Oven 


Once baked they maintain their shape well, and once cool completly are sturdy little things.  The dough is not terribly sweet, it is more like a pie dough than a cookie dough in many aspects, so the dusting of powdered sugar is a welcome addition.  If you do not want to roll or dust your cookies, and often I feel that step is one step too many myself,  feel free to add a tablespoon or two of additional sugar to the dough.


These cookies are crisp, buttery, delicate, and remarkable good.  They keep for as many as five days in an air tight container on the counter.   


Almond and Chocolate Filled Butter Cookies 


Plus, they just look darn pretty!


Almond and Chocolate Filled Butter Cookies   Yield 36 cookies


Dough:


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (or 2 tabplesoons sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla)
1 cup salted butter
2 tablepsoons milk
1 tablespoon water


Filling:


1/2 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup vanilla sugar
3 tablespoons mini-chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons water


Powdered sugar for dusting


Heat the oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.


Filling 


Mix the almonds with the sugar, chocolate chips and water.  Mix well and set aside.


Making the Dough Dough


In the bowl of a food processor add the flour, cinnamon, sugar, milk, water, and butter.  Pulse the mixture until it forms a ball.  You may need to add up to an additional tablespoon of water.


Dough Rolled into a Log Roll the Dough


Roll the dough into a log about 18″ long, then cut into 1/2″ slices.  Roll each slice into a ball.


Starting the Cup Formed into a Cup  


Take one ball of doug, press your finger into the center, then shape the ball into a cup. 


Filled CupPull the Edges InPinch the SeamAll Rolled Up  


Fill each cup with a little of the filling then pinch the dough closed.  Roll gently between your palms to round the ball and place seam side down on the prepared pans.  Repeat with the remaining dough.


Ready to BakeFresh From the Oven  


Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden.  Cool completly on the pan.


Almond and Chocolate Filled Butter Cookies 


Roll in powdered sugar before serving.


Almond and Chocolate Filled Butter Cookies

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