Pipe Dream #178: To Be Sophisticated Fresh – Brown Sugar Hazelnut Rounds

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Ho delicious. I just love hazelnut days. They rank somewhere between snow days and  this-clearance-item-is-ringing-up-even-lower-than-the-red-sticker-SAYS days.

So if your day is somewhat less than fab, I suggest you take this post to heart and get some hazelnutting in your life. Especially if you use a food processor to grind them up–food processors make life so much simpler in every way except the cleaning way.

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Technically, these biscuits fall under the category of the “slice and bake” cookie, but they are far removed from those store-bought sugar cookies you can pick up with pumpkins and Christmas trees on them, depending on the season. Those are best consumed before baking. At least, that is what I thought as a 10-year-old.

Consider these cookies the grown-up version. The brown butter alone would be enough to elevate the crispy, fragrant rounds, but with the addition of nearly a whole cup of ground hazelnuts, I’m ready to call them sophisticated. Who knew such sophistication could come out of a Better Homes and Garden Cookbook?

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They would also be really yummy solo, but I decided to make them sandwich cookies for fun and elegance. You can really cut them into any shape or no shape, but I decided to cut them with a cookie cutter after slicing them to give them a pretty edge. And then I filled them with brown butter icing. In other news, brown butter icing is ho oh so so fo wo delicious.

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Get ready for your close-up girls–totally irresistible!


Brown Sugar Hazelnut Sandwiches with Brown Butter Icing

Adapted from The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cups ground hazelnuts (from about 2 ounces whole hazelnuts)

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, baking soda and salt, beating until combined and scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined, then beat in the flour. Stir in the hazelnuts.

Divide the dough in half, shaping each half into a 10-inch roll. Wrap each log in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and chill for 6 hours or overnight. I chilled mine for two hours–it was fine.

When the dough is firm enough to slice, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slice the rolls into 1/4 inch slices with a sharp serrated knife. Place slices 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes until firm and light brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool. If desired, sandwich cookies together with brown butter icing (recipe follows) or Nutella.

These will keep for several days in an airtight container. Because they have a boatload of brown sugar in them, they will soften as time wears on, so if you like a crisp, shortbread-like cookie, they will be most like that on Day One.

Brown Butter Icing

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon milk

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter tuns light brown and smells nutty. Remove from heat, then beat in 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in 1 tablespoon of milk, until the icing is spreadable. Add more for a thinner glaze.

2 Responses to “Pipe Dream #178: To Be Sophisticated Fresh – Brown Sugar Hazelnut Rounds”

  1. 1 bethany March 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I think these should be the newest girl scout cookies. They look FAB!

  2. 2 Sharon March 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    These look scrumptious! Nice!

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