DARK CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT SHORTBREAD COOKIES

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So, I’m trying very hard to stay away from refined sugar. Not because I have diabetes, but because as I advance in years, my stomach either likes what I feed it or it doesn’t. And refined sugar is now on my tummies “you will no longer be tolerated” list. And I’m telling you, my tummy can be a very strict disciplinarian! So in order not to feel like I’m pregnant, suffering from stomach flu, or about to pass a kidney stone, I acquiesce to my stomachs demands.

So when Mr. C received some chocolate shortbread cookies from our friend Deanne, and raved about them, I decided to find a recipe for dark chocolate cookies to serve at our next JazzVox pre-concert meal.

I must tell you, Mr. C was not impressed with the first cookie he tasted from this recipe. He thought it almost tasted burnt. I think that was because the cookie was still slightly warm and he was used to a much sweeter chocolate cookie; one containing either milk or semi-sweet chocolate. So instead of throwing the cookies away, I decided to add a little white chocolate for balance. Even then, I almost threw out the entire double batch. But Mr. C decided I should serve them anyway; that upon further reflection, they weren’t so bad after all. Mighty magnanimous of him, wouldn’t you say? (Actually I trust his sense of taste as much as I trust my own. Well – almost.) Anyway, the upshot of this entire unnecessary dissertation is that I did serve them to our guests and they were a huge hit! In fact, the word “wow” literally escaped from our friend Peggy’s mouth with her very first bite.

So if you are a dark chocolate lover, and appreciate crisp cookies that are not too sweet, this easy refrigerator cookie is the one for you. And as with any cookie, the sugar and salt are hygroscopic and soak up moisture from the atmosphere. So in order to keep these or any other cookies crisp, always store them in an airtight container. Transversely, with cookies that are better on the soft side, like ginger cookies for example, place them in a container that is not air tight. (And no, I was not a science major in college. I still can’t even begin to understand why the Doppler Effect sounds to me like a descending line of music!) Enjoy!

  • 2¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 squares (2-oz.) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • ½ c. finely chopped hazelnuts
  • melted white chocolate

Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor or heavy duty mixer. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Mix until mixture resembles moist sand. Add the melted chocolate and nuts and continue mixing until a dough forms. Place dough on a long piece of plastic wrap. Using your hands, wrap the dough into the plastic wrap gently shaping it into a round log about 1½-inch wide. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Un-wrap the log and using a serrated knife slice dough 3/8-inch thick. (If dough feels really hard, leave at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing). Arrange slices, about 1-inch apart, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies in a pre-heated 300 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the bottom and fairly hard to the touch. (Do not under-bake.) Cool on the baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes. Gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When the cookies are completely cool, decorate them with melted white chocolate. After the white chocolate is completely set (it will take a couple of hours) store the cookies in an airtight container.

 

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks