I can’t believe it’s already February… which means we get to celebrate one of the most romantic holidays, Valentine’s day! I remember Valentine’s day was such a big deal when I lived in Korea. In Korea, Valentine’s day is usually for girls to profess their love for guys that they’re dating/married to or guys they are secretly in love with. A lot of times, the day is considered the perfect day to make a confession of their secret love! I remember my friends making chocolate filled crafts for boys – I think I may have done this a couple of times when I was in high school for my boyfriends at the time. When I think back, it’s all so childish and cheesy but it was definitely fun.
I have been cooking/baking for about three years now. I’ve probably made hundreds of recipes… but I realize more and more that there are so many great and interesting recipes that I must explore. I have made a few different cookie recipes… Mostly simple and easy recipes… but last night, I made something that is a little harder than simple and easy… But I must tell you, it was totally worth the time and effort I put into making them.
I loved the hazlenut in the cookie dough.. It had a unique but wonderful flavor… and dipped in chocolate… Can’t get better than that! These are perfect for Valentine’s day. Though you can shape them in any shapes you want, I decided to cut them in hearts for Valentine’s day.
- 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
- 1½ teaspoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup butter, slightly softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1 large egg
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cups all purpose flour
- Cooking spray for baking sheets
- For Chocolate Glaze:
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- To toast hazelnut, heat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange whole hazelnuts (unpeeled) in a baking sheet. Toast them for about 6 minutes or until the hazelnuts are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool slightly. When cooled, place hazelnuts in a towel and roll them using your palm to peel off the hazelnuts.
- In a food processor, process the hazelnuts and cocoa powder until they are found to the consistency of a nut butter, 2-3 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool until warm.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and hazelnut mixture with a electric mixer on medium speed until very well blended and fluffy, 1½ to 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla, and salt. Beat until completely blended and smooth, about 1½ minutes. On low speed, mix in half of the flour and then the melted chocolate just until evenly incorporated. Mix or stir in by hand the remaining flour until evenly incorporated. Set aside for 10 minutes; the dough will firm up slightly.
- Cut the dough into thirds. Set each third between sheets of waxed paper. Roll out each portion to ⅛-inch thick. Check the underside and smooth any wrinkles. Stack the rolled pieces (paper still attached) on a tray. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes or for several hours (or freeze for about 20 minutes to speed chilling).
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray several large baking sheet with a cooking spray. Working with one piece of dough at a time and keeping the remainder chilled, gently peel away and then replace the top sheet of paper. Flip the dough over. Peel off and discard the second sheet of paper. Cut out the cookies using a heart shaped cutter (or other shapes). (If the dough softens too much to handle easily, transfer the paper and cookies to a tray, and refrigerate until firm again) Using a spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to the baking sheets, arranging them about 1½ inches apart. Reroll the dough scraps. Continue cutting out the cookies until all dough is used; refrigerate as necessary if it becomes too soft to handle.
- Bake the cookies one sheet at a time (keep the rest refrigerated) until they feel dry and almost firm when pressed ni the center; 7-10 minutes. Let cool on the sheets for 3-4 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely. Prepare the cookies for glazing by freezing them for at least 20 minutes or up to several hours. (You can also freeze the cookies at this point, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 months).
- For Glaze: Combine the chocolate and oil in a medium saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from pan when melted and keep the pan in a bowl of hot water. Line several small trays or baking sheets with aluminum foil. Dip half of the cookie in chocolate glaze and place them on the foil to cool. Transfer the dipped cookies in the refrigerator to cool, about 30 minutes or longer.
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