To toast the nuts for these cookies, place them on a rimmed baking sheet in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 10 minutes; then transfer them to a clean kitchen towel and rub them until the skins come off. Grind them in a food processor.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg, separated, each part lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 cup toasted skinned hazelnuts, ground
- Strawberry jam, for filling
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put butter and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and mix well. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt, and mix until just combined. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours.
Stir together toasted hazelnuts and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; dip balls in egg white, then in hazelnut-sugar mixture. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press down center of each ball with your thumb. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; press down centers again with the end of a wooden spoon. Return to oven. Bake cookies until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes more. Let cool slightly on sheets on wire racks. Fill each center with jam.
SourceHoliday Cookies 2005, Special Issue Holiday 2005