Cinnamon. Brown sugar. Roasted hazelnuts. THIS is my idea of a Christmas cookie. I mean, the two desserts that best represent the holidays are sugar cookies and roasted nuts. Why not have some fun and combine the two into one delicious cinnamon-spiced sugar cookie infused with roasted hazelnuts?
The truth is, desserts have never been my specialty. I always joke that I’m a horrible pastry chef because I try to “cheat” by using less sugar and fat than necessary. Then, I’ll sneak in extra healthy ingredients for more nutrition and I end up with something more like a bran muffin than a cookie. I can’t help myself! This time, however, I was good (er, bad?). I went out of my comfort zone and used a little more sugar and oil than I normally would. It’s good to bend the rules every once in a while. It is the holidays, after all.
What I’m trying to say is, these cookies are really delicious and still fairly unprocessed. We’re using a very cool technique that starts with roasting the hazelnuts, grinding them into a flour that forms the base of these cookies, then adding in a little brown sugar, coconut oil, flour, and cinnamon to create the perfect spiced christmas cookie.
Happy holidays, everyone! 🙂
Makes about 16 cookies
- 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1/3 cup sucanat (brown sugar)
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Extra hazelnuts, for garnish
Add the hazelnuts to a baking sheet and put them under your oven’s broiler, on the low setting, for several minutes until they just begin to darken and the skins begin to peel off. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before rubbing them between your hands to remove some of the loose skins. It’s okay if you don’t get them all.
Add the hazelnuts and sucanat (unprocessed brown sugar) to a food processor and pulse until the hazelnuts and sugar have broken down into a kind of “sand” consistency.
Add in the remaining ingredients (whole wheat flout, coconut oil, cinnamon) and pulse until well combined. Give this dough a test to see if it will form one ball. If it’s too crumbly, add one tablespoon of cold water and pulse, repeating just until the dough is no longer crumbly.
Roll this dough into a cylinder, about 1.5 inches in diameter, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 24 hours.
TIP: If you’re having trouble getting an even cylinder, as I was, use a sushi mat to roll the dough tight and keep things secure in the refrigerator:
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350º F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to warm for several minutes before slicing into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Add the cookies to a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, just until the dough has set.
Note: if they haven’t flattened out on their own after 10 minutes, remove from the oven and carefully use a spatula to flatten a bit before returning to the oven to finish baking.
Cool, and optionally dust with extra cinnamon brown sugar and/or add a hazelnut half to the center of each cookie.