Crunchy with a strong hazelnut flavor. And they're easy: the nuts don't have to be toasted or skinned.
Makes about 40 cookies
Line the bottom and sides of a 9×5 loaf pan with foil. (See note at the end of these directions for how to do this painlessly.)
In a food processor, combine
- 2/3 cup raw hazelnuts (with skins still on them)
- 1–1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- scant 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
Pulse until the hazelnuts are finely chopped. Cut
- 6 TBL cold unsalted butter
into 1/2-inch cubes, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Combine
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TBL cold water
and drizzle into the processor bowl. Pulse just until the mixture resembles damp crumbs – it shouldn’t be a smooth mass, but it should stick together when pressed. Dump the mixture into the lined loaf pan and spread it evenly. Press it very firmly and compactly. Fold the foil over the dough and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Grease two cookie sheets.
Unwrap the dough and transfer it to a cutting board. Use a long sharp knife to cut the dough crosswise into 1/4-inch (or thinner if possible) slices. Use the knife to transfer each slice to the greased cookie sheets, placing the slices 1 inch apart. The slices will be fragile and require the support of the knife in transit.
Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, until the cookies are golden with golden brown edges. Rotate top to bottom and front to back halfway through for even baking. With a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. May be kept in an airtight container for several days.
Variation: Almond Sticks
I just substituted 2/3 cup raw almonds for the hazelnuts. But I didn’t think the almond flavor was strong enough; next time, I’m going to use almond extract in place of the vanilla, or half almond/half vanilla.
To line pan with foil: Invert the pan, cover it with a piece of foil 4 inches longer and wider than the bottom of the pan, and with your hands press down on the foil around the sides and the corners to shape it like the pan. Dampen the inside of the pan slightly. Without tearing, press the foil into place in the pan.