Hazelnut Macchiato Cookies

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I love hearing what people’s Sunday morning rituals are, how they prepare for the week ahead and wrap up the weekend that was.  Some people like to begin their days by going for runs or their favorite exercise classes.  Some people put on their bath robes, grab a cup of coffee, and watch the local news for a while.  Some people head straight to church for their weekly mass.  Everyone has a different routine.

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Like everyone else, I have a Sunday morning tradition: I like to be up and about by the time the opening jingle of CBS Sunday Morning rings, cup o’ joe in hand, and recipe in mind.  Today started much the same as every other Sunday morning, which was absolutely fine by me.  Regarding the “recipe in mind”, I took some inspiration from my parents’ Sunday protocol: attending a church service with my aunts, then heading out for coffee and a weekly recap.  Though they change up their post-mass meeting place almost every week, it’s not uncommon that Starbucks ends up playing host to their weekly coffee date.  Being a proud Starbucks Gold Card-holder for the past couple of years, I was aware the the most recent drink du jour was the hazelnut macchiato.  Very similar to the traditional caramel macchiato, this beverage swaps out vanilla syrup for hazelnut flavoring to create a most excellent espresso treat.  As it turns out, the flavor combination translates spectacularly well to a cookie.

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Hazelnut Macchiato Cookies

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 egg

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbs. instant coffee crystals

1 cup caramel bits

1 1/2 cups roasted hazelnuts, chopped

2 Tbs. milk

1-2 cups powdered sugar

Equipment

stand mixer

small mixing bowl

medium mixing bowl

cookie scoop

spatula

cookie sheet

cooling rack

To Roast the Hazelnuts:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

On a cookies sheet, spread the hazelnuts.  Roast the hazelnuts for 7-9 minutes, tossing the nuts half-way through to ensure even roasting.  Immediately after removing the hazelnuts from the oven, transfer to a damp kitchen towel, covering all of the nuts.  Leave the warm hazelnuts in the towel for about 5 minutes.  Next, gently rub the hazelnuts with the towel to remove the skins.  Chop the nuts, then set-aside until ready to use.

To Make the Icing:

In a small bowl, combine the milk with 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Thoroughly stir with a fork, incorporating all of the powdered sugar.  If the icing is still to thin, add additional powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time.  Continue to add and incorporate powdered sugar until consistency is slightly thicker than that of honey.  Set aside until ready to use.

To Make the Cookies:

Preheat the oven to 300F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter on medium speed for about a minute.  Add the granulated sugar, and mix until the combination is light and fluffy.  Next, add the egg and mix in.  Add the brown sugar, and mix until smooth.  Finally, add the vanilla extract and instant coffee crystals until the crystals have dissolved, about a minute.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir the wet mixture on medium speed.  With the mixer running, in two parts, add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.  Add the caramel bits and chopped hazelnuts, and stir a bit more until evenly distributed in the dough.

Using the cookie scoop, scoop balls of dough, about 2-inches in diameter, and spread them about 2-inches apart on the cookie sheet.  Bake for about 18 minutes, until golden brown on top.  Transfer the cookie sheet to the cooling rack, and allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for about five minutes before transfering them from the cookies sheet to the cooling rack.  Allow the cookies to cool for five more minutes.  Using a small spoon, drizzle icing over each cookie.  Serve warm with a cup of coffee, and enjoy!

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