Clotilde was so very right about that statement when altering a cookie recipe by Laurence Salomon. This was already my second batch! And I seldom make a second batch! Nevertheless these got overbaked a little - never pick up your phone when you know you have to take your cookies out of the oven in no time!
Hazelnut cookies with black pepper and rosewater
(Clotilde's adaption from Laurence Salomon's 'Fondre de plaisir')
100 g whole hazelnuts
200 g wheat flour
70 g oat flakes
120 g sugar
1 tsp baking soda
a good pinch salt
1/4 tsp (freshly ground) black pepper
130 g butter, chilled and finely diced
2 tbsp rose water (can be replaced with plain water)
- Toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet until fragrant. Rub them in a clean dishcloth while they're still warm to remove the husks and chop roughly after they've cooled down
- Combine the hazelnuts well with the rest of the dry ingredients, from flour to pepper, in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the diced butter and rub it into the dry ingredients with your fingers or a wire pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the rose water and stir it in until the dough comes together just enough that you can gather it in two balls.
- Cover the bowl and set aside somewhere cool for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape the dough into balls a bit larger than walnuts, flatten them slightly, and place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving them a little elbowroom to expand.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until golden and set. Let stand for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transfering to a rack to cool completely.
The cookies are crumbly, they're moderately sweet, they're unique in their own way. The pepper completes the taste instead of fighting it and does create a nice warm feeling in the throat. Weird to say this, but it kind of warms up the taste too. Rosewater is recognisable but not striking.
In the end you'll get a small bowlful of hazelnut cookies. Not pepper cookies. Not rosewater cookies. Hazelnut cookies - crumbly and wonderful, with little surprises, perfect enjoyed together with cold milk.
And perfect for a cosy girls' night.