Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ferrero Rocher Crescent Cookies

Ferrero Rocher is synonymous to special occasion in my world.

Christmas stocking... Ferrero Rocher.

Easter basket... Ferrero Rocher.

Congratulations! Ferrero Rocher.

I love how foods, tastes, smells, sights can bring up vivid memories and make me feel certain feelings.

The smell of a cucumber reminds me of my Nonno Sam.
He was always in charge of making "insalata" (salad) at dinner time and took pride in his precision-cut thinly sliced cucumber coins.

          Geez, I miss him.

The taste of sweet mangoes brings me right back to Thailand - hot, humid, full of energy.

And the taste of chocolate & hazelnut makes me think I've done something right! It makes me want to celebrate.

The cookie dough base for these chubby half moons is nearly a shortbread, but it's made even better thanks to the addition of an ever-enriching egg yolk.

They're melt-in-your-mouth, undoubtedly tender and completely chocolatey cookies with textured hazelnut meal throughout.

The lack of any baking powder/soda means that these will be delicate and full of concentrated flavour.

TIP: The dough may be soft and difficult to shape at first, but resist the temptation to add more flour. Instead, refrigerate the dough to let it hydrate and firm up. Adding more flour would compromise the rich chocolatey flavour.

A generous dip in melted chocolate and coating of more ground hazelnuts will finish them off. We're driving this concept all the way home.

Having a box of these sitting on my kitchen counter is how I make sure I celebrate every day. So should you.

While you're at it, maybe open up that bottle of vintage wine you've been saving for a "special occasion". The special occasion IS the day you open it. So, why wait?


Ferrero Rocher Crescent Cookies
Makes about 22 cookies

½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (90 g) sifted icing sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg yolk
¾ cup (105 g) all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup (28 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup (65 g) ground hazelnuts

For dipping:
56 g (2 oz) bittersweet chocolate, melted
1/3 cup ground hazelnuts

Beat butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl until very pale and fluffy. Beat in salt and egg yolk until smooth.

Sift flour and cocoa powder over the butter mixture and fold it in until combined. Fold through ground hazelnuts. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll level tablespoons of dough into balls and then roll into logs with tapered ends. Form the dough into crescents and place on prepared baking tray. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until slightly cracked and slightly dry to the touch. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

When cool, dip in melted chocolate and then dip in ground hazelnuts. Transfer dipped cookies to a parchment-lined baking tray to set.

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