There is just something about the smell of baking cookies that puts a smile on faces young and old. It’s a smell that warms you from the inside out, even before you have taken your first bite. Because of convenience we have sadly become a society that bakes less and less, instead looking to store bought brands to feed our sweet tooth. But when you look at the overall cost of that one box of cookies and how much it costs to bake them from scratch you might discover as I did that I was losing money going for the store bought versions. So not only was I losing that amazing warming smell and the moist goodness of homemade cookies, I was paying more! As you may have come to realize through reading this blog that is a big pet peeve of mine. Why pay more when I can do it for less and it tastes better? Yes life does get busy and it is hard to make the time to make things from scratch but I have found if I really want something I make the time for it. Making the time for something like homemade cookies is just one of the ways that I like to tell people that I love them and from the smiles I get afterwards I think they know it.
Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
2/3 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups ground hazelnuts
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C ).
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Gradually beat in the egg yolk, vanilla, and lemon zest. Stir in the flour and ground hazelnuts with a large spoon.
Shape dough into walnut sized balls and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Make an indentation in the center of each ball with your finger. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
While the cookies are baking, melt the chocolate chips. You can do this several ways but no matter what way you choose there is one important thing to make sure you do, and that is not overcook your chocolate. For this recipe I melted the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave. Cook for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time. Once the chocolate has melted about half of the chips take the bowl out and continue stirring until the chocolate has completely melted. The bowl will be warm enough to continue the melting process so that you don’t run the risk of burned chocolate.