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Sunday Slow Bakers: Bittersweet Chocolate and Hazelnut Cookies

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It's Sunday already! Somehow the week flew by and all those extra blog entries that I meant to write got away from me. But today it's time for Marta's selection of the Bittersweet Chocolate and Hazelnut Cookies for this week's Sunday Slow Bakers. I was very excited to try this recipe. For one I would be able to use up some of the hazelnuts that I bought the other week for the Hazelnut and Grape Tart. But more importantly, I love chocolate and I love hazelnuts, so I thought this would be a winning combination. Also, after reading the recipe it sounded like this would be similar to a chocolate crinkle cookie that I've seen pictures of but have never tried. They are chocolate cookies that are covered in powdered sugar and when they are baked they crack and show the chocolate cookie beneath, while still retaining a dense coat of powdered sugar. Here's an example.

But as you can see from my photo at the top of this entry, this recipe does not produce chocolate crinkle cookies. They may be rolled in powdered sugar, but some other chemistry is at work here that I don't fully understand because they turn out not so much crackled as glazed. That may not necessarily be a bad thing. They do taste good. And they have chocolate and hazelnuts in them, which it turns out is a winning combination in a cookie.

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For chocolate I used the Valrona 3.5 ounce bars that are readily found at Trader Joe's. The recipe called for either bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and I happened to have both on hand. So, since it called for 5 ounces, I used one bar of the 72 percent bittersweet and part of a bar of 52 percent semisweet. Just how much of the second bar to use presented a quandary as I struggled to figure out the math. Why don't they put one ounce divisions on chocolate bars? I ended up using just slightly less than half of that bar, and I'm sure it was close enough. I suppose if I really want to be exact I will have to replace the battery in my scale and start weighing things.

The rest of the recipe was easy and straightforward. The batter is thick but definitely needs to be chilled before rolling to make it easier to shape into balls.

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After the first batch came out of the oven, and I realized that all my powdered sugar had pretty much dissolved, I tried packing on a thicker layer of powdered sugar. It still didn't have the effect I was looking for. So I decided to be happy with what I had. I mentioned this to my husband (who by the way pronounced them delicious), and he jokingly asked if I couldn't add my cracked texture to the photo using Photoshop. Well, actually there is a filter in Photoshop called Craquelure, and I couldn't resist trying it. So, here you have my before and after shots—with and without the Craquelure filter, which really goes to show that you can always count on Photoshop to bail you out!

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Comments (3)

LOL, Krista! I love that side by side photo. Now it makes me wonder how many of those cookbook photos that I just can't quite match were also photoshopped. At least that is my new excuse.

Krista-That's really interesting to see what the craqulure filter does. Thanks for posting this.

Funny how when I look at the "cracked" photo my eyes think it is out of focus and start trying really hard to focus!

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