I have been experimenting with quick cookie recipes the last few weeks and I hope to be sharing them the here during this winter. They will all have a nut base, like a lot of Italian cookies. And as they will all have the same base, I thought I would share the basic recipe with you here first. It’s a low sugar hazelnut cookie, made with only four ingredients: nuts, sugar, 1 egg and a pinch of salt. It’s a cookie that you can eat within a short hour after you start making it. Sounds irresistible, doesn’t it?
This is a low-sugar cookie, but why?
I have been trying out traditional recipes from other people and they all have twice as much sugar in them as my recipe. In my taste testing I have found that I don’t need that much sugar to create a tasty and crunchy end product. I think it’s really worth using less sugar in your cookies. If your sweets are less sweet, you will develop a taste for less sweetness and will appreciate low sugar cookies more. That’s my philosophy.
- 300g hazelnuts (and optional a few whole hazelnuts on the side to place on top of each cookie)
- 100g sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 small pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven on 180-200C.
- If you use whole hazelnuts as I did, you will need to grind them to a crumbly substance. I used my blender for this. You might have other tools for this.
- Beat your egg with the pinch of salt in a bowl now and then mix in the sugar.
- Add the hazelnuts and mix it with a spoon (or your hand) till the dough comes together.
- Form the dough in a roll which has a diameter of about 2cm and then place it in clingfilm in the freezer.
- When your oven is preheated, you can take your dough out of the freezer, remove the clingfilm and cut 1,5-2cm wide circles from the roll.
- Place the circles sideways on your cookie sheet or parchment paper and leave 2cm in between each cookie.
- Now you can push the optional hazelnuts carefully into the centre of the cookie.
- Place the sheet in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Take the sheet out and push the cookie in the centre with a spoon or fork to platten them a bit, return them again in the oven for 3-5 minutes.
- Take them out of the oven when they are golden brown and leave them to cool down on the sheet.
They won’t be crunchy when they just come out of the oven, but as soon as they are cooled down, they will have a crunchy outside and a lightly chewy nutty inside. Just lovely. And extremely easy and fast to make, with ingredients that we all have at home probably. You can do this with any type of nut.
I haven’t tried this base as a cake crust, but having tasted the cookie, I think it could make a very good cake crust as well.
I just wanted to add one more thing here here. There is a really big difference in the quality of nuts. I have found that this (Italian) brand is delicious! Do experiment with where you shop for nuts in your area, as it can make such a big difference.