I was looking through both of my grandmothers books, “The Art of Good Cooking” and “The Art of Fine Baking” for an appropriate holiday recipe – either Easter or Passover. I skimmed over Gefilte Fish convincing myself that I would make it at some point but that now just wasn’t the time. Instead, I found a quick and simple recipe for Soft Filbert Macaroons, which I quickly renamed Hazelnut Macaroons. A twist on the traditional coconut or almond macaroons, hazelnuts are one of my favorite nuts and I used this recipe to try a couple of different versions: Hazelnut Coconut Macaroons, Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut Macaroons, and Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut Coconut Macaroons. Any of these versions are good ( I of course prefer anything with chocolate – especially chocolate hazelnut combinations). If coconut is added, make sure to cut the amount of sugar in half. Also, the recipe calls for blanched whole filberts – as you can see from my photos, I used whole hazelnuts with their skin, but I’m sure these would be prettier with blanched ones.
3 cups ground hazelnuts
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
3 to 4 egg whites
30 blanched whole filberts
sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
melted/tempered bittersweet chocolate for dipping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet well or line with parchment paper.
Combine ground filberts, sugar, vanilla, and spices in a bowl. Add coconut if using. Add enough egg white to make a medium-firm dough. Pinch off pieces slightly smaller than a walnut. Roll into balls.
Place on prepared baking sheet. Flatten balls slightly. Stick a whole filbert into center of each cookie.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until tops of cookies are firm.
Dip in melted chocolate, if using.
Yield: approximately 30.
Adapted by Megan Peck