Aw, nuts!

I don't really have too much to say as an introduction or a life update today, except to say that it's Lent now, and in the spirit of following the Liturgical calendar, I've decided to quit watching TV as a means of filling quiet and/or bored times.  I'm hoping to cultivate a better appreciation of quiet and solitude, as well as to spend more time reading, journaling, praying, and so on.

This also means that whatever bad movie is being shown on TBS is not distracting me from taking care of the things at hand, including cookie posts!  The title of this post pretty much gives you the theme of these cookies, but I'm sure you didn't need me to tell you that to figure it out.

140. Hazelnut Jam Thumbprints
I'm sure by now I sound pretty lazy, but there are some Saturdays when I just don't want to spend 5 hours in the kitchen, and I guess that's fair considering the hundreds of hours I've already put into this project.  I try to alternate between simple and complicated recipes, and for some reason I imagined that this one would be kind of labor-intensive.

Well, I was wrong.  These cookies were fantastically simple to make.  The dough consists of very typical ingredients: egg, flour, sugar, etc, which were mixed together, chilled, and then separated into balls which were rolled in toasted hazelnuts.  After putting thumb-sized holes in these balls they were baked and filled with apricot jam.  Tada!  A cute and colorful cookie!  The hazelnuts really make the flavor here since, well, there's not much else to do that job.  I chose apricot jam because that's what I had open, but I think it was a good decision as it wasn't overly sweet.

Now, I know I've talked about hazelnuts before, since I bought them chopped from Meijer and the skins on them ended up making that recipe kind of bitter tasting.  This time, I went to Strawberry Fields and bought whole hazelnuts (minus the shells), which worked so much better.  After toasting the nuts, I steamed them in a towel for five minutes and the skins came right off.

141. Pine Nut Cookies
Warning: Do not make these cookies unless you are willing to spend $20 or more on ingredients.
Oh my goodness, pine nuts are so expensive.  This recipe calls for 2C of them - about half are ground up in the dough and the rest end up on the outside, and so following this recipe cost me probably $18 in pine nuts alone.

Aside from the pine nuts, these cookies are much like almond macaroons, with typical ingredients, including almond paste, which is another (slightly less) expensive ingredient.  Fortunately, I had half a can left over from a previous recipe, so that was one thing I didn't have to buy.  Because of the recipe's simplicity, everything came together quickly, and I was able to bake them over the span of about an hour on Saturday morning and share them with a few friends last night as we gathered to watch Beverly Hills Cop and drink home brewed beer.

These were actually really good cookies.  They're not very sweet, and the flavors are subtle - I mean, of course the pine nuts are dominant, but the almond paste adds an unexpected but pleasant twist.  If it weren't for the expense, I would definitely make these again for some kind of summer party thing, as pine nuts seem like a warm weather food.


  1. Those hazelnut ones do sound good... and good to know about preparing the nuts! Learning things! :D
    I want to wish you a Happy Pi day, and hope you baked a wonderful pie, even if it's not a cookie. :3

  2. No pie, I've been working on prep work for a (mostly) vegan St. Patty's day feast. Today I made seitan corned beef, which is actually made out of wheat gluten and no beef at all. I also have plans to whip up some chocolate stout cupcakes, because it's not Irish if you don't put beer in it.



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