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Author Notes: I've lately been enjoying the luxury of hazelnuts. Sprinkled on soups with a dollop of creme fraiche, or scattered over butternut ravioli with brown butter sauce and sage...or just simply enveloped in swiss milk chocolate. Adding hazelnuts seems to take the almond macaroon to another level...enhancing the nuttiness and crunch. —kaykay
- 1 cup whole hazelnuts
- 7 ounces almond paste
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon frangelico, optional
- Two 3.5 ounces fine quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate bars, melted
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet in one layer in middle of oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly colored and skins are blistered. Wrap nuts in a kitchen towel and let steam 1 minute. Rub nuts in towel to remove loose skins (don't worry about skins that don't come off) and cool completely.
- Lower oven temperature to 325°F. Place parchment paper on two large cookie sheets.
- Place 1/2 cup hazelnuts into the bowl of a food processor and process until roughly chopped. Add the sugar and continue to process until the hazelnuts are finely ground. Add the almond paste and process until paste is broken up and uniform in texture. Add egg whites and process until dough is smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup hazelnuts and pulse food processor until nuts are roughly chopped.
- Allow mixture to stand for 20 minutes.
- Use a small ice cream scoop, or drop level tablespoons onto the prepared parchment. Dough can also be formed into balls for more evenly shaped cookies.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets from top to bottom during baking. The cookies should be slightly golden, but be careful not to over bake.
- Remove cookies from the oven and cool. Once cooled completely, use a thin metal spatula to remove from parchment paper. Dip cookies halfway into melted chocolate. Place in refrigerator until chocolate is set.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Almond Macaroons
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