Chocolate Hazelnut Zebras

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For years, I’ve been making variations of this cookie during the holidays. What you get, essentially, is a brownie within a thin crust that’s quite exquisite. The key is taking them out of the oven before they seem done: They should still be squishy when you give them a gentle poke. This way, they end up with a supersoft center when they cool. If you overbake them they’ll still be good, just not extraordinary.

  • cookieServings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnuts (5 oz.)
  • 1 stick (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 6 squares (6 oz.) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar for coating

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread hazelnuts on baking sheet and bake until skins blister and nuts are fragrant, 12 to 13 minutes. Slide nuts onto a kitchen towel, fold towel over and rub vigorously to remove skins; don’t be concerned if little bits adhere to nuts. Cool nuts thoroughly.
  2. In top of double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt chocolate with butter, stirring until smooth. Remove top pan from water and let cool.
  3. When nuts are thoroughly cool, put them in food processor with 1/4 cup of sugar and pulse on/off to finely grind nuts; set aside.
  4. In large bowl, beat remaining 1 3/4 cups sugar and eggs with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in nuts.
  5. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to batter, about half at a time, beating well after each addition (dough will be very soft). Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two large baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll in confectioners’ sugar, coating well, then place on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 3 inches apart. Bake until puffy and seem underdone when poked, about 13 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and cool 10 minutes, then remove cookies to rack and cool completely.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 112
  • Carbohydrate Content: 14 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 23 mg
  • Fat Content: 6 g
  • Fiber Content: 1 g
  • Protein Content: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 3 g
  • Sodium Content: 29 mg