Exhibit A: I made lemon curd for our church’s recent Christmas Tea and there was plenty left over to share with friends and I also find myself in possession of some! Exhibit B: I subscribe to Cook’s Country Magazine (published by American Test Kitchens) and their most recent issue (January 2011) had a recipe contest for cookies. The winning cookie: Hazelnut-Lemon Curd Kisses. I just had to make them, because I have almost a half gallon of lemon curd to use up.
I promptly went to my local grocery store to buy Hazelnuts, but they did not have them. On my way to an errand I stopped at a Food 4 Less and they also did not carry them, but they recommended Trader Joes — who has them (from time to time, but not right now!) In a last ditch effort, I stopped at my WinCo Food Market and looked in their baking isle, but they did not have it either… except I went to the section where they carry loose ingredients and they had them!!! I think I heard the Hallelujah Chorus! I bought a nice large bag as I like the make Linzer Cookies that also call for Hazelnuts. In Europe these nuts are very common – here in southern CA I felt like I was playing a game of “Where is Waldo?”
I doubled the amount because 2 dozen cookies does not sound like a lot around my house! When I made them I used a small ice cream scoop to scoop the dough, but they made the cookies very large – in rereading the recipe it advises 1 Tbsp size measurements of dough. My doubled made 30 LARGE cookies, but the kids didn’t seem to mind. They are delicious!
Hazelnut-Lemon Curd Kisses
adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine (January 2011 issue)
Makes 4 dozen
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole Hazelnuts, toasted
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup lemon curd (see recipe if you wish to make it yourself or buy a jar of it)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the oven racks in the upper and lower middle of the oven for even heating
- Place the raw hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven during the preheating process. When the oven is at temperature they will be toasted enough. I ground the toasted hazelnuts in a coffee grinder (the recipe called for a food processor with the flour and salt, but I only have a very small food processor, and this was just as easy). First I made sure all the coffee grounds were out by adding raw nuts to the coffee grinder and processing it and then wiping the coffee grinder out with a paper towel.
- I lined my cookie sheets with silicone sheets, but parchment paper will do the job nicely as well.
- To prepare the dough: Beat the softened butter with the 2/3 cup of sugar at medium speed in a large mixing bowl, and beat until it is light and fluffy about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flour, ground hazelnut and salt mixture one third at a time. Mix on low until just combined and add more until the flour is combined.
- Scoop out the cookie dough and form into a 1 inch ball (mine were closer to 1 1/2 inches). Use the back of a (greased) spoon to make an indent. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and put about 1/2 teaspoon of lemon curd in each indent of the cookie. Return to the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are starting to turn golden brown. Remove from oven. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Before serving. Dust with powdered sugar.
Cookies will keep in an airtight container for 2 days. Or make ahead and freeze them if you wish (allow them to freeze on a cookie sheet for a few hours and then remove the cookies to a container – this will keep the lemon curd from sticking to other cookies. To thaw remove them to a plate or platter and allow to thaw completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.)