This is my last hurrah before the grand Christmas festivities begin!
As such, I am keeping this extra-short because mentally, I have already checked out and am snowshoeing down a wintry trail somewhere in the mountains. The only minor problem is… it looks like there won’t be snow but hey, a girl can dream, right?
The last batch of these Hazelnut Orange Cookies will be part of our trail snack. Naturally, I am responsible for provisions for the journey while my Soldier packs appropriate gear and makes sure we won’t get eaten by bears or die of hypothermia (or worse, suffer from hyperthermia which apparently is more common in cold weather than one would think. It’s always good to have a Special Forces Medic by your side while venturing out into the wilderness!).
Back to the cookies: Hazelnut is probably my favorite nut which I seem to tolerate much better than almonds and cashews. These cookies are on the softer, denser side but can be baked a couple of extra minutes if you like your cookies crunchy.
This is the first time I used orange zest in cookies. I used to hate orange flavor in sweet treats but it has grown on me – a lot! The orange zest paired with cinnamon and ginger adds a warm winter spice to these Christmas cookies and they shouldn’t be missing from your cookie spread this year!
On this note, I’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas; eat, drink and be merry! Above all, though, don’t get your tinsels in a tangle 😉
- 2 cups hazelnut flour (see notes)
- ½ tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of ½ organic orange, divided
- pinch of sea salt
- 5 oz chocolate of your choice (e.g vegan chocolate chips)
- Preheat oven to 300F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Combine hazelnut flour, cinnamon, ginger, maple syrup, vanilla extract and half of the orange zest and salt in a medium bowl. Knead with wet hands until you have a sticky dough. Form 10-12 balls (roughly 1 tablespoon of dough per ball) and place them on the baking tray. Keeping your hands moist will help immensely. With a wet fork, gently flatten dough balls. If the edges crumble simple pat them back into shape with your fingertips. Bake for 11-13 minutes and allow to fully cool off.
- In a double boiler or water bath, melt chocolate. Dip cookies in your melted chocolate, set on cooling rack (or back on the baking tray) and sprinkle with remaining orange zest. Keep refrigerated.