The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Hazelnut Dusties

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If you’re looking for my giveaway, click here.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is exactly what it sounds like: Food bloggers from all over the US (and even some in other parts of the world) bake up delicious cookies and swap them with one another.  Not only is it something fun to do, but the cookie swap also supports Cookies For Kids Cancer, a non-profit that raises funds to support research for new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer.

When a food blogger signs up for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap he/she must pay $4.00 to register.  That $4.00 goes directly to Cookies For Kids Cancer.  This year there were 575 participants from 8 countries.

Not only did the food bloggers donate $2300, but OXO matched the food bloggers donations with an additional $2300.  Raising $4600 with one simple cookie swap isn’t too shabby.

This was the first time that I had participated in the swap.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but the lovely ladies from The Little Kitchen and Love & Olive Oil did a fantastic job of organizing the exchange.  They made it very easy for a newbie like me to take part.

I was provided with the names and addresses of 3 other participating bloggers.  These were the 3 people that I was to send my cookies to.  I could make any kind of cookie I wanted, as long as I had not blogged about it before.  Then I was to send each of the 3 people one dozen of my cookies.  This way each blogger would receive 3 dozen cookies.

The cookie recipe that I chose to make is called Hazelnut Dusties.  It is a variation of Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes.  As the name suggests, these cookies are made with hazelnuts.

Hazelnut Dusties - Smalltowncookie.com

The recipe that I used comes from chef Michael Recchiuti.  I came across the recipe about a year ago while searching for Christmas cookie recipes on the internet.  I printed the recipe out and tucked it away, but had yet to actually make it.  While looking through recipes, trying to decide what I would make for the GFB cookie swap, the Hazelnut Dusties recipe surfaced and I knew it was the one to make.

Hazelnut Dusties

Website Recchiuti Confections
These cookies made with hazelnuts are a variation of Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups Butter, Unsalted (Room Temp.)
  • 2/3 cups Sugar
  • 2 large Egg Yolks (Room Temp.)
  • pinch Table Salt
  • 1 1/3 cup Hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • 3.5 cups All Purpose Flour
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Dark Chocolate
  • White Chocolate

Directions

Begin by toasting the hazelnuts. To do this set the oven to 325°. Place the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place them in the oven and toast for about 7 minutes. Roll the hazelnuts around on the tray to turn them. Place them back in the oven and toast an additional 5 to 7 minutes. When the nuts are toasted they will have a nutty aroma and they will look a little shiny. Be careful not to burn the nuts. Wrap the warm nuts in a kitchen towel and allow them to steam for about 10 minutes. After roasting and steaming, roll the nuts around in the towel to help remove the skins.
Place the hazelnuts in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a Silpat.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth.
Add the egg yolks and salt to the butter and mix until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and the attachment.
With the mixer running on low, add the flour in 1/4 cup increments.
Add the hazelnuts and mix just until combined. The dough will look a little dry.
Cookies: blond on top, golden on bottom
Use a spoon and scoop the dough into walnut sized balls. Place the dough balls on the prepared pan. Bake at 325° on the middle shelf of the oven until the cookies are a light blond color on top and slightly golden on the bottom, about 15 - 20 minutes. Turn the pan 180° halfway through the baking time.
Bake only one pan of cookies at a time. Keep the dough in the refrigerator when you're not scooping or baking.
When the cookies are finished baking, allow them to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.
Before serving, roll or dust the cookies in powdered sugar.
Cookies drizzled with dark chocolate.
For a variation, try drizzling or dipping the cookies in melted dark or white chocolate.

Note

This recipe yields 4.5 to 5 dozen cookies.

The original recipe called for dusting all of the cookies with powdered sugar.  I wanted to do something a little different so I dusted some of the cookies with powdered sugar, I dipped some of them in white chocolate, and I drizzled some of them with dark chocolate. I think this makes the cookies a little more special.

Once my cookies were prepared it was time to package them up in little treat boxes.

Hazelnut Dusties - Smalltowncookie.com

I wrapped each box with plastic wrap to make it as air tight as possible.  I didn’t want the cookies to get stale during their travels.  Next I tied some raffia around each box and attached a little tag.  Then it was time to pack them up and ship them off.

Hazelnut Dusties - Smalltowncookie.com

Not only did I send out 3 dozen cookies, but I also received 3 dozen cookies.  I received one dozen Strawberry Cheesecake Sandwich Cookies from Amanda at CulinaryQuirks.com, one dozen Italian Lemon Cookies from Tina at The Daily Bite, and one dozen Molasses Cookies from Adrianne at Bake Not Burn. All of the cookies I received were delicious!

In addition to receiving 3 dozen cookies, I also got a sweet new spatula out of the deal.  The good folks at OXO sent each of us cookie swapping food bloggers one of their “Be A Good Cookie” spatulas.  Not only is it super cute, but it’s also the perfect size for transporting a cookie (or two) from pan to cooling rack.

Be A Good Cookie Spatula

These spatulas are available for purchase from OXO.  If you buy one not only are you getting a fabulous little spatula, but you are also helping out Cookies For Kids Cancer because for each one sold, OXO will donate 50% of the proceeds to pediatric cancer research.  Want to order one?  Click Here.

I really enjoyed participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  It was a great way to “meet” other food bloggers and raise money for a good cause at the same time.  I’m already looking forward to joining in the fun again next year.

If you want to join in the cookie swapping fun next year, you can sign up to receive email updates by visiting this link.

Happy Baking!

-Lacey

www.facebook.com/stcookie

@SmallTownCookie

 

 

9 thoughts on “The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Hazelnut Dusties

    • Erika, I don’t know what your baking background is, but I think you could make these cookies. I have a few “samplers” already, but if I ever need another, I’ll be sure to let you know. :)

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