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Recipe

Coffee Hazelnut Chifferi

Scott Phillips

Yield: Makes 48 cookies

These buttery, delicate crescents from the Italian Alps are similar to cookies from Germany and Austria. In fact, this recipe is inspired by one given to my mother by a German neighbor. I’ve played with it over the years, dipping the cookies in cinnamon sugar instead of powdered and adding espresso powder to the dough, which gives the cookies an irresistible fragrance and subtle coffee flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and slightly softened
  • 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Nutritional Information

      Nutritional Sample Size per cookie
      Calories (kcal) : 90
      Fat Calories (kcal): 50
      Fat (g): 6
      Saturated Fat (g): 2.5
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
      Cholesterol (mg): 10
      Sodium (mg): 15
      Carbohydrates (g): 9
      Fiber (g): 0
      Protein (g): 1

Preparation

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 400°F. Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the skins begin to crack, about 10 minutes. Wrap the hot nuts in a clean kitchen towel and let sit for 1 minute. Roll the towel back and forth vigorously to remove the skins. Not all the skins will come off, which is fine. Discard the skins and let the nuts cool.
  • Pulse the nuts and granulated sugar in a food processor until the nuts are coarsely ground. Add the espresso powder and salt, and process until the nuts are very finely ground, but not pasty.
  • Scatter the butter around the bowl and pulse until it becomes a smooth mixture. Sprinkle in the flour and pulse just until incorporated. The dough will be very soft.
  • Scrape the dough onto a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, form it into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. In a small bowl, mix together the superfine sugar and cinnamon.
  • Divide the dough into quarters. Divide each quarter into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and then roll each ball between your palms to make a cylinder about 3 inches long, with tapered ends. Bend the cylinders to form crescents and place them, 1 inch apart, on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake the crescents, 1 sheet at a time, until set and just beginning to brown around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool for 10 minutes. With an offset metal spatula, lift each cookie. Very gently dip each cookie in the bowl of cinnamon sugar, taking care to coat it on all sides. Set the coated cookies on racks to cool completely.

Make Ahead Tips

Store the crescents in an airtight container in layers between sheets of waxed paper for up to 2 weeks.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • Drew4412 | 12/07/2016

    I made these for Xmas presents last year and will again this year. They are very tasty but not quite as special as the amaretti and ricciarelli cookies in the same issue.

  • Poletta | 12/24/2015

    Absolutely delicious!

  • margit | 12/21/2015

    They are easy to make once the hazelnuts are skinned. Buy skinned nuts, if you can. The cookies have great subtle flavor, crunchy texture, and are not too sweet. They ended up as my husbands's favorite so I made a second batch.

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