Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Sandies

This is the best cookie dough I have ever tasted — a little crunchy, not too sweet–a little chocolatey–and in every teensy bite (because you’re trying to eat only one and you think you can if you only take tiny little bites, you’ll bethinking “If only George Clooney were sitting next to me, life would be perfect.”  And the cookies are pretty darn amazing too.

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1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
3/4 cup cocoa nibs (2 1/2 ounces)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
12 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped

  1. In a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts and cocoa nibs until coarsely ground. Scrape into a medium bowl and whisk in the flour, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla bean paste at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until incorporated. Scrape the dough onto a work surface and form into a ball. Halve the dough, then shape each half into a 1 1/2 -inch square log and wrap in parchment paper. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before slicing.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Working in 2 batches, cut the cookie-dough logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange on the prepared sheets at least 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom; rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  4. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a simmer. Place the milk chocolate in a heatproof small bowl and set it over the saucepan. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat; leave the bowl of chocolate on top. Dip 1 corner of each cookie in the chocolate to coat halfway, letting the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Transfer the cookies to parchment paper-lined baking sheets and refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 20 minutes.
  5. From Food and Wine Magazine.

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