Whisk up some warm, festive cheer this Christmas with deliciously buttery Hazelnut Mezzaluna cookies that are not just easy to make, but equally quick to bake. Made from the simplest ingredients, including just hazelnuts, butter, sugar and flour, these snowy half moon bakes make for perfect additions to just about any scrumptious Christmas cookie tray. Baked in crescent shaped cookies, or little single sized serving cakes first known as ‘koekjes’ in Dutch, Hazelnut Mezzalunas derive their name from the Italian word ‘mezzaluna’. This means half moon, and look every bit the part with their powdery white sugar coatings.
What’s more, the hazelnuts inside the cookies are healthy, serving up delicious goodness in the form of fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals with good fats that keep cholesterol levels down in a particularly gluttonous holiday season. Here’s a simple recipe that gets even easier as you get your oven going.
Complexity level: Easy
Cookies: 6 dozen Hazelnut Mezzalunas
Preparation time: Some 15 minutes
Cooking time: Some 15 minutes
2 cups hazelnuts
1 cup sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1 pound butter, unsalted and softened
Sugar for rolling the crescents
Preparing the hazelnuts:
1. Prepare the hazelnuts by roasting them in a preheated oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit (about 180 degrees Centigrade) for some 10 minutes.
2. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and leave the temperature in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 180 degrees Centigrade).
3. Place the hazelnuts on a kitchen napkin.
4. Rub the kitchen napkin from the outside with the hazelnuts inside to remove the skins from the nuts. The skins come off quite easily once the hazelnuts are properly roasted.
Making the cookies:
1. Add the hazelnuts and one cup of sugar to a food processor and blend till the nuts are ground to a fine conistency.
2. Add the flour to the food processor and blend again briefly.
3. Add the butter to the food processor and blend into a dough.
4. Powder a flat plate with a little flower, and pinch off pieces of the dough onto the plate.
5. Form the pieces of dough into balls, and then shape them into into half moons or crescents.
6. Add sugar to a bowl, and roll the crescents of dough in the sugar till lightly coated.
1. Butter a baking sheet lightly.
2. Place the sugar coated crescents on the buttered baking sheet about one inch apart from each other.
3. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven pre heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 180 degrees Centigrade).
4. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes till they just begin to turn golden brown in color.
5. Remove the hazelnut cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on a flat plate.
1. Once cool, you can store the cookies in an airtight container in the kitchen for 15 days.
2. If you would like to store the cookies for a longer time, place the container of cookies in a freezer to store them for about 90 days at a stretch.