This past Friday, I donated some lovingly baked Three-Nut Fingers for the Calgary Food Blogger Bake Sale that took place at the Calgary Farmers’ Market’s Sundown Chowdown.
It was pretty awesome to be involved in the event, not just to participate as a local food blogger (can I say that now? That I’m a food blogger? Eep), but to support a great cause in the Calgary Foundation’s Flood Rebuilding Fund. I got to meet some fellow food bloggers and have first crack at the goodies that were all enticing me to take them home. I resisted all temptation, since we (me and hubby) are in the final weeks before our epic honeymoon to South Korea, which basically means getting in shape as much as possible so that we can indulge to our hearts content on the Motherland food that we both so desperately crave. And I had a 5k road race to run the next morning so I had to keep my stomach contents clean for that.
Still, it didn’t stop me from admiring all of the offerings, which just showed me that Calgary has a group of very talented bakers. I bet if we all got together and started a bakery, it’d do pretty well.
I chose to make these because they’re one of my all-time favourites and I’ve made them countless times. I initially thought about doing something fun – maybe some Smoked Ginger Bacon Cookies? Or something savoury? Instead, I stuck with what I knew, since it’s risky to try something I haven’t made before.
The recipe is from Rose’s Christmas Cookies and she describes these cookies like so:
This simple oval cookie seems so innocent. But put it in your mouth and its dissolving texture with its fine crunch of nuts and intense depth of toasted nut flavor creates a close to obsessive craving.
- 1/2 cup (42g) unblanched sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup (33g) pecan halves
- 1/4 cup (36g) whole hazelnuts
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp (dip and sweep method) all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp water
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar (for dusting)
Equipment: nonstick or buttered cookie sheets.
Place 2 oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 375F.
Place the nuts in separate piles on a cookie sheet and bake them, keeping the nuts separated but stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the almonds are lightly browned. With a large spoon, transfer the hazelnuts to a clean kitchen towel and wrap them with the towel. Allow them to sit for a few minutes. Use the towel to rub off as much peel as possible. Cool all the nuts completely.
Food Processor Method – In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a food processor with the metal blade, process the sugar with the nuts until the nuts are powder fine. Cut the butter into a few pieces and add it with the motor running. Process until smooth and creamy. Add the water and vanilla extract and process until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and pulse in just until incorporated.
Electric Mixer Method – Soften the butter. Grate the toasted nuts powder fine. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, nuts, and salt. In a mixing bowl, cream and sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the water and vanilla extract until incorporated. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture until incorporated.
For Both Methods – Scrape the dough into a bowl. Measure the dough into a 1 1/4-inch cookie scoop or 2 level teaspoons. Shape the dough into datelike pieces (1 3/4 inches long by 3/4 inches wide) and place them on cookie sheets 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking period.
Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for a few minutes. Use a small, angled metal spatula or pancake turner to lift the cookies from the sheets. Gently roll them in superfine sugar. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and when cool, dip them a second time in the sugar.
Store: In an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer.
Keeps: 1 month at room temperature, several months frozen.
- To make superfine sugar, process granulated sugar in the food processor for a few minutes or until it is as fine as sand.
- Pecan halves are called for to ensure an accurate amount if you are using a measuring cup. Pecan pieces are fine to use if you weigh them.
- Allow the cookie sheet(s) to cool completely before using for the next batch.
- Distribute the cookies evenly around the cookie sheet. Avoid crowding the cookies into one section of the cookie sheet, leaving a large area bare.