Hazelnut Mocha Coffe & Cream Cookies.
A rich and creamy sour-cream hazelnut filling is sandwiched between two thin mocha shortbread rounds to make these coffee and cream cookies. These cookies, like a fresh mug of coffee, are for times when you want to slow down and enjoy the moment. They are a treat. An invitation to stop, savor, appreciate and enjoy.
The bulk of my days are typically sandwiched between two of my favorite things: coffee with cream in the morning and wine in the evening. That first cup of coffee pulls me out of bed on mornings when I would much rather stay under the covers. And wine signals the close of another day – those lovely moments of time when work is done and it’s time to wind down and relax.
Early morning and late evening really are my favorite times of the day. I’m an early riser and therefore see the sun rise more days than not. I love standing in my kitchen in the quiet of the morning, coffee in hand, staring out the window as the sky lights up in shades pink, orange and yellow. All is quiet. The day is full of possibility.
In the evening, when the day’s work is done, I retreat to my bed with a book and a glass of wine. I settle in, get comfortable and revel in my passion for great books and good wine. Whatever the day entailed, the good and the bad and everything in-between, is done. All is quiet. Tomorrow looms in the distance, full of possibility.
Sometimes food and drink are simply sustenance. They are necessary components of a healthy life. But food and drink can also be so much more to us. The dinner table is a chance for families to come back together and reconnect after a busy day. Birthday cakes, anniversary dinners, holiday meals – all are a chance to celebrate milestones and traditions. And all involve food and drinks. Food is a way for us to mark what’s important to us. It’s an indulgence. It’s a pleasure. It enriches our lives.
Thats’ what my daily coffee and wine rituals are really about. I don’t need either substance to sustain me. I’m not drinking either for health reasons. Both are a simple pleasure. Both are an excuse to slow down, pause and reflect. They are an invitation to be in the moment and appreciate this gift I call my life.
Do you have daily rituals like this?
I would love to hear what they are… share them with me in the comments section, if you’re so inclined.
Ok. Let’s talk cookies.
These are for coffee and chocolate lovers. If you count yourself amongst that crowd, you will love them. A rich and creamy sour-cream hazelnut filling is sandwiched between two thin mocha shortbread rounds. I’ve been making the mocha shortbread cookies for years. They make for a deliciously simple treat all on their own. But, being that I like my coffee with cream, I thought these cookies might be enhanced with a rich, creamy center. So, I toasted some hazelnuts, ground them with some good quality dark chocolate and added butter and sour cream to make a filling that is ultra-rich and creamy, but not overly sweet. These cookies, like a fresh mug of coffee, are for times when you want to slow down and enjoy the moment. They are a treat. An invitation to stop, savor, appreciate and enjoy.
- 1⅔ cupsunbleached, all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ sticks (3/4 cup) butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1½ tbsp hot water
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 5 oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 5 oz roasted hazelnuts (Roast in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.)
- 1 cup salted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1½ -2 tbsp hot water
- In a medium size bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder and salt to combine.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, both sugars, expresso powder and vanilla until the mixture is lightened and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing just long enough to combine.
- Dump the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide in half. Working with one half at a time, place half the dough in-between two sheets of wax paper and cover the other half with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. Roll out each portion of dough between two sheets of wax paper until the dough is flattened into an ⅛ inch thick disc. Stack discs, with wax paper between them, on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator to a flat work surface. Cut out cookies using a biscuit cutter and lay each carefully onto the prepared baking sheet. They will not spread, so you can place them within a ½ inch of each other on the baking sheet.
- Bake cookies in the center of the oven for 7 minutes. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before removing cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough, scooping up scraps and re-rolling. If the dough gets too soft to work with, simply return it (covered) to the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden.
- Add the chocolate and hazelnuts to a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and process until a paste is beginning to form and the mixture is gathering into a ball. Dump out into a medium size bowl.
- Beat the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until very light and creamy - about 4 minutes. Beat in the sour cream, salt and vanilla and beat for another minute. Add the chocolate, hazelnut mixture and beat to combine.
- In a small bowl, stir the powdered sugar and cocoa powder with a spoon to combine. Add the hot water slowly, mixing in enough water to make a glaze that easily drips from the spoon but is still thick enough to hold it's shape when drizzled over the cookies.
- Spread as much filling as you like on the bottom of one half of the chocolate shortbread cookies. Place another cookie on top of the filling, top side facing up. Lay all the sandwich cookies on a sheet of parchment paper and drizzle the glaze over the top.
- Serve right away or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.