Monday, January 22, 2007

the 34 cookies of Christmas: day 33

Our next to last cookie of Christmas 2006 is one which has undergone many recipe revisions over the years. First baked in the cold upper "baking kitchen" at the quaint little restaurant in upstate New York, this flaky cookie with a creamy chocolate center had half the filling. We later moved to Manhattan, and it was there that the filling doubled in volume, creating a creamier, denser cookie. It also was there that we first flavored the cookies with almond-- crushed almonds and extract, to be exact. From Manhattan, we moved to California, and the cookies underwent a transition of their own-- almond gave way to hazelnut. We now load the creamy centers of these cookies-- made with fine Belgian bittersweet chocolate-- with homemade ground hazelnut praline and hazelnut extract. The tops are finished with a simple confectioner's glaze, tinted blue in this case, for a beautiful color evocative of a winterscape. Sprinkled with snowflakes and teddy bears, these are certainly sweet holiday treats to be enjoyed. We can hardly wait to see what they evolve into next year!

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