Deck the halls EIS'ers! This is the first of my holiday baking posts and I am so excited! Today's recipe is a family holiday tradition that was one of the very first Christmas baking recipes I ever made. I think I first saw it in a Women's Weekly or Woman's Day magazine many years ago and from then on these cookies are compulsory to create holiday nostalgia. I've changed the recipe slightly with the addition of mixed spice from the original recipe but it is no less delicious! My Dad loves these but over the years I have boxed and made these as food gifts and even had orders for them! They are also the perfect compliment to your afternoon coffee.
I can't claim these are a health food but for those avoiding flour and gluten these are a great option. You can jazz these babies up by drizzling on on or dipping these into dark chocolate but really they are perfect just on their own.
Keep a small bowl of water/rosewater on hand to stop the mixture sticking to your hands as you are shaping the crescents - it saves a lot of time
If you are short on time just roll rounded teaspoonful’s of mixture into balls and bake, they will spread into a dome shape
Keep approximately 2cm / half an inch of space between these as they will spread while baking
You can easily mold and refine the shape immediately after removing from the oven if you need to in case they have spread a little during the baking process - just be careful not to burn yourself
Crumble over ice-cream with some chocolate sauce– yummy!
These cookies also keep really well in the fridge. I have kept mine in an air-tight container refrigerated for a couple of months with no problems at all
YOU WILL NEED
250g | 9 ounces hazelnuts
2 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
1+1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
70g | 2.5 ounces chocolate to decorate (dark is best as the cookie is sweet - optional)
1/4 cup water
Cachous (optional (these are those pretty metallic/colored sugar balls)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C /350°F.
2. Prepare a baking sheet with baking paper or foil well-greased with cooking spray.
3. Place hazelnuts in a food processor and process until you have a mix of fine and coarsely broken hazelnuts (this creates a more interesting texture however if you process them fine you will still have the same taste).
4. Add egg whites, castor sugar, vanilla essence and mixed spice and mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Wet your fingers and in a clean saucer with a little water, take a rounded teaspoon of mixture and shape into crescent "moons" and place onto baking sheet.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned and allow to cool before removing.
7. If garnishing with chocolate, melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler and with a spoon drizzle the chocolate on the cooled crescents and sprinkle cachous on the chocolate if using.
8. Allow chocolate to set before serving.
MAKES APPROXIMATELY 30 COOKIES