Has anyone else stopped to notice that it is December 9, 2019? That means we’re only three weeks or so away from a new decade and a new year that will remind those of us old enough to remember it of a TV news show featuring Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters. It also means we’re about to commence our twelfth year (yikes!) of publishing Christmas cookie recipes on the Webner House blog.
And yet — there are still unknown cookie recipes lurking out there, just waiting to be tried and enjoyed for the holidays. Thus, our voyage of baking discovery continues. If you’re interested in the recipes from the prior years, you can find all of them by clicking on and following the links for each year at the bottom of this post, which in turn have links to all of the recipes provided in that particular year.
The first recipe for 2019 comes by way of Aunt Corinne and the Food and Wine website and blogger Luisa Weiss. The first sentence of the description of the cookies reads: “These German raspberry-hazelnut macaroons require just five ingredients and are extremely no-fuss.” That’s a pretty compelling recommendation for cookies that will be prepared by a novice baker in the German Village neighborhood of Columbus.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of whole hazelnuts; 2 large egg whites; 1/4 kosher salt; 3/4 cup sugar; 1/2 cup raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast for about 10 minutes, until the skins split and the nuts are fragrant. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and rub together to release the skins, then let the hazelnuts cool completely.
In a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts until finely chopped. In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt at medium speed for about two minutes, until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating for five to seven minutes until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted, then fold in the chopped hazelnuts.
Use a soup spoon to scoop 1 1/2-inch rounds of the batter onto the baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies for 11 to 13 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned; rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Remove the cookies from the oven and, while they’re still hot, carefully make an indentation in the center of each with the back of a teaspoon.
In a small saucepan, boil the raspberry jam for 30 seconds, until slightly thickened. Carefully spoon about 1 teaspoon of the hot jam into the center of each cookie. Let the jam set and the cookies cool completely before serving.