Chocolate hazelnut espresso cookies

I baked three types of cookies last weekend to send to friends in North Carolina. Because I did not want to spend my entire weekend baking, I opted to go with a couple of oldie-but-goodie stand-bys, as well as a new shortbread recipe. These cookies—chocolate hazelnut espresso—are one of my favorites. They have a very strong, rich flavor, which I like both because they have more complexity than your typical sugary-sweet baked good and because the intensity of flavor usually prevents me from eating a dozen by myself.

Usually.

The recipe came from a class I took at the Viking Baking School in Bryn Mawr, PA. This was a Christmas gift from Alison. The class was fun, if a little basic, and I left with several great recipes to use in the future.

Pre-baked hazelnuts (aka filberts). We buy these from a store in Philadelphia called “Nuts to you.” This may be my favorite name for a store, ever.

Roasted hazelnuts!

Vigorously rubbing cooked hazelnuts in a kitchen towel should get the skins off. In theory. In practice, my fingernails become encrusted in hazelnut skins as I try to peel them off. This eventually becomes painful. A does not have this problem.

Voilà! Chocolate hazelnut espresso cookies.

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