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Cookies with Nuts
Mary's Italian hazelnut cookies
Mary's Italian Hazelnut Cookies (using brown and white sugar, lightly roasted blanched hazelnuts and vegetable oil)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: any time and special times
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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For dough*
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts without skin, lightly roasted and finely ground
1 1/2 teaspoons "Magic" baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For decoration
about 1/2 cup whole raw hazelnuts, blanched
about 1 cup icing sugar

Equipment needed
2 extra-large "Dollar Shop" aluminum baking pans (12 X 18 X 1 1/4-inches)
Parchment paper
1 1/2-inch round-shaped cookie cutter
Clear plastic wrap

* Makes about 3 1/2 dozen hazelnut cookies.


Using an electric beater, beat the eggs.

Add the white and brown sugar (Do not cream the mixture).

Add oil and beat some more.

Add vanilla extract.

Add lightly roasted, finely ground hazelnuts (without peel) and mix well.

Add baking powder and mix well.

Add the flour to the mixture and beat until well-incoporated (The resulting dough is very soft).

Divide the cookie dough into two portions.

Form the dough into two balls.

Wrap the dough balls with clear plastic wrap.

Place the dough in the fridge and let it rest for about 1 hour.

When ready, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Process one dough ball at a time. Keep the second portion in the fridge (Rested & cooled dough is easier to process as it tends to be less sticky.).

Remove the plastic wrap from the ball of dough.

Place the ball of dough on a wooden board that has been lined with parchment paper.

Place another parchment paper over the ball of dough and roll out the dough so that it is about 1/4 inch thick.

Remove the parchment paper and using a 1 1/2-inch round-shaped cookie cutter cut out rounds.

Shape the rounds into 1 inch balls.

Roll the balls in icing sugar.

Place the sugar-coated balls at least 2 inches apart on a baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper (The cookies will spread substantially while baking).

Press a hazelnut into the center of each cookie (The hazelnut has to be deep into the cookie dough or it will pop up while baking).

Press together any scraps of left-over dough, roll to 1/4 inch thick, cut out rounds, shape into balls, coat with icing sugar and then place them on the baking pan.

Bake on the upper half of the oven at 350 degrees F. until ready -- about 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven (The cookies will continue to cook and harden a little more while they are cooling.).

Repeat all the above steps for the second dough ball.

Store in an appropriate container.

Serve at room temperature.


Most Italian nut cookies use almonds and they're absolutely wonderful. I love amaretti almond cookies and would not trade them for any other kind (I even prefer them to pastries). The recipe in this entry was inspired by the many amaretti almond cookies I have made over the years. The look of the cookie is similar, except they don't have that perfect almond taste. For those who prefer hazelnuts to almonds (Not me!), this recipe might be of interest. Personal comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

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