What fun is a cookie baking marathon without at least one new recipe? This year I decided to try a recipe for Thyme, Hazelnut and Lemon Cookies. These cookies are based on a recipe I cut from the newspaper some time ago. It was hidden in my files, untried but still intriguing. I had lemon thyme on hand, as well as some hazelnuts, so it decided it was time to give this recipe a try.
I'm glad I did! I was intrigued by the combination of flavors suggested in the recipe and the way these flavors came together and complemented each other did create a delicious and unusual cookie. This unique recipe is a great way to use hazelnuts, locally grown in the Pacific Northwest. It is also an interesting use of thyme, a personal favorite. The result turned out to be very rewarding. These cookies are a new favorite on my Christmas baking list! I think they would also be a great addition to a spring luncheon, or served in summer with a tall glass of iced tea.
Thyme, Hazelnut and Lemon Cookies
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons lemon peel
In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in toasted hazelnuts. Set aside.
In a larger bowl, Use an electric mixer to beat together the sugar and butter until light and creamy. Continue beating with the electric beater while you add the egg, lemon juice, thyme and lemon peel.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until blended.
Divide dough into two equal portions. Form each into a long rope approximately 12 inches long and 1 - 1 1/2 inches wide. Cover each rope with waxed paper and form the dough into a square. Place the dough in the refrigerator for several hours, until firm. (At this point the dough may can be kept in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to a month.)
When you are ready to bake the cookies preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the dough into 1/4 inch thick slices and place squares of dough about 1 inch apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 10 - 12 minutes, or until just slightly brown. Cool on racks.
Drizzle with lemon icing if desired.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Add more lemon juice, a few drops at a time, until you reach a consistency that will drizzle easily but not run.
Pour the icing into a Ziploc baggie and seal. Snip 1/8 -1/4 inch from one lower corner of the baggie and use to pipe a drizzled line of icing on each cookie using a back and forth motion.