Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 09, 2016

Hazelnut Cookies

The summer here is lousy. It is cold and raining every day. Instead of ice cream and tropical cocktails I prepared tea and my favorite biscuits.

These cookies are a bit crunchy and with whole hazelnuts. My family used to have them only for Christmas, but I now make  them every once a while throughout the year.

Here is the recipe.

Hazelnut cookies:

The amounts are good for about 100 to 120 of them. If that's too many use just half the recipe and you will be fine.

  • 150 gram (5.3oz) butter
  • 300 gram (10.6oz) sugar

- Beat until (somewhat) fluffy

  • 500 gram (17.6oz) wheat flour
  • 1 package (8gr) of vanilla sugar*
  • 0.1 liter (3.4 fl oz) of whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliter) of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) - alternative: baking powder (though the strength may vary**)
  • 300 gram (10,6oz) whole hazelnuts

- Mix and knead the dough well
- Use a pastry board with some flour and form rolls of about 4 centimeter (1.5 in) in diameter and some 15 centimeter (6 in) length
- Put the rolls on a plate and cool them in a fridge for at least(!) 6 hours! Cover only lightly to let superfluous moisture escape. (The cooling is the most important step. If the rolls are too warm or too wet it is nearly impossible to a. cut them up well and b. to achieve the desired crunchy texture.)

- Preheat baking oven to 175° centigrade (350°F)


- Cut the cold rolls into 5 millimeter (0.2 in) thick slices, round these off and put them onto a naked baking tray
- Bake for 15 minutes at 175° centigrade (350°F)
- Check for color, a light brown tan is perfect

- Clean the baking tray with cold water and prepare the next charge

The recipe above will give about three full tray loads, enough to refill my biscuit tin.



Prepare for tea-time while the cookies cool off.



*Vanilla sugar is hard to get in the U.S. and UK. On the European continent it is available prepackaged as 8 grams of fine, nearly powdery sugar with natural vanilla powder and/or vanilla (vanillin) aroma added. It is used in whipped cream and in all kinds of pastries. Here is a description how to make your own vanilla sugar. As a fast alternative simply add some 10 drops of vanilla-aroma or up to 1 gram of powdered Bourbon vanilla directly to the dough. Knead well.

** Variants: One can easily make these sweeter by using up to 50 additional grams of sugar (350g total). Kids will prefer this  variant. The more nutty folks (like me) will instead add another 50 grams of hazelnuts (350g total).  Up to 0.1 l milk can be added (0.2l total) to achieve a somewhat softer, less crunchy result. More baking soda/baking powder (up to 1 tsp total) will give lighter and softer cookies. (Warning: these will grow impressively while baking - leave enough space on the baking tray to accommodate this.)

Have a nice tea time.

Posted by b on July 9, 2016 at 18:53 UTC | Permalink



Delicious ... summer tea with home-baked cookies. Here in The Netherlands we have a few days of summer weather ... thinking about a BBQ in the afternoon. Should be shared with friends. ;-)

Typing "backing" should be "baking" ... shame of the wet spell or one would be basking in summer heat, no?

Posted by: Oui | Jul 9 2016 19:14 utc | 1

Very interesting tea set, b. Token of a bygone era?
That recipe would be even more scrumptious with cashews or Macadamia nuts.
When I was a (little) kid hazelnuts were called monkey nuts.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 9 2016 19:21 utc | 2

Looks and sounds REALLY good b. And me a diabetic.(type 2) I'll bookmark the page, and try'em anyway.

Posted by: ben | Jul 9 2016 19:45 utc | 3


They sell vanilla sugar in the supermarkets and at Walmart under the brand:
Dr. Oetker Vanilla Sugar, 1.88 oz (Pack of 12) or even on Amazon

Posted by: Yul | Jul 9 2016 19:47 utc | 4

Thank you for something different. I used to bake some banana quick bread for snacks, but I discovered that I don't really need ripe bananas or any bananas at all... 1.5 cups whole wheat flour, 1.5 cups white flour, 1 teas. salt, 2 teas. baking powder, 1/8 stick of butter and 1 to 1.5 cups of milk. Chop the butter into tiny pieces and mix into flour-salt-powder. Then add milk. Put into a bread pan and bake at 350 F for one hour.

Posted by: james k. sayre | Jul 9 2016 19:54 utc | 5

@oui - thanks - corrected - (wonder why the spellchecker didn't nag on those=

@Hoarsewhisperer - these tea-sets, 1 plate, 1 cup plate, 1 cup each - were collector items some 100+ years ago. A set was given usually as one gift. There were dozens of designs with gold, silver and various bright colors. The designs are sometimes even a bit art nouveau and go up to Bauhaus styles. Not strict, strong in those directions but one can tell the influence.

I somehow inherited four sets and bought up an additional eight or so throughout the years on various flea markets. Broke some too. Additional vases, pots and serving dishes are available. I have very few of those.

@Ben - my brother is also type 2 - unfortunately that doesn't keep him away from these. Whenever he comes by the content of the cookie jar is endangered.

@Yul - ahh - good to hear - package size sounds about right - haven't been in the states for a while and when I was there Vanilla sugar was very difficult to find.

Posted by: b | Jul 9 2016 20:13 utc | 6

b! this is hilarious! my wife always bemoans the fact i want to use the hazelnuts we get from our 3 trees.. thanks for the recipes here! i will see if i can make something happen here.. i am a cookie monster myself and would like nothing better then to have a few hazelnut cookies! bestcoast of canada has been having more rain this summer then in a number of years... i guess this would apply to seattle and a few other westcoast places too.. it rained heavily last night with thunder and lightening which is unusual for here, but was fun..

Posted by: james | Jul 9 2016 20:20 utc | 7

Thanks for the :-)))))

Posted by: jo6pac | Jul 9 2016 20:26 utc | 8

Excellent. Vanilla sugar is also available online from the Vanilla Food Company – – as well as other culinary delights.

Posted by: nikkobaud | Jul 9 2016 20:37 utc | 9

Love it... (and love hazelnuts... and baking)
When we read and ponder all those terrible things going on every day, I often wish we could be reading instead about art, beautiful things, great literature... But no, have to keep up with what the nihilistic elites have in store for us - or be perpetually duped. We've been mired in muck for so long, it's easy to forget what is important in life... I guess for now, hazelnut cookies will do!

Posted by: GoraDiva | Jul 9 2016 20:41 utc | 10

@hoarsewhipserer "That recipe would be even more scrumptious with cashews or Macadamia nuts."

Cashews (w/o salt etc) will likely do. Macadamia are too big. They would surely mess up the dough roll while cutting them. I use them for a different kind of cookie. But that kind is still restricted to Christmas bakery.

Posted by: b | Jul 9 2016 20:42 utc | 11

Plus my variation would be to replace some of the flour with finely ground hazelnuts - for even a more intense flavour.

Posted by: GoraDiva | Jul 9 2016 20:44 utc | 12

b @6,

The word "back" is, among other things, a verb meaning to support or reinforce: "backing the Russian proposal" English is a Backpfeifengesichtlich language sometimes.

Danke schön for the cookies!

Posted by: Jonathan | Jul 9 2016 21:19 utc | 13

Great post on all levels, b. Thanks.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 9 2016 21:21 utc | 14

Oh, b. more please. Thank you for sharing.

the recipe and pics so decadent. I am off to do some baking. Can't garden when it's rainy and cold.

Posted by: likklemore | Jul 9 2016 21:38 utc | 15

The recipe is made with a pork tenderloin (4 to 8 pounds, generally), and a tub or two of 13 oz frozen Bueno brand green chilies which come in mild and hot, I often use one of each so no one is overwhelmed by heat. And several 12 or 15 oz cans of Juanita's brand posole. Trim all the fat off the exterior of the tenderloin and put aside the trimmings. The more people you intend to feed the bigger the tenderloin you'll need, I once did a 11 pound tender, gallon of posole and 10 onions to feed 26.

One large trimmed pork tenderloin sliced into 1" slices, and boiled in half water and half chicken broth (I like Swansons) until fall-apart tender, then shred it in the pot with serving forks or potato masher, or whatever implements you have that will "pull" the pork into shreds. It will take over an hour to make the pork fall-apart tender. The longer you cook it, the easier to pull it apart. I use my biggest pot for this and put all the rest of the ingredients in to completion. Once the pork is pulled add the posole and continue to simmer. (I use a pinch of powdered chili in the stock pot along with, 1 to 2 teaspoons salt , depending on size of tenderloin, and 2 teaspoons ground black pepper. Add water as needed to keep the meat underwater. Drain the posole before adding to meat, then adjust water level again.

While you're boiling the pork, cut up 3 to 5 large yellow onions into small pieces and caramelize in your largest skillet or a giant burner-safe casserole with a little oil, and some of the stock from the pork pot, and if you are inspired, rendered pork fat from the trimmings which can be rendered in the oil while you're cutting up the onions. (The trimmings, once rendered, become cracklings which some people will love to eat.) Before the onions have caramelized, add the green chilis (if you've not thawed the chilis add sooner and push aside the onions and put the chilis right in the center of the skillet to speed up their thawing and cooking and putting flavor into the onions. I use about a half teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon of ground black pepper to cook the onions.

Once the onions are done, add them to the pot with the pork and posole, adjust water level. You don't have to cook it very long after you've got it all in one pot, just long enough to have the flavors meld - 10 to 20 minutes. If you've not got the onions all the way to criminalization, no problem, just cook the combined ingredients until the onions are way done.

Adjust the seasonings as needed. I used to cook this dish as a little bit of a salt bomb, but can't anymore since my blood pressure has gone over 130/80. I still put chipotle in the pork stock instead of red chili powder, as I like that smoked chili taste of the chipotle (and its more than twice as hot). The more seasoning adjustment the longer you'll need to simmer before serving. I serve the dish with hot flour tortillas.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 9 2016 21:49 utc | 16

Tea and homemade nutty biscuits. My kind of guy.

Except my oven is on the blink and it's taking my fiance forever to build a cabinet and install my new one (which is a double oven and much better than my current one, I'm very excited but wish he would hurry up)

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Jul 9 2016 22:42 utc | 17

Dear B,

Just out of interest, what tea do you drink with the cookies? Do you have a preference?

Myself, I'd probably have something a little bit spicy (with ginger or maybe cinnamon) to go with the cookies on a cold rainy day. Here in Sydney it has been raining and we have had sudden chills in the weather in the last couple of weeks since the winter solstice.

Thanks very much for the recipe and the break from lying Hillary and lying media.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 9 2016 22:48 utc | 18

I'd take a cold and rainy summer over this Florida endless and repeated year after year 6-month heat train. It's time for me to move back to the north east mountains.

Posted by: benlomand | Jul 9 2016 23:04 utc | 19

My daughter loves to bake. A fact which I take advantage of every chance I get.

Unfortunately she is happens to be in Europe this summer so I'll have to wait to try them!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 9 2016 23:40 utc | 20

Ah yes, Oregon's State Nut. Likely brought from b's vicinity 200 years ago. Yes, we'll try them!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 10 2016 0:05 utc | 21

This post! What a wonderful relief. Just the fun of seeing beautiful setting, lovely tablecloth. . . tea, luscious cookies. Grazie.

Posted by: Glorious Bach | Jul 10 2016 0:33 utc | 22

Best tea is Mariage Freres Wedding Blend. Has a hint of coconut. Lovely.

Posted by: 4H | Jul 10 2016 0:48 utc | 23

Perhaps you should start a spin off blog with cookie recipes b . . . . You could name it "Baking Spoon of Alabama" or "Teaspoon of Alabama"

Posted by: kiwicris | Jul 10 2016 0:57 utc | 24


Posted by: sejmon | Jul 10 2016 1:33 utc | 25

The food and recipe sound delightful!
If you figure out a way to send that rain my way, I would appreciate it. In a normal year we get rain on or about the fourth of July. As a denizen of the southern reaches of the 'great American desert,' rain is always welcome. With temps just above 100 degrees, cold sounds kinda nice as well.

Again thanks ...

Posted by: rg the lg | Jul 10 2016 2:33 utc | 26

Very tasty looking. Pepperidge Farm used to make a hazelnut cookie, I haven't seen it for a while. Mrs. M. can do some baking (mmm, Oatmeal Scotchies....) and is always looking for new recipes, so I'll see if she'll bite. So to speak.

k-cris at 24 --

Just "Spoon of Alabama." Maybe with tabs, "Tea," "Table," and "Soup."

Posted by: rufus magister | Jul 10 2016 3:32 utc | 27

Yum! These sound and look delicious!
Btw you can make vanilla sugar, here is a recipe...

Posted by: Bluemot5 | Jul 10 2016 4:27 utc | 28

I have lately been making pancakes from scratch using this recipe.

I used to buy a package brand labelled "lite", along with "lite" pancake syrup, which uses something called Sofitel. One day I just decided that the better approach might be cooking from scratch with unprocessed ingredients. The key should be portions instead. So along with the pancakes I buy real maple syrup now. That's supposed to have a lot of calories, but I'm careful to use less than a teaspoon at a time.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Jul 10 2016 5:09 utc | 29

Looks good. I may give it a whack (baking is a hobby of mine).

Posted by: ian | Jul 10 2016 6:07 utc | 30

Sometime in the distant future--and for me I'm talking 15-20 yrs max--perhaps a nibble of one of your fine hazelnut cookies will trigger remembrances of the geopolitical insight and wisdom dispensed by your site...

Posted by: Captain Cook | Jul 10 2016 9:32 utc | 31

Amazing, not single russian athlete could compete in the Olympics, and still no one in the west seems to see the political motivation behind this!

IAAF Bars All Russian Athletes Except Klishina From Rio Olympics - Coach

Posted by: Mandel | Jul 10 2016 11:09 utc | 32

Here they make cookie-cakes with shredded, then pounded yucca root, mixed with coconut creme and palm sugar. They are pounded down into a round mold, sprinkled with black sesame, then baked slowly over a (real wood) charcoal grill into the appearance of toasted mcmuffins, except sweet chewy coconutty interior. You can get two for 50c, served piping hot, but you have to find her cart first. Another favorite is pancakes made with jackfruit, and I can't tell you how good those are, because it needs to be fresh and ripe jackfruit. Really good with mango chutney, and a glass of milky cold coconut palm wine to finish it.

Posted by: Uk Tahder | Jul 10 2016 12:32 utc | 33

B is Martha Stewart?:)

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 10 2016 13:03 utc | 34

B is Martha Stewart?:)

Posted by: DM | Jul 10 2016 13:49 utc | 35

You can get vanilla sugar in the bulk section of Whole Foods here in the US or at least in the Austin area.

Posted by: Alaric | Jul 10 2016 14:31 utc | 36

My fav is coconut sugar. It's from the blossoms of the coconut palm. Healthier than other sugar (low glycemic) and has a scrumptious carmelie flavor!

Posted by: Barbara | Jul 10 2016 15:33 utc | 37

Broke some too.
Posted by: b | Jul 9, 2016 4:13:30 PM | 6

Mine bounce quite well and none have broken, yet. They're bone china and were an informal and memorial-ish engagement gift from my Grandmother circa 50 years ago. Gifts from her wedding became gifts for mine. Your cups caught my eye. Their shape is identical to mine. The plates and saucers are similar in design (dainty) and surface designs/patterns are alike only in the level of ornateness and precision (transfers - not hand painted). I guestimate 100 years old.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 10 2016 16:12 utc | 38

Posted by: b | Jul 9, 2016 4:42:53 PM | 11

Flavour-release takes precedence over the romantic attraction of "whole nuts" in baking, for me. I break up all nuts before putting them in the mixture unless whole/half nut(s) is a surface feature. Walnuts used to be my favourite. Fresh ones (less than 1 year old are sweet-ish and delicious. But for more than 20 years all the loose walnuts for sale in Oz have been old and very bitter - in a repulsive, furry tongue kind of way. I presume that commercial cookie and confectionery makers have cornered the fresh walnut market.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 10 2016 16:54 utc | 39

Why hazelnuts and not cashew or walnuts?

The reasons for whole hazelnuts in these cookies are:

- the brown "skin" of the hazelnuts, after baking, gives its own special, roasted flavor to these cookies which can not be met by any other kind of nut without such a skin;

- the just-right sweet pastry of the cookie dissolves first in the mouth (or when dunked into tea) and leaves the whole roasted nuts as the delicious aftertaste; no other combination will reach this*

(*There is some Ferrero sweet product with a whole, roasted hazelnut covered by dark chocolate and nougat cream which tries to achieve the same effect. Too sweet for my mouth though.)

Posted by: b | Jul 12 2016 19:36 utc | 40

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