Hazelnut Praline Balls
- SERVINGS: makes about 3 dozen
These sandy cookies feature ground hazelnut praline inside and out. You'll need a standing electric mixer to make them.
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup Hazelnut Praline, plus more for coating
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a standing electric mixer fitting with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the brown sugar at medium-low speed. Add the flour, 1/2 cup of Hazelnut Praline, the vanilla, salt and nutmeg and beat until the mixture forms large crumbs. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls.
- Arrange the balls 1 inch apart on the baking sheets and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned and firm. While they are still warm, roll the tops of the cookies in Hazelnut Praline; stir the praline occasionally to keep it from compacting. Cool the cookies on a rack.
The praline contributes a candylike scent and a sugary flavor much like an Asti Spumante's. Look for one of the sweeter examples, such as Gancia or Cinzano.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.