So. Hazelnut & Whiskey-Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies. Doesn’t that sound AH-MAZING? That’s because it is! Every year I bake for the holidays–a bunch of cookies that stay pretty standard from year-to-year and a couple of experiments. And lemme tell you, this experiment is the best one ever. I sent a few of the first batch to work with my husband and he came home with a request for MORE. And that was before I perfected them. And got marriage proposals. Delivered by the aforementioned husband.
Unfortunately, perfection comes with a price and in this case the secret is entirely in the method, which is pretty fussy for what’s basically a chocolate chip cookie. But it’s really not going to come out the same if you don’t follow the directions to the letter. It’s so worth it though! Promise.
And happy holidays everyone!Print
A hazelnut and chocolate chip cookie sandwiched with whiskey-chocolate whipped ganache
For the cookies
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, browned
- 1 ice cube
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
- 1 1/4 cup white sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups flour
- 10 ounces mini chocolate chips
- Flake sea salt, optional
For the filling
- 10 ounces heavy cream
- 10 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
For the cookies
- Brown the butter by putting it in a medium skillet and allowing to cook over low heat until it stops hissing, appears lightly browned and smells toasty. Watch it carefully as it goes from browned to burned very quickly. Add one ice cube to cool it and add a little moisture back to the mix. Set aside to cool almost to room temperature.
- Toast the hazelnuts lightly over medium heat. When you can smells them, they’re done. Again, watch carefully so they don’t burn. Set aside to cool.
- Combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, salt and 2 eggs in a stand mixer. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 3/4 cup white sugar and brown butter. Mix thoroughly. Add vanilla extract.
- Sift together baking soda and flour. Add to wet ingredients one cup at a time, being careful not to over-mix.
- When ingredients are nearly combined, add chocolate chips and toasted hazelnuts.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the cookie dough from the fridge 1 hour before baking. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Using a small cookie scoop or rolling into 1″ balls, portion out the cookie dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. You should get about 48 cookies. If desired, sprinkle with a small pinch of Maldon flaked salt before baking.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on trays before removing to cooling racks to cool completely.
For the filling
- Heat heavy cream to near boiling (when the first bubbles just start to break the surface). Pour over chopped chocolate and allow to stand for about 5 minutes. Stir chocolate gently into hot cream. Add bourbon and stir. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from fridge about an hour before filling cookies.
- When ready to fill cookies, whip ganache using a hand mixer. If the ganache is very stiff, you can add cream warmed in a pan or microwave one or two tablespoons at a time until it loosens enough to whip.
- Pair cookies according to size, spread one half with whipped ganache and put the other one on top. Cookies will keep up to one week, tightly wrapped.