Monday, November 21, 2005

Nougat Crescents

I’m always on the lookout for new recipes that utilize Nutella in it, there few and far between, it seems. I was in Germany in 1995, attending my cousin’s wedding in October, and I leafed through this German cookbook they had sitting on their coffee table, I believe it may even been on Christmas. There wasn’t really anything remarkable in it, and then I can across this recipe for Nougathoernchen. Oh, I said, getting out pen and paper and quickly writing down the recipe. In my haste, I didn’t even get what the book was or who had written it. When I got home to Canada, I tried the recipe for that very Christmas. They were quite good, slightly chewy and chocolatey. I must admit, that I am not artistically inclined, my crescents didn’t turn out at all like the pictures in the book, all smooth and professional looking. I imagine one produces cookies like that after lots of practice, but I do think that bumps and crevices give a cookie character, and make it look homemade and shaped with love.

Nougathoernchen (Nougat Crescents)
100 g butter, softened
200 g nougat (like Nutella)
1 egg
2 Tbsp vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
300 g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix the butter and the nougat together. Add to this the egg, vanilla sugar, the cinnamon and the salt. Mix the flour and the baking powder, then add it to the other ingredients through a sifter; stir until mixed. Cover the dough and let stand for 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease the baking sheets with butter. Roll small portions of the dough on a lightly sugared working surface until pen-thickness logs are created; cut these to a length of 6 cm. Form these pieces to look like a crescent; lay them on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes. Place on a wire rack and allow to completely cool.

If desired, each end of the cookie can be dipped in melted chocolate; allow to set on parchment paper.

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