Hazelnut Nib Snowballs

A new twist on a Christmas classic–tender yet crunchy.

Hazelnut Nib Snowballs

Makes about 35 cookies

3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour (94 gr)

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons powdered sugar (16 gr)

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 tablespoon water

1/4 cup almond flour (28 gr)

1/2 cup grated or finely chopped toasted hazelnuts (58 gr)

1/3 cup finely chopped cocoa nibs (45 gr)

1 ounce finely chopped semi-sweet or bitter-sweet (60%) chocolate

2 tablespoons powdered sugar plus 2 tablespoons cocoa for rolling

Combine all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and water. Set mixer speed on high and beat about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add hazelnuts, almond flour, and nibs. Mix until just incorporated. Add the flour, and mix until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Using a small cookie scoop (#100), shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake about 12 to 15 minutes, until edges are golden. Transfer cookies, still on the parchment, to wire racks. Cool cookies for 5 minutes and roll in powdered sugar. Cool completely.

Prior to serving, combine powdered sugar and cocoa for rolling. Roll cookies in powdered sugar-cocoa mixture.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 5 days.

NOTE: If using whole hazelnuts, toast for 8 to 10 minutes at 350F. When cool, rub off skins.