Hazelnut Macaroon Sandwich Cookies: Cookie Carnival

The recipe for Cookie Carnival for the month of May, hosted by Kate at The Clean Plate Club, is Hazelnut Macaroon Sandwiches. I was undecided when I first saw this recipe. I love hazelnuts, they are one of my favorite nuts, but to be honest I was rather intimidated by the fact that these were macaroons.

Well I decided to take the plunge and I’m glad I did, but I don’t think I’ll be making macaroon sandwiches again any time soon LOL. Don’t get me wrong, they are delicious, absolutely chewy and wonderful with a rich delicious filling, but boy did I experience a comedy of errors in my kitchen that day…

First off I’ve never used a decorator bag before. I know! Sheesh. So that was interesting, and messy. 
Secondly, I ground the hazelnut in my miniature food processor. However, I didn’t make sure that they were all ground up, so I ended up with some chunky nuts clogging up my decorator bag, causing massive blobs on the parchment paper.

Thirdly (is that a word?), I have never had to lift the parchment on a hot cookie sheet just removed from the oven and dribble it with water. Needless to say, I am glad water doesn’t stain.
Anyway, I ended up with lots of different sized blobs of cookie dough, but all in all, after all the mishaps, I did end up with some very tasty cookies and now I can say that I have made macaroon sandwich cookies. :)
Oh, and I should mention that I used some roasted hazelnuts that I received from Oh! Nuts. I still have more in the bag and can’t wait to find another use for them, that is, if I can resist sticking my hand in the bag and just eating them raw! YUM! 

Hazelnut Macaroon Sandwiches
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup toasted, skinned and ground hazelnuts
2 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
2/3 cup ganache filling, refrigerated until thick enough to spread (recipe below)
Line 2 rimless baking sheets with parchment paper. Have ready a third rimless baking sheet, unlined (I didn’t need this as mine are insulated).

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar and beat on medium speed until the whites begin to thicken. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat just until soft peaks form. Slowly add the superfine sugar and continue to beat until stiff, shiny peaks form. Beat in the vanilla until blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the hazelnuts and confectioners sugar until incorporated.

Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe mounds 1 1/2 inches in diameter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the mounds 1 inch apart. With a damp fingertip, gently smooth any pointy tips. Let the cookies stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 35 to 45 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, putting the cookie-filled baking sheet on top of the unlined baking sheet. (This insulates the top baking sheet so the cookie bottoms do not darken too much.) Bake until the tops and bottoms are firm and golden, 10 to 13 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, carefully lift the parchment, one end at a time, and sprinkle about 2 Tbs. water under the paper. Be careful that the steam does not burn you and that water does not splash on the cookies. (The steam loosens the cookies from the paper.) After 3 minutes, slide the parchment paper off the baking sheet, peel the cookies from the paper and transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

Turn half of the cookies bottom side up. Spread a thin layer of the ganache filling (about 1 rounded tsp.) over the cookie bottoms. Press a plain cookie, bottom side down, onto the ganache. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes about 24 cookies.

Chocolate Ganache Filling

6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Using a handheld whisk, stir the mixture until the chocolate and butter melt and are smooth. Let cool until spreadable.

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21 Responses to Hazelnut Macaroon Sandwich Cookies: Cookie Carnival

  1. 1
    Megan says:

    You did a great job. I’m still hoping to get them made. They dont seem like they would be that time consuming. Yours are giving me that little push that I need! :)

  2. 2
    Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" says:

    Yours are the 1st I’ve seen for this challenge. They look great! Much better than mine (lol, you wait!) I’m writing mine up now.

    I want some nuts!

  3. 3
    Marie says:

    Those look fabulous Amanda! I have never made macarons. I need to get with the program!

  4. 4
    Katrina says:

    Ooh, they look good. I love hazelnuts, too. I’d have just slapped them with some Nutella! ;) Great job.

  5. 5
    Bev says:

    those look so yummy! I have been afraid to try those!

  6. 6
    Alisa - Frugal Foodie says:

    Those look delicious! I still haven’t made macarons, but they look quite tempting.

  7. 7
    Debbie says:

    They look delicious Amanda. I have never made these…maybe someday??

  8. 8
    pinkstripes says:

    YUM! They look delicious. I’ll have to try my hand at them one day.

  9. 9
    Ingrid says:

    Good for you that you didn’t take a pass on this one! I think they look pretty darn good.

  10. 10
    Carol VR says:

    I’d of swore we worked together on this one. Your report mirrored mine almost to a tee.

    Good to know, I wasn’t the only one who had great problems acheiving success with this recipe.

    Worth the effort…. they are soooo good!!!!

  11. 11
    Bunny says:

    You did a great job Amanda, better than I would have, macaroons scare me silly!

  12. 12
    Pamela says:

    They look terrific! I was totally a chicken this month and terribly intimidated by this recipe. You did good, though!

  13. 13
    Jessica says:

    Looks great!! I love hazelnut.

  14. 14
    Jacque says:

    Oooh, I like how yours are nice and flat… more like the ones in the fancy Paris bakeries.

    Sorry it didn't work out the greatest. At least now you know :)

  15. 15
    Valerie says:

    Your cookies look so perfect! Good job!!

  16. 16
    Ciao Chow Linda says:

    Despite your problems, your macarons look tempting and beautiful. One of these days I'm going to take the plunge and try too.

  17. 17
    Anonymous says:

    These looks delicious. You did a beautiful job on them. Just an FYI, they are macarons. A macaroon is a completely different kind of cookie!

  18. 18
    Martha says:

    They look delicious and loved reading your post. I think I learn best from my mishaps and mistakes in the kitchen:-) Thanks for sharing!

  19. 19
    stephchows says:

    Great job! I used a siliplat mat and it totally wasn't the best of ideas hahaha. I had fun making these and subbed the filling with a home made hazelnut chocolate spread. SO GOOD!

  20. 20
    Tami says:

    Your little cookies are so cute.

    Everyone seemed to have a little trouble with these cookies. I'm glad that I didn't try to squeeze them in last month…although, I am totally craving hazelnut spread now that everyone is talking about it.

  21. 21
    Joyce says:

    I just signed up for June and lucky for me I waited because it seems like most enjoyed the taste but had major problems making these. Have fun eating the extra nuts:)

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