After a few fans of my grandmother’s books proclaimed Croquet aux Filberts as their favorite cookie, this recipe from “The Art of Fine Baking” became a priority. I realized while making the log, baking it, slicing it, and then baking the sliced cookies, that these are fairly similar to biscotti. In my opinion though, thick slices and the combination of citrus zest and hazelnuts make these much better than any biscotti out there.
I wasn’t sure what filberts were. After researching it, I’m still not quite sure if they are the same as hazelnuts or just similar. I’ve found conflicting articles stating both. Some say filberts are just a European version of hazelnuts. While others say they are the same and the names are interchangeable. Either way, hazelnuts are readily available. If you’re like me and have a hard time eating anything hazelnut without chocolate, bittersweet chocolate chips or shavings can be added to the batter or pressed into the log before baking. Other than this potential addition (which really isn’t necessary), this recipe is pretty much perfect as is. Hope I do it justice!
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and sliced or chopped
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1 teaspoon water
Set oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. Cream butter and a 1/2 cup sugar together. Add orange and lemon zest, vanilla, egg, and 1 cup hazelnuts. Gently stir in flour mixed with salt. Chill slightly.
Divide dough in half. Form each half into a long, slim loaf about 2 inches wide. Place loaves well apart on baking sheet.
Brush each loaf with egg white mixed with water. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and sliced hazelnuts.
Bake about 25 minutes, or until loaves are golden brown. Cool slightly.
Reduce oven tempurature to 300 degrees.
Cut straight or diagonally in 1/2 inch slices. Replace slices in oven for 10 minutes or until they are lightly toasted and dry.
Yield Approximately 44
Adapted from “The Art of Fine Baking”