There is no better combination in French baking than a tender butter cookie made with ground almonds, sandwiched with hazelnut spread and dipped in dark chocolate. These Flours de Lin are relatively easy to make and have become a staple in my Christmas baking. Even if your piping skills aren’t up to scratch they are so tasty it won’t matter.
Cookie Ingredients (makes apex. 20 cookies)
- Cake flour – 125 grams (1 cup plus 4 teaspoons)
- Room temperature butter – 150 grams (5 1/4 ounces)
- Sea salt – 1/8 teaspoon
- Granulated sugar – 80 grams (1/3 cup)
- Ground almonds – 60 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tbs)
- Egg whites – 30 grams (1 extra-large white less 1 to 2 teaspoons)
- Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste – 5 grams (1 teaspoon)
Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
Sift the flour into a bowl and set aside. Place the soft butter with the sea salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer and mix with the paddle attachment for 1 minute on medium speed. (Note…if your butter isn’t soft these cookies will require Popeye muscles to pipe) Add the almond flour, egg whites and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the sifted flour and mix for 30 seconds only on low speed. Do not over-mix as it will spoil the delicacy of the cookies.
Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8 inch star tip. Pipe 1 1/2-inch-long flat teardrop cookies onto the parchment-paper-lined sheet plans, leaving 1/2 space in between them and staggering the rows.
Hold the pastry bag with the tip at a 45-degree angle, close to the sheet pan. Continue to press on the bag and swing the tip toward you while you progressively stop pressing, so that the teardrop ends in a tail.
Let the cookies rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Thirty minutes before baking preheat the oven to 375 F.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.
Filling and dipping ingredients
- Hazelnut paste (such as Nutella) – 200 grams (2/3 cup)
- Good quality dark chocolate – 200 grams (7 ounces)
Once cool, flip half of the cookies over and pipe a small amount of the hazelnut paste. Top with another cookie and press down lightly to sandwich.
Slowly melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler. Dip the tail of each cookie into the chocolate and place the cooke on parchment paper. Let the chocolate harden and then store the cookies in an airtight container. Do not refrigerate.
(You can substitute the hazelnut paste with a chocolate ganache or raspberry jam if you like.)