Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

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by Chris on December 9, 2012

alla nocciola/hazelnut

December already! I can’t believe the holiday season is in full swing.  Not only do the jingling bells and holiday music evoke joyful memories of decorating the house with my mom, but cookies seal those moments in time.  Mom would spend most December days baking her cookie assortments, monitoring her drunken fruit cake, and dipping her bon bons. She would store each cookie in a designated container and place them in our window-lined sun room. Winters in Boston not only allowed the space to be utilized as a natural refrigerator for the sweets, but it was a convenient room for me to sneak in after dark for a sample now and again.

Last December, I revisited my Italian roots in Christmas with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. This year, I am remembering childhood smiles with cookies. First memory? We would sit around the dining room table after all the dishes were moved to the kitchen, and only bowls of roasted nuts remained. Various conversations about days of old, new year resolutions, hopes, and dreams quickly intertwined with boisterous sibling banter as we cracked roasted nuts over the table cloth.  Mom would hurriedly rush in with holiday plates for us to use for catching the nuts’ shells and skins.

My favorite nuts to crack were hazelnuts.  These Food & Wine cookies are a fine tribute to my nibble preference back then…and now.

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