There is little doubt that tonight I’ll be watching A Christmas Carol with my family. I prefer the 1951 Alistair Sim version, but I’ll watch pretty much any version that’s on. (I have never seen the Muppet version, but I’d probably sit through that one if it was the only game in town.) What I really like about A Christmas Carol is it’s simple expression of the possibilities of the holiday season. And unlike It’s a Wonderful Life, another Christmas movie with a loyal following in the “best Christmas movie ever” category, good old Ebeneezer Scrooge and company provide a heaping helping of humor to balance out the treacly sweetness of their message.
Knowing of my Scroogeophilia, my parents gave me a copy of A Christmas Carol Cookbook about 10 years ago. It’s a small book, illustrated with stills from the Reginald Owen 1938 version of the movie. The book, written by Sarah Key, Jennifer Newman Brazil and Vicki Wells, has recipes for a traditional Victorian Christmas, some inspired by characters and incidents from the book, such as Old Fezziwig’s Mead and Humbug Lemon Curd, which like Scrooge is “rich enough.” This year, putting together her cookie list, my youngest daughter included the Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies from the book – and they were so delicious they were gone before I could get a picture! Here’s the recipe, though, with a warm wish for a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year to all my blogging friends!
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies from A Christmas Carol Cookbook
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
½ cup chopped hazelnuts
¼ cup sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut into ½ inch pats
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoons cold water (but I added Frangelico instead, to keep with the hazelnut theme)
Place dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse to grind hazelnuts. Pulse to incorporate butter, egg, extract and water. Pulse just until dough forms (don’t overmix). Divide dough into two, scrape dough onto plastic wrap or wax paper and roll into two logs, and chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Slice cookies into ¼-inch rounds, and bake about 10 minutes. Let set for about 5 minutes on the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
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