I was making dinner last week, a good old fashioned winter warmer pumpkin soup, with barley, mushroom, sage and toasted hazelnuts, and it was all smelling incredible in the kitchen – particularly the hazelnuts toasting in the oven and the sage being cooked up with the mushrooms. I’m not sure how my brain got from those “that all smells so good” thoughts to “I should put them in cookies,” but it did.
So, I did.
I had my Melbourne Breakfast tea infused cookies in mind to try this one, and I used the same recipe – only difference was I infused the butter with sage and added some toasted hazelnuts. Here’s the changed version for this recipe..
Ingredients (makes lots of cookies)
– 100g butter, melted, plus a little extra for cooking the sage
– 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh sage
– 100g brown sugar
– 1 egg
– 200g plain flour
– 1 tbsp toasted cacao nibs
– 2 tbsp toasted, crushed hazelnuts
1. Heat a small saucepan over low heat, add a little butter (enough to coat the pan lightly) and half the sage leaves. Sprinkle a little salt over the sage and cook for a minute or two, until just crispy. Transfer to a plate to cool, then crumble with your fingers.
2. Finely chop the remaining sage and stir in both the fresh and the crispy sage into the melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge until JUST set (depending on your fridge, anywhere between 45min – an hour and a half, so keep an eye on it!)
3. Beat the softened butter (soft, NOT melted!) and the brown sugar on medium/high speed with an electric mixer for around 3 – 5min, or until really smooth, lighter in colour and creamy.
4. Add in the egg and keep beating until totally combined and smooth (another minute or so).
5. Sift in the flour and add the cacao nibs and hazelnuts, mix well until a thick dough comes together (you may want to use your hands to really bring it together) – roll that big clump of dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and sit it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C and line a big baking tray (or 2 smaller ones) with non-stick paper.
7. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured board or between two sheets of non-stick baking paper (I find it easier that way) to a thickness you’re happy with (they’re your cookies so make them as thick or thin as you like! Thinner cookies will have a bit more of a crunch to them, thicker ones will have a bit of a softer “bite” which is what I prefer!).
8. Cut cookies out of whatever shape or size you want – I went with snowflakes, given that it’s the start of winter here in Melbourne!
8. Lay them on the tray (they won’t expand so you can put them fairly close together), and bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until they are just getting a light golden edge.
9. Let them cool for a few minutes on the tray, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
Totally random, but it all worked really well together! I’ve heard that lemon, thyme and lavender make a really lovely combination, too, so I wouldn’t mind trying that out, and I have an inkling that rosemary and cacao nibs would be alright as well…. Any other suggestions along these lines??