Chocolate Hazelnut Kiss Cookies and a Double Holiday Giveaway!

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Christmas day is in 26 days and that means the Cake Duchess kitchen is busy! There is chocolate every where!  Recipes are strewn across my counter. We do make an exorbitant amount of cakes here…but we also LOVE cookies.
Hershey’s Kiss Cookies is one of the cookies I look forward to making every Christmas. I make it the way you probably make it: peanut butter cookie and a sweet kiss on top.
This year I decided we need a little more chocolate. And some nicely chopped and toasted hazelnuts. Funny how the cookie tastes like Nutella, but there is not a drop of Nutella in it! I had to stay away from Nutella for at least a week;)
These cookies will be a new Christmas tradition with our family. I had so much fun making each cookie with my kids. Their favorite part was rolling the cookie into the toasted (and cooled) hazelnuts. Eating the leftover Kisses while the cookies were in the oven were the 2nd best part!
Now let’s move on to the GIVEAWAY! Since it is holiday time, my dear and talented friend Shulie and I have decided to do a double giveaway! Yes, a double giveaway of the fabulous new book, Big Night In, from the amazing Domenica Marchetti. You can read all about Domenica here. This book is gorgeous! It is full of classic Italian recipes and fabulous desserts. If you love Italian food, you will love this book!
My sweet readers, that means that you not only have a chance of winning the book over here, you also have a chance of winning on Shulie’s blog. Double the giveaway fun!!

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Shulie and I both did a recipe with Domenica’s Pasta Frolla recipe. I chose to change it a bit by adding some cocoa and making these delectable cookies. Take a peak at Shulie’s site to see Domenica’s Lemon Crostata recipe.
Domenica Marchetti, a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, is a cookbook author with a national reputation is a lovely lady with many accolades under her belt. This Italian treasure of a book will be a fixture in your kitchen. Domenica also has two books coming out in 2011, The Glorious Pasta of Italy (Chronicle) in the spring, and a book on rustic Italian cooking (Williams-Sonoma) in the fall. Big Night In was named one of the 25 best cookbooks of the year by the editors of Food and Wine. Domenica is a contributor to many magazines and newspapers including the Washington Post Food Section. You can find her full bio here .

*Book cover photo compliments of Chronicle Books and Domenica Marchetti

BONUS ENTRIES: Each entry comment counts as a SEPARATE entry in the giveaway!  To enter giveaways:

1. Please follow on twitter @domenicacooks
2. Please follow @cakeduchess on twitter
3. Another way to win: Tweet the following: YOU should enter the GIVEAWAY to WIN Big Night In by @domenicacooks from @cakeduchess. Enter here: http://tinyurl.com/24z7sl3
 4. If you Facebook, LIKE Cake Duchess’ here on Facebook.
5. Leave a comment on this post! You are encouraged to share a comment about Domenica’s Big Night In  or any other thoughts.
6. If you RT or post on your Facebook page this giveaway post link, you get an additional entry. Please drop me an additional comment on this post saying that you did so.
7.  Become a “follower” of Cake Duchess’ blog.
8. Sign up for our RSS Feed/Email Subscription
9. Drawing will be done randomly from all comments recorded by Sunday, December 5 by midnight and lucky winner-will announced on Monday, December 6.
10. Shipping only in the US. I apologize to my international friends.
11. Don’t forget to go to Shulie’s site and enter the giveaway there!

That’s EIGHT chances to win! Do the math: the more entries you make, the better your chances are to WIN! Again, you MUST leave a separate comment for each entry to count : )

Let’s get on to my FABULOUS Holiday cookie recipe!!

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The cookie dough recipe is Domenica’s pasta frolla dough recipe with some slight adjustments.

Chocolate Hazelnut Kiss Cookie
yield: approximately 40 cookies (depending on how close to 1-inch round you make the cookie balls. Don’t worry, you can eat the extra Kisses while the cookies are baking;)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
2 cups confectioner’s sugar 
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt 
1 cup butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted (approximately-I had some leftover)
40 Hershey’s Kisses

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse briefly to combine the ingredients. Distribute the butter around the bowl and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add the egg yolks and process until the dough just begins to come together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather it together. Knead it briefly until the dough is smooth and shiny. Shape the dough into approximately 40 (1-inch)balls. Indent your thumb to faltten a little the middle of each ball and work around the edges of the cookie to smooth out the shape. There will be cracks in the cookie. Roll the sides of the balls into the hazelnuts. Press down gently and try to gather as many hazelnuts as you can without changing the shape of the cookie.
Bake the cookies a batch at a time for about 8 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven and add a Hershey’s kiss to each cookie. Press the Hershey’s Kiss down gently, and be careful not to burn yourself. Add the tray back to the oven and bake for about another minute. Depending on your oven-mine took about 10 minutes total to bake.

If you do not want to make the dough in a food processor, you can let the butter soften and you can mix the batter with a hand mixer. Email me if you need help with those directions.
If you would like to see Domenica’s pasta frolla recipe, you can find it here on Shulie’s site.

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Bake with your little ones. If you don’t have little ones, bake with your neighbor’s kids! My little guy loved to roll out his own cookies! Smile
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He was ready to add Kisses even when it wasn’t time to add them!!Winking smile
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