Chocolate Hazelnut Pinwheels

In this recipe you make two thin sheets of shortbread, one hazelnut and one chocolate. You invert the chocolate sheet over the hazelnut and roll the two together to make spirals.
This procedure requires the dough to chill; allow time. It might be good to begin the night before you bake.

Before chilling:

Break into 1/2 inch chunks
   4 ounces of bittersweet and 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate.

In a microwave oven (at half power, for about five minutes) melt
   the chocolate chunks.

Toast
   1 cup hazelnuts
at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes, until beginning to brown.
In a food proceessor, with the metal blade, grind
   the 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
   1/4 cup sugar.
The nuts should be gritty, not a paste.
Remove the nuts from the food processor and set aside. There is no need to wash the processor bowl.

In the bowl of the emptied unwashed food processor, cream
   1 pound unsalted butter
   1 cup sugar.
Add and incorporate
   one large egg
   2 teaspoons vanilla extract
   1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add
   3/4 cup white rice flour
   3/4 cup cake flour
   1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose white flour.
Process until fully incorporated, but not too much at this stage. Taste for sweetness, and add more sugar as necessary. The mixture should be able to hold its shape; add more all-purpose flour as necessary. Combine just until incorporated.

Note: If you don't have rice flour or cake flour, it is okay just to use an equal quantity of additional all-purpose flour instead.

Judging by eye, remove about half of the mixture from the processor and set it aside to chill in a refrigerator.

Add
   the ground nut mixture
to the half of the dough remaining in the food processor. Add
   2 ounces Frangelico (hazelnut) liqueur.
Process until combined. Remove from the food processor and chill in a refrigerator.

Return the other half of the dough, which you have set aside in the refrigerator, to the food processor. Add
   the melted chocolate.
Process just until combined.

Spread a layer of plastic wrap on a pastry or cutting board. Roll out on the plastic wrap
   the chocolate/dough mixture.
Cover the entire sheet of plastic wrap evenly with the dough. Cover the layer with another sheet of plastic wrap. Transfer to a cookie sheet and chill in a refrigerator until firm, at least half an hour, or overnight.

Spread another sheet of plastic wrap, of the same size as the first, on the cutting board. Roll out on the plastic wrap
   the chilled dough/hazelnut mixture,
to cover the entire sheet of plastic wrap evenly. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap, transfer to a cookie sheet, and allow to chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least half an hour, or overnight.

After chilling, or the next day:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the chilled dough sheets from the refrigerator. Make sure they are firm to the touch.
Remove the two plastic wrap sheets that are covering them.

Invert the chocolate layer and set it down precisely on top of the hazelnut layer. Remove the sheet of plastic wrap that is covering them.

Allow the dough to warm a bit so it is flexible enough to roll. By hand, pick up the bottom sheet of plastic wrap and roll the two layers together to form a spiral, pulling away the plastic wrap. When the spiral is about 1 1/2 inches thick, cut it away from the remaining dough, transfer to a cookie sheet, and put the sheet in the refrigerator. Continue with the remaining dough. You should get three or four spirals of dough. Chill if necessary until it is firm enough to slice.

Place two pieces of parchment or silicone sheets on baking racks. Slice disks 1/4 inch thick from the spirals and place them on the parchment about 1/4 inch apart. Set in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 or 25 minutes, until beginning to brown. Interchange the racks, and reverse them front to back, after about 10 minutes, to ensure even baking.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the racks. Makes about 50 cookies.

© 2003 Richard Waldinger