Hello there. Want to see what I baked yesterday? I never thought I'd actually roast chestnuts around Christmas (or at all), but then I saw Deb's handsome recipe and conveniently had the next day off from work. Although lovely, these guys took a bit of time. (You might be able to catch the day . . . to night . . . to next workday transition in the lighting.) Roasting was pretty simple, but most of the labor was in the peeling; however, this was quickened, or so it seemed, by a couple of Friends re-runs. (I'm not embarrassed to admit that they can still make me giggle. And after my stint in England, I have a newfound affinity for Ross—they love him there.)
Well, that's enough of that. Here's this!:
ROASTED CHESTNUT COOKIES makes about 4 dozen
1 pound chestnuts
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon + additional for coating
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1/ Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut a small X on the top of each chestnut with a sharp knife. Roast chestnuts on a baking sheet for about 20 to 30 minutes, until a darker shade of brown and the X peels back to reveal the inner nut.
2/ Cool on tray, peel, and chop coarsely on a cutting board. Grind 1 cup of chopped nuts in a food processor until they are very well chopped. Then, transfer nuts to a large mixing bowl and add the softened butter. Mix with an electric mixer until combined. Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour and mix until all ingredients are integrated.
3/ Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic, chilling for one hour or until firm. Once chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and a few pinches of cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside. Working with one half of the chilled dough at at time, roll it into 2 teaspoon-sized balls with the palms of your hands. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet.
4/ Bake until golden brown on bottom and just pale golden on top (about 14 to 17 minutes). Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet, and then gently toss in cinnamon sugar to coat completely. Transfer coated cookies to rack and cool completely. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough.
[recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Epicurious]