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Come Party With Me: Rehearsal Dinner — Dessert

When planning your rehearsal dinner, take into consideration the theme of the wedding. If you're having a black tie big day, don't host an equally formal rehearsal dinner. Instead throw a laid back luau, festive hoedown, or in the case of my girlfriend, Ronda, a backyard grilled pizza party. Simply put, the rehearsal dinner should not upstage the wedding reception. For this reason, avoid serving cake.

Instead, offer guests a delightfully crisp frosted cookie like these Italian-inspired chocolate hazelnut spiced cookies. They are ideal for a party because they can be made up to four days in advance. Check out the scrumptious recipe when you


Chocolate Hazelnut Spiced Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Spiced Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Spiced Cookies


  1. For cookies:
  2. 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts (9 ounces), toasted , loose skins rubbed off in a kitchen towel while still warm, and nuts cooled completely
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  9. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  11. 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  12. 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  13. 1 tablespoon hazelnut-flavored liqueur (preferably Frangelico)
  14. For icing:
  15. 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  16. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  17. 3 tablespoons water
  18. 1 tablespoon hazelnut-flavored liqueur


  1. Make cookies: Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle. Butter a large baking sheet.
  2. Pulse hazelnuts, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped, then add butter and zest and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.
  3. Add juice and liqueur and pulse until dough comes together into a ball but is still crumbly. Form level tablespoons of dough into balls and flatten to about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, arranging 1 inch apart on baking sheet.
  4. Bake cookies until puffed and slightly cracked, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  5. Make icing while cookies cool: whisk together all icing ingredients until smooth.
  6. Dip tops of cooled cookies into icing and transfer to a wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Let stand until icing is set, about 1 hour.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Make ahead: Cookies keep, layered between sheets of parchment paper, in an airtight container at room temperature 4 days.

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