1. We were test cooks for this recipe in April 2010. Then Cook's Illustrated published it in November 2010, with very minimal changes (eg the original recipe called for 1/2 cup oil, not 1/3 cup).
2. The final dough will be slightly softer than most cookie dough.
3. For the best results, handle the dough as briefly and gently as possible when shaping the cookies. Overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies.
4. Makes only 2 dozen cookies or so.
2-1/4 cups (11-1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1-1/2 cups (10-1/2 ounces) sugar , plus 1/3 cup for rolling
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
2 oz. cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6 Tbl (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbl milk
1 large egg
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, place 1-1/2 cups of the sugar, hazelnuts, and cream cheese.
4. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside.
5. Heat butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes.
6. Continue to cook, swirling pan frequently, until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes.
7. Pour butter over sugar and cream cheese mixture; whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later).
8. Whisk in oil until incorporated.
9. Add egg and milk; continue to whisk until smooth.
10. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms.
11. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each. Using hands, roll dough in batches into balls. Then roll each ball in reserved sugar to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet.
12. Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with 4 teaspoons reserved sugar (2 teaspoons per tray), discarding any remaining sugar.
13. Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes.
14. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.