I’ve been reading these fun murder mystery novels by Joanne Fluke, all of which revolve around the owner of a little bakeshop who solves murder mysteries while baking up delicious sweets for herself and her friends. The novels contain the recipes of the different baked goods that the heroine makes along the way. This recipe for Mocha Hazelnut Butterball Cookies is adapted from The Apple Turnover Murder.

These little cookies are a delicious buttery shortbread type cookie filled with chopped hazelnuts and a distinct coffee flavor. I gilded the lily by dunking the baked cookies in melted chocolate and sprinkling with more chopped nuts and a dusting of sea salt. Here is how you can make your own.

You can find the recipe here. Start by lining a cookie sheet with parchment or Silpat and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and instant coffee (I used instant espresso), cocoa powder and salt.

Add the flour in three parts, mixing after each addition. Stir in the finely chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts that I toasted in the oven ahead of time).

Form the dough into one inch balls or use a #50 scoop. Place on baking sheets about one inch apart (these cookies don’t spread) and press down to flatten slightly.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until set. Mine took 14 minutes. Move the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For dipping cookies: I used a package of Ghiradelli Chocolate Dark Melting Wafers melted in the microwave. When wafers are melted and smooth, dunk each cookie until coated and transfer to parchment paper.

Sprinkle tops with chopped hazelnuts and a dusting of sea salt. Let set completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.

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