These cookies definitely take a bit of effort, but the beautiful results will encourage you to make them again and again.
Yield: 100 cookies
Place the margarine, sugars, salt, and egg yolks into the mixer and mix with the dough hook until you get a creamy, smooth mixture. Add the flour and nuts and continue to mix until the dough is soft, but not sticky.
Divide the dough into two parts. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out one part of the dough until it is flat. Using a square cookie cutter, cut one- and- a- half-inch (three- and- a- half-centimeter) squares from the dough.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius), and using a flat card or metal spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to a Gefen Parchment Paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure to maintain the cookies’ square shape.
Bake the cookies until they are golden. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool.
These cookies should be stored in layers in a container, with baking paper separating the layers. They should stay fresh for three weeks, if stored in a tightly sealed container. It’s better not to freeze these cookies, because the condensation will cause ugly droplets to form on the chocolate.
Chop the bittersweet chocolate. Combine with the baking chocolate in a microwave-safe container and melt it in the microwave until you have a smooth, uniform chocolate mixture. It’s best to microwave the mixture in several short increments, so that the chocolate will melt nicely without scorching. A grainy texture or burned odor is an indication that the chocolate was not melted properly.
When the chocolate is fully melted, pour it into a shallow chocolate mold. The mold used here creates square shapes with holes in the center. Use a flat knife to smooth the chocolate into the mold and scrape off any extra chocolate. Keep the edges of the shapes sharp and clean.
Position the chocolate mold on a cutting board or any other smooth, moveable surface, and place in the freezer for five minutes; the chocolate freezes very quickly. Remove the mold from the freezer and press the back lightly until the chocolates pop out. You should have pretty chocolate squares with a hole in the center of each one.
Melt the bittersweet chocolate, add the nougat cream, and mix well until smooth. Pour the cream into a squeeze bottle.
To assemble the cookies, squeeze a bit of the chocolate-nougat cream onto the center of each whole square cookie and top with a chocolate square. Immediately sprinkle some hazelnut crunch over the hole, so that the nuts stick to the chocolate-nougat cream. Allow it to harden.