Category Archives: hazelnuts

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

photo 2-58

Biscotti are those classic crunchy Italian cookies that just seem to get better with age.  Seriously.  They are perfect for dunking into a hot cup of coffee or tea so the crunchier they get, the better they are.  When Glenn would be at sea for months on end, I would mail him boxes of biscotti to share with his shipmates.  They packed well, never got stale, and could theoretically last for months on end.  That is, if they didn’t get eaten first.

Almond biscotti are the standard by which  most biscotti are compared but I love these chocolate ones filled with crunchy hazelnuts.  You just can’t go wrong with this combination.  The recipe is courtesy of Williams Sonoma who claims that the cookies can be stored for up to two weeks in an air-tight container.  Personally, I think they will keep longer.  But then again, that is only if you don’t eat them all first.

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BISCOTTI

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder

2 teaspoons vanilla powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 300.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the chocolate and brown sugar and process until the chocolate is very fine.  Set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, vanilla powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on medium-high speed.  Reduce the speed to low and mix in the sugar and flour mixtures until a stiff dough forms.  Fold in the hazelnuts.
  • On a floured surface, divide the dough in half.  Form each half into a long that is 12 inches long.  Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet and use your fingers to pat the logs into a uniform shape and size.
  • Bake until the dough is almost firm to the touch, about 50 minutes.  Remove from the oven but leave the oven on and allow the logs to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Using a spatula, carefully transfer the logs to a work surface.  Using a serrated knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into slices that are 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
  • Arrange the slices, cut side down on the baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes then turn the slices over and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and allow the cookies to sit with the oven door ajar until the oven has cooled.

Yields:  Approximately 30 cookies

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Honey-Nut Granola

Just add yogurt and berries

Just add yogurt and berries

I love granola.  Growing up my mom used to make huge batches of the crunchy cereal and I remember dipping into the big metal tin for both breakfast and an afternoon snack.  As an adult I’ve gone through granola eating phases but as easy as it is to make, I had never made my own.  Inspired by my in-flight breakfast on Austrian Airlines this past weekend, I decided to try my hand at it.

I was able to dig into my full pantry and adapted the recipe to the ingredients I had on hand.  As I knew it would be, it was so easy to make that I think we’ll regularly have this cereal on hand.  I added chocolate chips but you could easily add dried fruit instead or you could substitute different nuts depending on your preferences and the ingredients you have available. I ate mine with Greek style yogurt and fresh strawberries but Sidney loved it dry, eaten by the handful.  However you eat it, enjoy!

HONEY-NUT GRANOLA

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup honey

3 1/2 cups whole steel-cut oats

3/4 cup whole almonds, lightly chopped

3/4 cup pecan halves, lightly chopped

2/3 cup hazelnuts, lightly chopped

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line two rimmed baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and honey over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  • Combine the oatmeal, nuts and spices in a large bowl.
  • Pour the warm honey-oil syrup over the oats and nuts and stir with a rubber spatula until evenly coated. 
  • Spread the granola over the prepared pans.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the mixture is dry, stirring the mixture occasionally to distribute the heat evenly.  
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  You may need to break up larger bits of the cereal.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

The granola can be stored for up to two weeks in a cool dry location.

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