Friday, September 13, 2013

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuits

I came across this recipe, and it being a combination of hazelnuts and Nutella, I knew I wanted to make it right away. I came across the recipe on Food Gawker, but the blogger had originally gotten the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. Now, I do have a bit of a bone to pick. She called these cookies biscotti. Biscotti means twice baked, and these are not. Some folks don’t like biscotti because it can be too dry. These aren’t like that at all. I have no idea why they are called biscotti. They aren’t similar in any way, shape, or form! I really do expect more from Giada! I’m just going to call them biscuits.

That being said, these are great cookies. I had ingredients for a couple of different cookie recipes, and I chose these for this week because I could make them in the morning before I went to work. The recipe said it makes about 2 dozen cookies, but I must have made mine smaller as I got about 3-1/2 dozen.  In typing up the recipe, I realized I didn’t follow the directions exactly, but they still turned out so the recipe here is what I did.

Don’t skip the step of toasting the hazelnuts; it’s really important. Nothing in the world smells better than toasted nuts! You can try to remove the skins of the hazelnuts after toasting by rubbing the hazelnuts between towels, but I never have much success with that. While the skins can be bitter, the ones that I have don’t have that bitter flavor, so I didn’t remove the skins. I made these, as I mentioned, before work one day and they are best eaten fresh. The next day the cookies seemed too crumbly. So make these up and you get to eat them right away.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuits
1 cup hazelnuts
1⅓ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup chocolate hazelnut spread
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have one baking sheet ready (for the hazelnuts) and line two additional baking sheets with silicone baking mats (for the cookies).

Toast the hazelnuts: place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring the nuts half way through the baking time. Allow to cool slightly. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts.

Make the cookies: in a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter, chocolate hazelnut spread, sugar and brown sugar. Mix on medium until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute.

Add the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined. Stir in the hazelnuts. Shape the dough into 1-1/2” balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are set. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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