Last fall a sweet friend invited Little and I over to gather nuts. She had a yard full of hazelnuts and walnuts and I was not above a bit of work for free food. Little was pretty tiny still and spent most of his time falling in the mud or trying to eat the nuts on that very very cold fall afternoon.
I brought home two half full Trader Joe’s bag (one of each). And then I forgot all about them.
Seriously. They have sat in my laundry room all winter.
Just recently I went to make these amazing lemon bars and needed walnuts. We were fresh out when I remembered we had the ones in the laundry room! Nathan cracked AND chopped them for me. How can a girl be so lucky?
And then I got a craving for biscotti. These not too sweet twice baked Italian cookies are traditional made with almonds but as I was perusing recipes I found this tasty looking one that called for hazelnuts instead. Well I found a plain hazelnut one and then a chocolate hazelnut one but since I was short the chocolate chips (how I don’t know) I opted to make the plain one. Stay tuned. I see chocolate hazelnut biscotti in my future.
These were delicious. Even better when paired with a delicious latte. Yes, I have an espresso machine at home. Yes, I have a latte nearly ever morning. What can I say? We take our coffee very seriously around here.
How seriously? We have three french presses, one stove top espresso maker, a drip coffee pot with a burr grinder, and then my beloved, sweet, gorgeous espresso machine. Best mother’s day present ever.
And you know what makes great coffee even better? Biscotti. I promise.
So I’m curious- Do you take coffee seriously?
How many and what kind of coffee makers do you have?
What’s your favorite coffee? (I have many but the current faves are Casi Cielo from Starbucks for the drip coffee and Five Region Espresso Blend from Trader Joes for the espresso machine)
Hazelnut Biscotti (makes about 2 dozen cookies)
Adapted from Gourmet Today
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts (7 ounces)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs (maybe 3)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toast hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan until lightly colored and skins are blistered, 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap nuts in a kitchen towel and let steam 1 minute, then rub off any loose skins in towel while nuts are still warm (don’t worry about skins that don’t come off). Cool nuts completely, then very coarsely chop.
Pulse together sugar and 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to bowl of mixer along with flour and beat at medium speed until combined well. Add 2 eggs and vanilla and beat just until a dough forms (if dough doesn’t form add one more egg). Reduce speed to low, then add remaining chopped hazelnuts and mix until incorporated. Turn off mixer and knead in any loose hazelnuts with your hands.
Halve dough and, with dampened hands, form each half into a roughly 10- by 2- by 1-inch log on lined baking sheet, arranging logs 3 inches apart.
Bake until golden and set but still soft to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. (Leave oven on.) Cool logs on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes.
Transfer logs to a cutting board, discarding parchment, and cut logs with a serrated knife on a slight diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on a cooling rack on a baking sheet. Bake slices until golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes more. Cool biscotti completely on sheet on rack, about 30 minutes. Dip in a latte.