hazelnut biscotti

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I like alot of things. Generally a pretty happy go lucky kind of gal.

I like cats. Duh. Especially box cat.

I like sunny days, warm or cold. The rain and my hair aren't friends.

I have Chris Brown and Rihanna songs on my current ipod play list, I feel ashamed of this. Like I should choose sides.

Lately, I have an unnatural obsession with cardigan sweaters.

I love my Lululemon run crops. They make my ass look fantastic.

My new favourite drink, besides wine, is an americano with a couple pumps of hazelnut.

I want to watch more episodes of Madmen that my SIL lent me, but the husband finds the overt amount of smoking offensive.

I like hazelnut biscotti and coffee, but not together.

I love the crunchy sweetness of biscotti, but I have to say, I'm not a dunker.

It's not that I don't enjoy the flavour of coffee (or milk) on my cookies, it's my OCD tendencies that come out when I see crumbs in my beverage.

Call me crazy (it's okay, I can take it), but I don't like to dunk any cookies or baked good for that matter for the risk of it ruining my drink.

It horrifies me to see the husband place a chocolate chip cookie in the bottom of a glass, the pour milk on top of it. He will then drink the milk and the cookie goo on the bottom. I shudder while I think of this.

Now it doesn't mean that I can't enjoy the made-for-dunking biscotti, just means mine will be a little crunchier than yours.  These hazelnut biscotti is crunchy, with just the right hint of sweetness, the distinct nuttiness of the hazelnut cannot be missed. These would be pretty excellent dipped in chocolate, but they are pretty good plain.

Hazelnut Biscotti
[ from Baking with Julia ]

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons hazelnut liqueur, I used Kahlua as it's all I had in the house
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup hazelnuts, blanched, roasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and set oven racks in the centre of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine thoroughly. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, liqueur, vanilla and sugar. Add dry ingredient and mix together with a wooden spoon until combined or use a handheld/stand mixer at medium speed. Add nuts and continue to mix, until just incorporated.

Flour your hands and lift half of the dough out of the bowl. Place on prepared baking sheet and shape in to a log, about 12 - 13 inches long. Don't worry about smoothing the top of the log, it will smooth out during baking. Repeat with the remaining dough, keeping care that logs are at least 3-inches apart.

Bake for exactly 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Mine was closer to 25 minutes before I felt comfortable to cut the logs.

Using a serrated knife, cut each log into approx. 1/2-inch slices, either straight across or diagonally. Place slices back on baking sheet and bake for 15 - 17 minutes, turning the cookies over at the halfway point. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.

Cookies will become crunchier as they cool. Can be kept in an airtight container for a month, but I'm not thinking they will last that long

How to: Blanch and roast hazelnuts

2 cups water
3 tablespoons baking soda
2/3 cups unblanched, unroasted hazelnuts
In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add baking soda (watch out, it will bubble up quite quickly!) and hazelnuts. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes or until water has turned black. can also be tested by dropping a hazelnut in cold water, if the skin comes off clean, you're good to go!

Strain hazelnut and rinse under cold water. Place rinse nuts on a kitchen towel and rub them dry. the skins should start to peel off. Peel any remaining skin off and place them on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350 for 10 - 15 minutes, or until nuts become fragrant and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool until they are cool enough to be handled.