Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chocolate Hazelnut "Biscotti"

When life gets stressful, I get baking.  And lately life has been such that I need to do double-baking, starting with Giada's Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti.  This recipe for "Biscotti" is not twice-baked like standard biscotti (see my post for Cherry Almond Biscotti), but instead more of a drop cookie with a buttery, crispy texture.  The flavor has a rich, hazelnut quality but is not too sweet.  This is a great cookie for people who like Nutella and a crispy quality to cookies, rather than chewy.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread such as Nutella
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped toasted, skinless hazelnuts (see note)

* Note: To toast the hazelnuts, spread them on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and fragrant.  I highly recommend getting hazelnuts that are already chopped and de-skinned.  If not, you can toast whole hazelnuts and and rub them in a towel to remove the skin.

Preaheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In another medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter, chocolate hazelnut spread, and both sugars together, about 4 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.

Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just combined.  Add the hazelnuts and stir until just combined.

Using a tablespoon measure, drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet, spacing the mounds about 4 inches apart.  Use the tines of a fork to flatten each mound.  

Bake 10-12 minutes.  Use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool.  Chow down!

If you like hazelnuts, another delicious recipe to try is Emeril's Hazelunt, Goat Cheese and Baby Greens Salad with Hazelnut-Chardonnay Dressing.

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