Hazelnut Biscotti

7.03.2012

I love hazelnuts and I love biscotti. I haven´t made them in years. These Hazelnut Biscotti were right on spot. Especially since the had a bit of Frangelico, the hazelnut liqueur that I absolutely adore. I thought I had used it all up in a cake some months ago, but I barely had the two teaspoons for this recipe.
This is our chosen recipe from Baking with Julia for our Tuesday with Dorie group. The contributing baker is the one and only Alice Medrich, chocolate baker extraordinaire.
Today´s recipe can be found in our lovely hosts´ blogs Jodi from Homemade and Wholesome and Katrina from Baking and Boys
What can I say? Hazelnuts, frangelico and chocolate. These twice baked logs are my kind of crunchy thing to have with a good coffee. I was amazed at how many in the group didn´t like hazelnuts. But, given that it´s such a pain to take those skins off, you really have to like them to go through all the trouble. I do and use them to make the most fantastic chocolate hazelnut cookies. And I´m not really interested in homemade cookies, don´t eat them (absolute horror, I know). So imagine how good I think they are.
Back to our recipe, I was absolutely interested in the method of hazelnut skin removal. You throw the hazelnuts with some baking soda into boiling water and after five minutes drain them and put them in cold water, and the skins come off just like that. Yeah, and just like that there´s water everywhere, bits of skin covering a big portion of my hands, and also the counter, many hazelnuts have sunk to the bottom of the water-filled saucepan and you have to fish them out, resulting in more bits of wet hazelnut skin adhering to more places. That is after a purple foam happened out of nowhere and crept out of the saucepan when the baking soda was added, making a mess on the stove.  No I didn´t find it interesting. I´m sticking to my old-fashioned oven skin wrinkling followed by towel rubbing. Like you wouldn´t have realized that by now.
Ready to go into the oven again
Anyway, the batter was easy to mix with a wooden spoon; it was stiff like a cookie dough that has a lot of flour, but well, they are cookies after all.  Then two logs are formed and baked until barely done, let cool for a while, cut into thin or not so thin slices, and baked again on a wire rack so they dry and become crisp and golden. Since I have a nasty habit of not reading things thoroughly I didn´t pay attention to the measurements of the logs. The recipe then specified to bake them for 35 minutes exactly, and then re-bake them for 15 more. Well, let´s just say I didn´t follow any time specifications. Hey, I already know my weight conversions by heart, but for this I had to go find a measuring tape or a calculator… I wasn´t in the mood, I was still trying to get rid of the bits of hazelnut skins.
What do they taste like? Like very traditional hazelnut biscotti. The kind you would dip in Vin Santo. This is a good base recipe. Anything can be added. I especially like them with dried figs and orange zest.
I couldn´t not add some kind of chocolate. After all, one extraordinary combination in the food world is hazelnuts and chocolate. Ask the lilac cow if you don´t believe me. 



38 comments:

  1. They look so good with chocolate on top!!

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  2. Chocolate glaze ... what a beatiful dress you have given to them! They look great!

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  3. Oh I like everything with hazelnuts :)

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  4. they look great with the chocolate drizzle. Wish I had thought of that. :)

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  5. They look so pretty with the drizzled chocolate, Paula. We also loved these!

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  6. Paula, wonderfully looking Hazelnut Biscotti with lovely chocolate drizzled over the finished cookis - looks pretty darn good to me. Very pretty photos too and you made me smile with your description of how you learned to skin the hazelnuts "the messy way".

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  7. You're not interested in homemade cookies? *gasp* I'm not sure we can be friends! This biscotti redeems you, though, because it's so gorgeous and sounds amazingly delicious!

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  8. These are definitely kicked up with chocolate drizzled on top. I like/prefer the method you mentioned for skinned the nuts, too. And I was surprised at all the hazelnut haters myself.

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  9. Oh no - sounds like you had a hard time with the hazelnut skinning. I liked it only because I hate all the little shards of skin that you get when you toast them that turn up for weeks in the wash from the teatwoel that I use. I adore the chocolate drizzle - it turns these from cookes into a treat - mmmm ...

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  10. They look great! I can't wait to try these again with a different flavor combination!

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  11. They look beautiful. I think fig and chocolate would be great additions as well.

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  12. I found the wet skinning method very convincing!

    Ulrike @Küchenlatein

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  13. I love hazelnuts too, but I'm the only one at my house. So I made them with almonds, which was also very good. I've tried both hazelnut skinning methods and I prefer the towel-rubbing too. It doesn't do as good of a job, but it's easier and neater.

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  14. Chocolate is a must with hazelnuts, I agree!

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  15. Creo que me voy a ir ahora mismo a ponerle chocolate a mis biscottis!!! vaya pinta!!!

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  16. Your biscotti look great! How can you go wrong with hazelnut and chocolate, see Nutella :))

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  17. Your biscotti look delish!

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  18. These look delicious, Paula, and I like the effect and look of the drizzled chocolate. As you know, things are a little rocky around here and my daughter is here with me this week. Tomorrow we are going to make the biscotti together but I think we will use pistaschios instead of hazelnuts. I really do love biscotti but have never successfully made it. Your batch looks lovely.

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  19. Yeah, I tried that hazelnut peeling process years ago and decided it was way more trouble than just roasting them. Better yet, I try to buy them already skinned! They look great!

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  20. Oh Paula, Absolutely beautiful…I feel like I can reach out and grab one! Great photos! I love the drizzled chocolate!

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  21. Love that drizzle on top, Paula! Looking fantastic! :)

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  22. Nice post...great photos...especially the photo of the biscotti on top of the coffee cup...excellent.

    ~Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com

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  23. I love how so many of us drizzled these with chocolate! Beautifully done, Paula!

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  24. After reading about your experience, I'm glad I didn't bother with the hazelnuts. I like them, but decided to use a fruit and nut mix that I had in the cupboard. The chocolate looks like a great addition!

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  25. Ok. I am totally glad I skipped the deskinning. I don't think I would have been too happy...
    Your chocolate drizzled cookies look great.

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  26. Yum! Chocolate drizzle! They look great!

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  27. The first time I used this method of skinning the hazelnuts, the water boiled up and over and down onto the counter and floor. I've used the same technique with a larger pot and the mess is avoided, and the skin falls off easier than the towel method (at least for me). I love your chocolate drizzle. And fig and orange zest biscotti sound delicious too. Glad to know you enjoyed these even if you aren't interested in homemade cookies. I haven't heard that one before.

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  28. I like hazelnuts, but am glad we opted for other flavour options - the deskinning process sounds like a nightmare! I love the way your biscotti look with the chocolate drizzle. Chocolate, frangelico, and hazelnut = heaven.

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  29. Mmmmmmm...I've made these from the book several times, and they are fantastic. Love your thick drizzles of chocolate..next time I need to use more!

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  30. These are beautiful, Paula! I thought the de-skinning was easier than it sounded.

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  31. Simply love the drizzle you added to the biscotti!

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  32. Todo sabe mejor con chocolate :) Que buena pinta tienen estas galletas!

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  33. Yeah, I wasn't quite the fan of the blanching either. I love the drizzle of chocolate. I used chocolate chips but the drizzle looks much better.

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  34. after all the trouble of skinning the hazelnuts, your biscotti look perfect perched on your cup o' caffe!

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  35. Ah, I love hazelnuts - they're my favorite, and I literally can eat them by the handful whole. These look absolutely divine!

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  36. I love that chocolate drizzle, it takes these gorgeous biscuits to a new level :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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