Mocha Hazelnut Cookies

IMG_3298Hey there– If you look in our freezer, you’re likely to find mocha almond fudge ice cream tucked in between the frozen blueberries and ice cube bin (unless I’ve just slurped it all down).  It’s my favorite.  So how could these tender fudgey coffee tinged cookies not be delicious?  They’re not too sweet, but chock full of chocolate and hazelnuts.  Big and cake-like and melt-in-your-mouth good.  (OK, did I convince you??)

MOCHA HAZELNUT COOKIES
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. coffee liqueur (optional)
1  1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. instant coffee crystals
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

IMG_3301With an electric mixer cream together the butter, 2 sugars, egg, vanilla and coffee liqueur.  Then beat in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, coffee crystals and salt.  Finally, mix in he hazelnuts and chocolate chips.*

Drop the batter by full tablespoons onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray–about 3″ apart.  Smash each cook just a bit flatter with the bottom of a glass.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.  Let them sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before you lift them off to a cooling rack.  Makes about 18 large cookies.  Enjoy them with a mug of tea!

*I save a handful of chocolate chip and hazelnuts to sprinkle on top of the cookies before I slip them into the oven– so they are prettier.

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Very Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

IMG_1272Hi there chocolate loving friends– These little gems are my very favorite cookies– sooo chocolatey!  They are pretty much the cookie version of flourless chocolate cake.  Plus they have those fresh crunchy hazelnuts that put you to mind of nutella.  So what could be better than that?!  Anyway, if you do love chocolate, you might want to give them a try.

VERY CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT COOKIES
2  2/3 cup chocolate chips, divided
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup hazelnuts, cut in half

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Take 1 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips and melt them in the microwave in a micowave-proof bowl (about 1 1/2 minute).  Stir them together til they are a melty mess of chocolate.

Mix in the sugar, melted butter and vanilla.  Then beat in the eggs.  Next stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until it’s completely blended.  Last, fold in the hazelnuts.

Drop the batter by small spoonfuls onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Space them far apart.  They will spread.

Pop them into a 350 oven for 12 to 13 minutes until they are set, still soft in the center.  Transfer them off the cookie sheet to a rack carefully.  They will firm up as they cool.

Makes 24 to 30 smallish beautiful rich cookies.

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P.S.  These are best eaten right away.  If you are storing them for a few days, make sure you have an air tight container so they don’t dry out.

Blueberry Hazelnut Up-side-down Cake

IMG_3669Hello there– I grew up eating “pineapple upside down cake.”  You know.  The one topped with the pineapple rings with all those bright red cherries.  But I’ve discovered just about any fruit will make a lovely up side down cake– apples, peaches, pears, plums.  I’ve enjoyed quite a few of these things when summer fruit it sweet.  So here is the blueberry hazelnut version.  Sweet enough for dessert, but it works just fine as a morning coffee cake too.

BLUEBERRY HAZELNUT UP-SIDE-DOWN CAKE
1/2 cup hazelnuts, cut in half (or walnuts, pecans, almonds…)
1 full cup blueberries (or more!)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a 9″ or 10″ cake pan with cooking spray.  Then melt the butter and pour it all to cover the bottom of the cake pan.  Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter and next cover that all with the hazelnuts and then the blueberries.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix in the milk, oil, egg and vanilla.  Scrape all that cake batter into the pan over the blueberries and hazelnuts.  And bake the whole thing up at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and firm to the touch.

As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, set a large plate over the top of the cake pan and flip it so that the cake falls from the cake pan down onto the plate.  If a little of the blueberry topping sticks in the cake pan, scrape it our and spread it onto the cake with a rubber scrapper.

This is delicious hot or cooled and it’s always better with a big spoonful of whipped cream!  Hope you enjoy it!

Oatmeal Hazelnut Bars (with nutella)

OATMEAL HAZELNUT BARS
1 stick of butter, melted (or you can use canola oil)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup nutella
1 cup flour
1 cup + 2 tab. quick oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup hazelnuts, cut in half

With a mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar.  Then beat in the eggs and vanilla, followed by the nutella.  Next mix in the flour, 1 cup oatmeal, baking powder and salt.  Then stir in the chocolate chips.  Spray a 7″x11″ pan with cooking spray and spoon in the batter.  Top the batter with the hazelnuts and sprinkle on the 2 tab. of oatmeal.   Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until the bars are set. (please don’t overbake)

These little guys look like brownies, but really they’re not.  Brownies differ from cake in that they are made with more sugar than flour.  These bars have 2 cups oats/flour and 1 cup sugar, more cake like– with a homey, not too sweet flavor.  I think you’ll like them!  (we do).

Apple Hazelnut Salad


Hello friends–  This week I hit the Walmart and snapped up all those back to school bargains for my class this year.  Thirty two fresh little third graders. I’m looking forward to meeting them.  When I dropped the supplies in my school room, I suddenly felt ready for fall!  Fresh pencils and multiplication coming up!  And when fall hits, I’m ready for something apple-y.  This little salad tastes like fall, but is cool enough for a hot August evening.

APPLE HAZELNUT SALAD
Bibb lettuce
One bright red apple cut in polite chunks
A handfull of hazelnuts
That’s it!!

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. Tarragon vinegar
a couple shakes of salt
a dash of freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar

Layer the lettuce, apples and hazelnuts on a plate.  Shake the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar in a container with a lit until it’s emulsified.  Pour the dressing on the salad just before you serve it.

Plum Cake


Hi all–  Love this plum cake.  It tastes like an August day, when all the stone fruits come ripe. Cut a slice and plop a big spoonful of whipped cream on top.  Perfect.  It’s a version of the old upside-down cake, fast and fresh.  I hope you like it…

PLUM CAKE
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large red ripe plums
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped in half
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Put the butter in a glass can pan and melt it in the microwave (about 20 seconds).  Then sprinkle on the brown sugar.  Top with the cut hazelnuts and then cut the plum into nice thin slices and arrange them in a pattern in the pan over the nuts.

Mix up the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then pour in the milk, canola oil, egg and vanilla.  Stir just enough to combine in thoroughly.  And spoon it into the pan over the plums.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until it is firm to the touch on top.

While the cake is still hot, cover it with a plate and then invert it upside- down so the cake falls onto the plate.  If there is leftover butter-brown sugar in the cake pan, scrape it out and spread it onto the warm cake.  Serve it up hot or cool.

You can use any nuts or stone fruit (peaches, apricots, nectarines).  I just had these pretty plums and hazelnuts on hand.  And really, don’t for get the part about the whipped cream on top.  So delicious and summery…

Hazelnut Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies


Hi friends– How about a cookie?  When I got home from our travels this week, I was just itching to bake something.  So when I ran across a recipe from hazelnut cookies, I went straight to the kitchen.  And I’ve been nibbling away on these things all week.  Pretty delish– you might want to give them a try.

HAZELNUT COCONUT CHOCOLATE CHIPE COOKIES
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 sticks of butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Cut the hazelnuts in half and spread them on a baking sheet.  Toast them at 350 degrees for 7 or 8 minutes (keep you eye on them so they don’t burn) until they are golden brown. Let them cool a few minutes before adding them to the cookie mixture.  With a mixer, cream the butter and sugars.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Then mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Finally stir in the toasted hazel nuts, coconut and chocolate chips.  Drop them on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray by rounded tablespoonfuls.  Bake them in a 350 degree oven for 15- 17 minutes until nicely browned.

Add a mug of milk and a good book and you’re set to enjoy these cookies…