Archive for the 'Hazelnut' Category

Honey Lavender Hazelnut Cookies

These cookies went so well with the Lavender Coconut Agave Ice Cream I made, that it was slightly ridiculous. We ate them all in one sitting! Mmm. And these cookies couldn’t be easier. In fact, the rich, toasty hazelnut and honey-infused batter is so easy to whip up, you can make them in only five minutes. And if you’re pressed for time, you don’t even really have to bake them, because they are so great raw. So, all it takes is five minutes to mix up the batter, and then however long it takes you to eat them (should really be only a few minutes, if you have a group of hungry party guests). Instant happiness!

Feel free to sub the honey for agave, although you might want to cut down the amount just a tiny bit depending on how sweet you want the cookies to be.

Honey Lavender Hazelnut Cookies Ingredients:

2 cups hazelnut flour (you can grind up whole hazelnuts if you need to)
1 cup honey, or 3/4 cup agave
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. dried lavender

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the hazelnut flour, honey/agave, salt, vanilla, and lavender in a large bowl. Mix until smooth (you can do this by hand or in a food processor).
Eat raw, or roll the dough into 3/4-inch balls and place on pan. Lightly press the down so they get a little flatter.
Bake until firm to the touch, about 20 minutes.

Under The Sea

Ariel: [singing] Up where they walk / Up where they run / Up where they stay all day in the sun / Wanderin’ free / Wish I could be / Part of that world…

In the midst of wedding cake preparation craze, I have baked a sweet treat to take to my friends Kate and Lesley’s birthday party. And, more miraculously, I have found the time to take pictures and post them with a recipe for you, before the event! I am never this timely with my posts, sometimes waiting days or even weeks before posting the recipe and pictures. However, somehow I have managed to get these uploaded onto the computer and they’re itching to get to your screens, eyes, kitchens, ovens, and finally into your mouths and bellies.

The party is taking place at a local lake (okay, okay, so “Under The Lake” would probably be a more correct title for this post…), and I know these fabulous women from my elementary teaching credential program, so it seems like a fitting occasion to bust out my Little Mermaid cupcake wrappers and crack a few smiles when I deliver them tomorrow! Hopefully, the cupcakes will also crack a few smiles on my friends’ faces and in their tummies – one of them is gluten-free, so these cupcakes are too. A crunchy rich Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcake topped with a Cream Cheese Vanilla Bean Frosting, and extra toasted hazelnut crumbs sprinkled on top…Well, I can’t imagine a better birthday dessert!

Scuttle: It’s a dinglehopper. Humans use these little babies… to straighten their hair out. See? Just a little twirl here and a yank there and voila. You’ve got an aesthetically pleasing configuration of hair that humans go nuts over.

Ariel: Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? / Wouldn’t ya think my collection’s complete / Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl / Girl who has everything / Look at this trove, treasures untold / How many wonders can one cavern hold? / Looking around you’d think / Sure, she’s got everything / I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty / I have whoozits and whatzis galore / You want thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty / But who cares? No big deal / I want more.

I have a few reliable fall-back gluten-free cake recipes that I always use. However, I wanted to add a hazelnut twist to a chocolate cupcake, and to do that I wanted to add both hazelnut meal (to get a little crunch) and hazelnut butter (to disburse and reinforce the flavor). I had to change the amount of liquid, oil, and flours to accommodate for the nut butter addition to the recipe, and I honestly wasn’t sure what was going to happen when I put these babies into the oven. When I was finally brave enough (and couldn’t stand the suspense anymore!) I peeked into the oven…and the cupcakes had risen beautifully, created lovely cracked tops, and didn’t show any signs of sinking down middle syndrome! They are a little dense because of the hazelnut butter, but dense in a good way, if you know what I mean. Like, nutella-dense. Mmm.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcake Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract
1/3 cup hazelnut butter
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 Tblsp. ground flax seed
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup toasted hazelnut meal
1/3 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/2 tsp. xantham gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Pre-heat your oven to 350º F. Place cupcake wrappers in a muffin tin. Set aside.

Measure out your almond milk into a medium sized bowl, and add the vinegar. Mix vigorously, and set aside to curdle. Once it is curdled, add the oil, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract and mix to combine.

In a large bowl, sift the tapioca flour, cocoa powder, sorghum flour, quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the xantham gum, flax seed, and hazelnut meal. Stir together so everything is evenly distributed.

Create a well in the dry ingredients, and pour the wet mix into it. Mix with an electric mixer, or by hand with a whisk until there are no lumps. Because this is a gluten-free recipe, you don’t have to worry about mixing too much. Once there are no more lumps, add the hazelnut butter by the spoonful, and continue mixing until the batter reaches a smooth consistency.

Fill your cupcake tins about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Sebastian: Ariel, please! Will you get your head out of the clouds and back in the water where it belongs?

Look at these beautiful brown toasty hazelnuts:

Ariel: I’ve never seen a human this close before. Oh… he’s very handsome, isn’t he?
[Scuttle looks at the dog and scratches his neck]
Scuttle: I don’t know, he looks kind of hairy and slobbery to me.
Ariel: No, not that one. The one playing the snarfblatt.

Cream Cheese Vanilla Bean Frosting Ingredients:

1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine, room temperature
1/2 cup Earth Balance shortening, room temperature
3/4 cup Tofutti Cream Cheese, room temperature
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste

Beat the margarine, shortening, and cream cheese together with an electric mixer. When you have a smooth, fluffy consistency, add the vanilla bean paste and confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time. Mix until fully combined. Add more sugar if you want a thicker frosting, but be aware that it can get quite sweet quickly!

I piped the frosting directly onto the cupcakes, and then sprinkled some extra hazelnut meal on top to make a pretty addition, as well as add some extra flair and crunch to every bite.

Sebastian: Down here all the fish is happy / As off to the waves they roll / The fish on the land ain’t happy / They sad ’cause they in the bowl / But fish in the bowl is lucky / They in for a worser fate / One day when the boss get hungry…
Fish: Guess who gonna be on the plate?

Hazelnut Shortbread

A few months ago, I made a Nutella Cake for my friend Becca’s birthday. I also made her Hazelnut Nutella Sandwich Cookies that I decorated the cake with, and that she could give out to friends to celebrate. I posted the recipe for the cake, but never for the cookies! Very bad blogging behavior. I’ve been getting a few requests for this cookie recipe, and I decided it was about time I responded, just in time for holiday festivity baking. This is a pretty standard shortbread dough, with ground hazelnuts mixed into the batter. You can eat them plain, dip them in dark chocolate, or sandwich them with whatever your favorite spread is – I used a vegan nutella that I had, but any chocolate, vanilla, or even fruit spread would pair well. Enjoy!

Hazelnut Shortbread Ingredients:

2/3 cup Earth Balance, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped or ground*

*I often put my nuts in the food processor, and grind until they are nearly a flour – but not so much that they turn into paste/butter-like consistency.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.
Combine Earth Balance and sugar in a large bowl. Cream the mixture together until light and fluffy.
Add 2 1/4 cups of the flour and mix until blended. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup flour by the tablespoonful as needed to make a smooth dough.
Stir in the hazelnuts until incorporated.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Pat it into an oblong shape, then roll it out with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of 1/2 inch.
Using a knife, cut the dough into 2 1/2-in squares, or use whatever cookie cutter shape you want!
Using a lightly floured metal spatula, lift the cookies and slide them off onto the prepared pans, placing them at least 1 inch apart.
Bake on the 2 middle racks of the oven for 15 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cookies are light golden brown.
Let cool completely on the baking sheets, set on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Vegan Nutella Cake and Hazelnut Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

IMG_1276#2

For Becca’s birthday I made her something that I knew she would love. I’ve been planning it for awhile, knowing that her birthday coincided with her first day of classes (she’s starting school to become an American Sign Language interpreter!). She wanted me to make her something that she could take with her, to celebrate her birthday with her new classmates. Since she has to commute, she needed something easy to pack and carry, so it was easy to decide to make sandwich cookies. But, you can’t have a birthday without a birthday cake, and I made her a cake to match her cookies. I know that Becca loves nuts, especially hazelnuts, so that had to be included in the recipes. The cake I made had three layers of Vanilla Sponge Cake, with a rich Hazelnut Creme in between each layer. Mmm. And then the whole cake was smothered in vegan Nutella Buttercream Frosting.

I sandwiched together the Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies with a dark vegan Nutella cream in the middle. Because she’s studying ASL, I made them in the shape of hands! Aren’t they cute? I put some of them around the outside of her cake for extra decoration, and to unify the two birthday desserts.

IMG_1347#2

I’ve had a request for the Nutella Cake recipe, so I’m going to do my best to post it here. Unfortunately, the vegan nutella itself was not homemade, so I can’t share a brilliant recipe for that with you. In Holland, they have vegan nutella (not the brand name variety) stocked in all grocery stores. When I went there this summer, I couldn’t resist bringing back a few jars with me. I’ve already nearly run out – I wish I could just go back and get some more but the fact that I just started graduate school means that I just don’t have the time (or the money, let’s be honest). If you don’t have the luck to have been in Holland recently, you can find a recipe for vegan nutella here, it looks delicious!

The cake itself was a vanilla Sponge Cake from Hannah Kaminsky‘s cookbook My Sweet Vegan.* She uses it as a base for her Green Tea Tiramisu. I just doubled the recipe for cake batter and baked it in three 9-inch round pans. It is a delicious recipe; a dense (but not heavy) golden cake that certainly holds it’s own –  it’s sweet and bright flavor makes it easy to adapt since it pretty much supports any flavor you want it to. I’d say it actually brings out more complex flavors in whatever you combine it with. It would be great with a light fruit sauce or jam spread on it, but since this was going to be a birthday cake, I had to make it rich! I made a Hazelnut Creme to go in between the layers, and then made a more traditional vegan Buttercream that I then added the vegan nutella to. The recipes for the spreads are below. If you can’t find hazelnut butter in your grocery store, you can buy regular hazelnuts or filburts and roast them in your oven till they are lightly toasted. Grind them in a food processor until they reach a smooth peanut butter consistency.

*If you don’t have Hannah’s cookbook, you could use your favorite golden vanilla cake recipe and it would be just fine. And I stress just fine. Your cake will still be delicious and hazelnutty and totally satisfying! But, if you want a drop-dead-perfect birthday-celebratory cake, go out and buy Hannah’s cookbook because this cake is GREAT and so is the whole book! You’ll be finding excuses to bake her desserts all the time!

Hazelnut Creme Ingredients:
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
1 cup hazelnut butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 Tblsp. plain unsweetened almond milk (or a little more)

Cream Earth Balance with electric beaters in a medium sized bowl. Add the hazelnut butter and combine thoroughly. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar, beating in between additions until fluffy. Add the almond milk very slowly while continuing to beat with electric beaters, until creme has reached a spreadable consistency.

Vegan Nutella Buttercream Frosting:
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
1/4 cup vegan shortening (I use Earth Balance brand)
3/4-1 cup vegan nutella/chocolate-hazelnut spread (to taste)
1 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 Tblsp. plain unsweetened almond milk

Cream Earth Balance and shortening with electric beaters in a medium sized bowl. Add the nutella and continue beating. Add the confectioner’s sugar and flour, and beat until fluffy. Add the almond milk and combine thoroughly. Spread on top of cooled stacked cakes.

Hazelnut Shortbread on FoodistaHazelnut Shortbread


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