I always seem to have little stashes of nuts that I find tucked away in the very back crevices of my cabinets. Leftovers from baklava, stir-fry, or cookies, they’re normally little more than ½ a cup just hanging out in a baggie or plastic container. I try my best to gather them up to sprinkle on salads before they go rancid. Sometimes if I’m feeling really fancy, I will chop and throw them into rustic bread.
Last week I found some leftover Hazelnuts and knew these needed to be used for something special. I love Hazelnut’s sweet, buttery flavor. They contain the same type of mono-saturated fat that olives do, so they’re one of the healthier nuts you can eat. And because when roasted, their flavor increases, you don’t need a lot of Hazelnuts to impart their rich flavor.
I thought I’d use them in Biscotti, since nothing says Sunday morning to me better than a cup of black tea flecked with ground hazelnuts. Biscotti, which means “twice baked,” are the perfect accompaniment to a piping hot cup tea. Originally, Biscotti biscuits were baked two times so they would be dry and less perishable for long journeys. They were actually a staple food of the Roman Legions. Today, I love how dunking chunks of the biscuits in my drink softens them right up.
To help balance the nutty flavor of the Hazelnuts, I’ve tossed in some chopped Sour Cherries. Their tannic flavor works well with the milky Hazelnuts. While making Biscotti can take longer than normal biscuits, they store well in the freezer. I hope when you’re enjoying them one lazy Sunday morning, you’ll find these Biscotti worth the effort.
- ½ Cup of Chopped Hazelnuts
- ½ Cup of Chopped Dried Sour Cherries
- 1 Cup of Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour
- ⅔ Cup of Torbano Sugar
- ½ Teaspoon of Baking Powder
- Pinch of Salt
- 3 Large Eggs
- 2 Egg Yokes
- 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 1 Egg, Beaten for Brushing
- Toast the Hazelnuts in a pan over medium heat until they are fragrant. Remove from heat, and set aside in bowl to cool.
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray a baking sheet with oil and lightly cover it with flour. Set the sheet aside for later.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the Flours, Sugar, Baking Powder, and Salt. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the 3 Large Eggs, 2 Egg Yokes, and Vanilla Extract. Add the eggs into the Flour mixture and mix together with a fork until just combined. Pour the Hazelnuts and Cherries into the bowl with the dough, and using your hands, knead them evenly into the dough.
- Devide the dough into two equal parts, and make the shape of a wide log on the prepared baking sheet with each half. Lightly brush the tops of the logs with the remaining egg. Bake until the logs are firm, for about 35 minutes.
- Remove the logs from the oven and using oven mitts or kitchen towels, hold the logs, slicing them diagonally with a bread knife into 1 inch wide pieces. I like to do this on a cutting board so not to cut up my baking sheet. Once you have sliced up each log, place the pieces cut side facing up on the baking sheet. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until they are crisp.
- Remove Biscotti from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack. You can store the Biscotti for a week in an airtight container or freeze for 2 months. They make great hostess gifts in a tin with some tea as well.