Tuesday, July 3, 2012

BWJ - Hazelnut biscotti



It seems that the poor old hazelnut is a much unloved nut, having regard to the comments on this week's Tuesday with Dorie/Baking with Julia forum.  I had never given it much thought, as hazelnuts are nuts like any other to me, and I rather like them.  But there you go - for this week's Baking with Julia recipe, Hazelnut Biscotti, hosted by  Jodi of Homemade and Wholesome and Katrina of Baking and Boys, you will see many variations and substitutions, so that non-filbert-o-philes can still make it.

This recipe taught me a new way of skinning hazelnuts - by boiling them with bicarbonate of soda for a few minutes then running them under cold water.  It is a pretty neat technique, and much easier and cleaner than roasting them off.

The skinned hazelnuts are then toasted in the oven, before being chopped and added to the easy peasy biscotti dough.  Alice Medrich's original recipe included Frangelico in the dough - I used Kahlua instead, because that is what I had to hand.

I was pleasantly surprised by these biscotti - normally I am not a fan, but this recipe made the nicest biscotti I have ever tasted.   Normally, I find eating biscotti rather like chewing on bits of old cardboard, but these were tasty.

To see what the other BWJ members thought of these biscotti, and for the variations they chose, visit the LYL section of the website.

27 comments:

Blond Duck said...

Yum! Is that baking soda?

Cindy said...

Thanks for your positive comment. I to love hazelnuts but have never made biscotti for reasons stated. Maybe I'll give it a try. It's still Monday on the west coast--I have plenty of time.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What an interesting technique with the hazelnuts! I must give that a go :) Do you know how much bicarb you would use?

Cher Rockwell said...

I have to admit, I was surprised by the anti-hazel sentiment. Who knew?
These look great.
I skipped the skinning step, but glad to hear it was so simple!

Elaine said...

Your biscotti look perfect. I also enjoy hazelnuts and was happy to use them for this recipe. It is a keeper.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Lorraine, Alice said to use three tablespoons - I only used one tablespoon and boiled them for the allotted three minutes, and it worked just fine.

Sweet and That's it said...

Julia's biscotti is amazingly delicious... a winner!
I've tripled the dough at the very beginning to make 3 version and loved them all (too much)!

Besides I am so glad to have learned the technique of blanching almonds and hazelnuts...it's very handy!

PS: 1 Tbsp of Baking soda was fine for me, too.

Kari said...

Hazlenuts are actually one of my favourite nuts! It's cashews I find a bit...well, bleugh. This looks great :)

baker in disguise said...

Its not so much of anti-hazelnut sentiment but we dont find them eaisly here in India.. and yes this recipe won me over too!!

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen said...

The fact that they have kahlua make your biscotti a winner in my dictionary! They turned out great

smarkies said...

your biscotti look picture perfect! well done!

sanya said...

These really were tasty! I've never really been a biscotti fan either, but I'm already planning to make these again with different fillings!

Cakelaw said...

Duckie, it's biscotti, but it contains baking soda.

Jodie said...

I was surprised how many people don't like hazelnuts. I think they're yummy in desserts! Your sound and look delicious!

mireia badia said...

They look great, I'm not the biggest fan but I did enjoy them too!!

Cathy B. said...

Your biscotti look great. I'm not sure why there's no love for hazelnuts among TWDers. I really like them, even if they are a pain to skin.

Mary Hirsch said...

Did you bake this before leaving for the USA? Nice job no matter where you made these. I like hazelnuts but I especially like the basic recipe to which anything can be added. Travel safely.

Tomato Thymes said...

Your biscotti look great and BTW, I am a lawyer who also likes to cook.
Lisa

loavesandstitches said...

We liked these as well. They look great!

Gloria said...

love biscottis!!!

Teresa said...

We like hazelnuts, but we decided to go a different route with ours. The hazelnut version looks great, though, glad they are an exception to your biscotti rule.

Kathy said...

Hazelnuts are one of my favorites!! I thought these biscotti were quite good, too! Yours look perfect…glad you enjoyed them!

Johanna GGG said...

I agree about biscotti and hazelnuts - biscotti dry and hard, hazelnuts great (after all they gave us nutella)

yummychunklet said...

I skipped this one because I haven't been in a cookie mood lately. I'll definitely have to try them now!

Betsy said...

I like hazelnuts too. I was surprised by the "anti" sentiment. Glad you liked these. I know I did. I also love this way of skinning the nuts.

Marlise said...

I'm glad you liked them. They certainly were easy enough to make. Good job!

Kayte said...

These look really nice and pretty. I have to confess, though, that I share your sentiment of biscotti and don't really care for them, but these made you a believer, right? Hmmm...might have to reconsider. Mostly around here people dunk biscotti into their coffee and eat them that way...I am not a coffee drinker and I'm not a dunker in general so I never really just got onboard the whole biscotti train, but you think these are good, so maybe I should give them a try sometime. Yours look beautiful.