Friday, October 9, 2015

Hazelnut cookies

You know how sometimes you set out to make whipped cream and you go for it with such enthusiasm that you get butter? Well, the same thing just happened to me with hazelnuts.
I wanted to make Chocolate and Zucchini's excellent cauliflower soup with hazelnuts and turmeric which I have made several times in the past. It is the perfect soup for a fall evening. Fragrant, exotic and yet low-key: spices, chicken stock, one onion, a humble cauliflower and a handful of hazelnuts.
When we were kids, hazelnuts abounded in my grandparents's yard in Normandy and in memory of the halcyon days of childhood, I bring back a bag each time I travel to the Northwest. Why, when I lived there, I sometimes even treated myself to hazelnut meal. Which is probably why I have lost my grinding touch.
Anyway I was trying to grind some Northwest hazelnuts into a fine powder as per Clotilde's instructions when, pff! they turned to butter. And chunky butter at that. Not good for my soup!
I tried another batch and this time I got an approximation of what I was looking for. I didn't dare grind the hazelnuts as fine as I would have liked. Still, the soup worked out. But I was left with hazelnut butter.
Too fancy for a weekday breakfast. Instead I made cookies for my one and only, using some of the soft winter wheat flour I buy at my local farmers' market whenever it is available. Butter by mistake, cookies by design! It could have been worse.

Ingredients: (for 18 cookies)
  • 85 g chunky hazelnut butter (any other chunky nut butter would probably do)
  • 80 g Jammu soft winter wheat flour (from Coke Farm in San Juan Bautista). I asked the farmer's dad whom I see at the market every week what Jammu refers to and he said it was the place in India the wheat variety originates from. Any whole-wheat pastry flour would work though
  • 40 g honey
  • 6 g hazelnut oil (optional, I think)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  1. Put everything into a bowl
  2. Mix with electric mixer until combined
  3. Roll into a roll
  4. Refrigerate until firm
  5. Slice and bake in 310°F convection oven for 15 minutes.

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