Brutti e buoni: hazelnut cookies ugly but delicious !
This is another recipe from my childhood. In Italy there are several versions of this cookie. Some are more rustic, some more refined, but all are very nutty and have a bit of a crunch.
I am completely in love with the flavor of hazelnut, especially toasted. It just flashes me back to age 4, when we had a restaurant and bar, and in the bar was a small gumball machine that sold roasted hazelnuts instead of candy (that was my candy!)….
You could buy pre-roasted hazelnuts for this recipe, but the best nutritional value will come from raw hazelnuts, soaked for a few hours and then dried in a low oven or dehydrator overnight. After drying them, lightly roast them in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes. Let cool before grinding.
For this recipe I broke my rules and used some sugar. The sugar I choose to use is a sustainably harvested coconut sugar.
Is coconut sugar good or bad for me?
Coconut Sugar is a type of sugar extracted from the sap of the coconut plant
. As it is an unrefined sugar it still contains minerals like Iron, Potassium and Zinc, antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids and has a glycemic index of around 35, which makes it a relatively low GI food.
A study form the state of Trinidad shows the nutritional content and glycemic index of coconut sugar and syrup.
With all this said, coconut sugar is still a sugar, and should be used in extreme moderation. I usually advocate the use of NO sugar at all, but I also realize that in our modern world is very difficult to completely eliminate it from the diet. Coconut sugar and raw local honey are the best alternative when a little sweet is required. I also use Stevia occasionally, although the flavor is not always compatible with a recipe.
Which coconut sugar should I buy?
I recommend Wholesome Sweeteners brand of coconut sugar for a couple of reasons: Number one: sustainability! Number two: Never GMO! Number three: BPA-free packaging!
- To make hazelnut flour just put about 4 cups of hazelnuts into a food processor and grind until a semi-fine texture is achieved. The texture of the cookies can vary from fine to coarse and chunky, it depends on personal preference.
- Let the butter soften at room temperature.
- Add all the ingredients to the food processor bowl and mix together until it starts forming a dough-like ball.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop little balls of dough onto a table-spoon and place on the cookie sheet.
- the shape should not be too smooth, so they can turn out "ugly"!
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Let cool before removing from parchment paper.
This recipe was featured on Healing with Food Friday