There are biscuits you make to impress people – the pretty kind, the indulgent kind, the kind that you look at and ooh and aah. These are clearly not those biscuits, these are the biscuits that you put into the nearest jar and share with a good friend over coffee and really good conversation. There is something extraordinarily comforting about the crunch of finely chopped hazelnuts toasted to nutty caramelly perfection and I can imagine them disappearing quickly over gossip with friends.
If you wanted to make these prettier looking you could do so with a little drizzle of chocolate or a dunk in Nutella and some nonpareils. Before gussying them up try them as they are just so you can truly appreciate just how something so simple can be so good.
Added perks? Great hazelnut taste without peeling and toasting hazelnuts AND they are eggless for those avoiding eggs.
These babies are from Alice Medrich’s book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy and so far most of the things that I have tried from this book have turned out well including these.
On another note, I am sorry for the lack of posts. A crazy combination of time away, failed photos, recipes that I came up with and forgot to write down has meant that I have been an absentee blogger. My instagram followers (@sarahjmir) know that for the most of it I have been cooking and baking away and will have lots to share with you in the coming weeks!
Makes 3 to 4 dozen 4-5 inch sticks
2/3 cup (3.33 oz) raw hazelnuts
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
Slightly rounded 1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp cold water
Line a loaf pan with foil and set aside. You will also need parchment lined baking sheets, but later.
Finely chop your hazelnuts. I bought the flaked kind so this was pretty quick for me.
Whisk together the dry ingredients and cube your cold butter. Now cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives until the butter is reduced to small pieces.
With the fingertips of both hands lightly toss and rub the mixture together until it resembles coarse meal. Combine the vanilla and water in a small cup. Stir the flour and butter mix with a fork while drizzling the vanilla water into the bowl. Continue to toss and stir lightly with the fork or your fingers until the dry ingredients are slightly damp. The dough should remain crumbly and stick together only when pinched.
Dump the mixture into the lined loaf and spread it evenly, pressing firmly to to make a compact layer. Wrap the dough and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
When you’re ready to bake preheat your oven to 350 and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap the dough and transfer it to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough crosswise into 1/4 inch or thinner slices. Carefully transfer them to a baking sheet.
Bake for 12-18 minutes until the cookies are golden with golden brown edges. Wait two minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
They are crunchiest once thoroughly cooled and keep well for several days.