If I had to save one nut

August 18th, 2008, by Francesca

If I could save only one kind of nut from extinction, it would be hazelnuts, and I wouldn't even have to think about it. I've never met a hazelnut I didn't like, period. They can come in any form, hiding in mashed potatoes, crusted around a trout, homogenized in gelato, as the main ingredient in biscotti and cakes… I love them all.

So when I saw a recipe for hazelnut biscotti on one of the food blogs I check more or less regularly (Fior di zucca), I had to try it. The recipe is super easy, conveniently given both in English and Italian, and the biscottini came out fragrant and delicious.

I replaced the whole hazelnuts with hazelnut meal, since I had it handy, but that shouldn't make any difference since the recipe calls for grinding hazelnuts. The only real difference is that they should be peeled and my hazelnut meal includes ground skin. Those of you who've been around here for a while, know that I like rustic dishes more than super-licked "creations" and won't be surprised that I actually prefer this version. Hey, does that count as fiber?

I still haven't decided if I prefer the biscotti with or without powdered sugar.

By the way, anybody has suggestions on how to store biscotti (cookies)?

5 Responses to “If I had to save one nut”

  1. MaryjoO Says:
    I imagine you store them in a tin -- we make long biscotti all the time but they have to be stored by themselves if you want the "crunch" to stay, otherwise they get soft. I usually just keep them in the freezer. I think the love of hazelnuts you have is from being a "European." LOL I too love them, but my husband couldn't care less. I have wonderful childhood memories of delicious hazelnut cakes, and the Esterhazy (I think that's the one) cake I would kill for. Europeans eat Nutella (chocolate and hazelnut "peanut" butter) as many times a day that they can get away with LOL. Hazelnuts are also not nearly as expensive in Europe as they are in the US. I also happen to think they are a beautiful looking nut. My husband loves pine nuts -- Italian enough? LOL (he has French and Italian in his background)
  2. stephanie s Says:
    i know you are supposed to keep them sealed air-tight - but i can't say that they ever last long enough for me to have to worry.... i might make those today they look so good. my mom is from and area in oregon where they grow hazelnuts and my dad loved them, so they were always big players in my house growing up... i love them too.
  3. Peggy Says:
    Thanks so much for posting about these biscotti. I made them too (happened to have a bag of hazelnuts in the cupboard) and they came out with a wonderfully delicate crumb. I store cookies in layers of parchment paper (usually same parchment I used to bake them on, unless they're a gift) in a tin. I myself cannot decide between almonds and pecans, but hazelnuts are wonderful too.
  4. Sylvia Says:
    Hazelnuts taste vaguely wrong to me. They smell right, but perhaps I am more of an almond person? DD loves them, though, and currently has a carton of hazelnut sorbet in the frig.
  5. Ava Says:
    Thanks for the recipe, Francesca. I love hazelnuts too. Perhaps Sylvia would prefer hazelnuts if they were toasted? I think most nuts benefit from a little toasting. I agree that tin might be the best way to keep them crisp, or cellophane bags if you can find them. I have a heretical question: have you tried substituting Splenda for sugar in any baked goods? Did the product taste good?

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