EDIBLE HOLIDAY GIFT! HAZELNUT COFFEE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI
We’ve all been there… On December 23rd, you’re sitting at home, exhausted already and the holidays have only barely started yet. Even though everyone knows that Christmas happens on the same day every single year, maybe you haven’t started shopping. You had great intentions, though. You started with a list of people you need to get gifts for., you even made a budget. You told yourself: “This year will be different, I’ll be done my holiday shopping November 1st!” Yeah, riiiigght. Fast forward, December 23rd, you’re now at the mall and it’s just another example of humanity at its worst. Everyone is in the same boat as you, which is totally fine, but everyone is annoyed that everyone else is still shopping on the 23rd. Come on folks! Christmas is on the same day every year! When your stress level amps up, you can hardly think straight, let alone figure out what to buy for your secret Santa. You end up buying things you assume people may like, that are way past your initial budget (that you now purposefully ignore to look at because you know that it’s just going to make you feel worse). They’re not necessarily the most thoughtful gifts, but you have to get them something. Even if it’s crappy and you know they’ll never use it, it doesn’t matter at this point because it’s 9:05pm, the stores have been closed for 5 minutes, and the cashier just really wants you to leave so she can clock out. Anyways, you know the drill. I am having way too much fun with this…
I swear, I’m not the Grinch. I love the holidays. I just decided a couple of years ago that I was done with this kind of giving. Instead, I offer everyone the… exact… same… thing! Hold on before you judge me. I give them home made edible gifts! I love researching recipes, tasting them… I even love picking the cutest ribbons and vintage looking scotch tape with festive patterns on it! Its like I’m a kid again, sitting on the floor with a very snuggly sweater on, doing arts and crafts. I’ll admit, it is a lot of time and effort to do all homemade presents, but I do think we need to be more mindful about how we give. How can you gift a little bit of yourself to the people around you? If you don’t have time to make anything, then no need to make a fuss. Instead of going shopping, just show up with a bottle of wine and give them a little bit of your undisturbed attention, even for a few hours. Time and love is even more precious.
HAZELNUT COFFEE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTIS
1 cup hazelnuts
375 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
50 g (1/2 cup) dutch processed cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
zest from 1 orange
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 double espresso shot or 2 tablespoons of very concentrated coffee
1 cup milk chocolate, roughly chopped
Heat the oven to 350°F. Spread the hazelnuts in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes, until fragrant and golden. Let them cool down for a few minutes and then, chop them roughly. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a big bowl with a hand mixer, on medium speed, cream the butter, sugar, salt and orange zest until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing for 30 seconds and scraping the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the espresso shot and the dry ingredients, then mix on low speed until just combined. With a spatula or your hands, fold in the roasted hazelnuts and chopped chocolate.
Line the baking sheet you used earlier with parchment paper and shape the dough into two logs about 5 cm wide, evenly spaced apart. Bake at 350°F for about 30-35 minutes, until the dough feels firm to the touch. Let it cool for 10-20 minutes. Cut each log in diagonal slices of about 2 cm in width. Lay the slices cut side down back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Flip the cookies and bake them for another 5 minutes.
Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks, if you can resist that long!
Hi! I’m Steph. Originally from Montréal, I moved to Toronto in 2015. I spend my days working at the most quaint Swedish coffee shop making cinnamon buns and adding cardamom to everything I bake. In this blog, I want to share with you recipes that remind me of home, travel stories filled with new food discoveries and the restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries I love to visit most in my new city.
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