So many macarons available these day are just plain bad. Cracked shells with air bubbles. Fillings that taste like nothing. And still carrying two or three dollar a cookie price tags. The solution, in my mind, is simple: only buy really great macarons when out, and satisfy my craving at home.
'hazelnuts' on Serious Eats
This super moist cake is full of ground toasted hazelnuts and swathed in a glossy dark espresso ganache. Panko crumbs and beaten egg whites keep the crumb light.
The ice cream is richer, more chocolatey, and way more hazelnutty than plain Nutella.
This end-of-summer tart is just what you're looking for at the end of a satisfying summer supper. Enjoy it topped with whipped cream or alongside a glass of sherry or port.
Adapted from her Portland based dessert truck and namesake cookbook, The Sugar Cube, these cookies gain a wonderfully nutty richness due to the high oil content of the hazelnuts. The cookies bake up thin, crisp, and totally awesome, especially when finished with a pinch of crunchy fleur de sel.
Most people who visit Siena, Italy, load their suitcases with bottles of the local Chianti or liters of cheap Tuscan olive oil. They come home wearing souvenir t-shirts adorned with pictures of the Palio, a medieval-style horse race that runs through the town's main square. Not me. All three times I left those city walls, my bags were packed to the brim with Panforte, a dense, spiced fruit and nut cake. A slice of Panforte makes a great energizing, healthy breakfast.
Obviously the hardest part about moving to a new city is saying goodbye to your family and friends. What I forgot to anticipate when I left New York was the sadness I'd feel over missing those people in my life who I saw on a regular basis, and liked a great deal, but would never call to say hi. Take the women who work at Amy's Bread in the West Village.
I'm a jam-a-holic. I eat it with a spoon, straight from the jar. It's more or less my go-to snack, which is why I have at least six flavors on hand at any one time. Current favorites include Stonewall Kitchen's Holiday Jam, which is a pear based jam flavored with a little orange liqueur and Christmas spices, and Bluechair's Blackberry Greengage Jam, which tastes like summer, preserved.
This cake, with its tiers of moist chocolate cake refreshed with hazelnut liqueur and airy drifts of chocolate, Nutella, and toasted hazelnut mousse, transports me the memory of a small bowl of Baci in the living room.
After using my culinary time machine to rip a hole in the fabric of the kitchen space-time continuum, I visited an alternate universe where I discovered Brown Butter Soft Batch Cookies. The responsible time/dimensional traveler would have turned back; patched up the rift and come home straight away. And I promise, I'll do just that. But as long as we're here, I want one more souvenir. You see, I discovered the alternate-universe's Nutella, like peanut butter, comes in both crunchy and creamy.
In her latest cookbook Nuts in the Kitchen Susan Herrmann Loomis describes the Heavenly Chocolate Hazelnut Spread as the "chunky" version of Nutella. Um, sold.