I'm not a honey cake type of a girl. Never have been, never will be. For me, everytime I try honey cake, the only thing I taste is: dry or burnt. Is it just me? Still, this time of year, I tryy to keep with tradition and serve a honey-inspired dessert. Then I came up with these. Based on a classic Italian cookie (traditionally made with honey and almonds), I combined ground hazlenuts, whole hazelnuts and golden honey to created the most addictive, perfectly sweet, and delicious biscotti- only its not a biscotti, because it is baked just once. What do I love about these beauties? They are easy to make, freeze well, and make the most lovely rosh hashana gifts- you know I am all about gifting food.
Hazelnut & Honey Joy Cookies
Makes 2-3 dozen
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts, roasted and skinned
2 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water
Seeds from half a vanilla bean pod OR 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven 350. Use an electric mixer to combine the sugar, both hazelnuts, flour, baking powder, baking soda, honey and water. Stir in the vanilla. Use your hands to form into 2 seperate mounds. Roll one mound out onto a table, so it resembles a snake, about 12-inches long and 2-inches wide. Repeat with the second mound. Place both "snakes' on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 3-inches apart from one another. use your fingertips to press down on the dough to flatten it so it is more rectangular in shape than round. Pinch a trail of cinnamon all along the center of the dough as pictured below. Bake in oven, about 20 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Use a sharp knife to slice the logs horizontally into biscotti. No need to bake a second time. They are ready to enjoy!