The intensity and texture of these hazelnuts are unlike anything I have ever tasted. True, Italian hazelnut butter, chocolates, and Nutella is life changing!
Most of the hazelnuts from Italy's northern region of Piedmont are made into confections like Nutella. But, there are around 3,000-6,000 tons of hazelnuts produced each year in the region. Unlike other tree nuts, these have strictly controlled planting requirements, the growers are allowing the nuts to fall off the tree for collection to allow for maximum ripening and flavor. Because of this special care, these nuts are extremely high in oleic fatty acids, which are a natural part of the 'Mediterranean' diet.
It has been my goal ever since I tasted these magical nuggets to bring them into the shop and now we have them! Please stop by for a sample. If you make your own nut butters or want to stay away from the artificial ingredients and palm oil that is in mass-produced Nutella, I recommend you give these a try.
Here's a gluten free recipe that we love: Brutti ma Buoni ("Ugly but Good") Cookies
- 1 egg white
- Pinch of Salt
- 1/3 cup plus 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
- 2/3 cups Hazelnuts
For the Cookies:
Pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat the egg white and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold in the sugar and nuts.
Spoon the batter on the baking sheet with a teaspoon or a tablespoon (it depends on how big you want your cookies) about 2inches apart.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.
Store the ugly but good cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.