Deconstructed Nutella Biscotti

Imagine for a moment that rich, creamy, chocolate-hazelnut spread you find nestled in the centre of a Ferrero Rocher. 

Now imagine a jar full of it. 

Ah, Nutella. 

I know it’s marketed as a breakfast food (!), but let’s be honest with each other: do you really just spread Nutella on toast? Or do you sometimes grab a spoon and eat it unadulterated, straight from the jar? Yeah, me too. 

Sadly, I don’t think the world is ready for us to start eating spoonfuls of Nutella in public just yet. So in the mean time, I’ll recommend these:

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Deconstructed Nutella biscotti.

By deconstructed, all I mean is that we’ve taken chocolate and hazelnuts - the ingredients that are blended together to give Nutella it’s characteristic Nutella-y flavour - and have left them, well, unblended

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The result: a crunchy little cookie studded with enough dark chocolate and toasted hazelnuts that you’ll definitely think “Nutella”, with the upside that you won’t draw any disapproving stares. Hungry stares, maybe.

Luckily the recipe makes lots. 

Chocolate + Hazelnut Biscotti
Adapted from allrecipes
Makes roughly three dozen 

Ingredients
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil (not extra virgin, unless you want the olive oil flavour to come through)
¾ cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
2 eggs
⅔ semi-sweet or bitterswee.t chocolate or chocolate chips*
1½ cups toasted hazelnuts**

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.

2. Coarsely chop chocolate and hazelnuts with a serrated knife (it cuts chocolate the best!). Mix in a small bowl and set aside. 

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3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, mix oil and sugar until well-blended. Add extracts and eggs to sugar mixture, and beat until smooth.

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4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until flour is almost fully incorporated. Add chocolate and hazelnuts and mix until fully incorporated. Don’t be afraid to use your hands here! 

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5. On a baking sheet lined with parchment (I used a Silpat), shape dough into two logs roughly 12 inches by 2 inches. If dough is sticking to your hands, wet your hands with cool water. Bake logs for 35-40 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. 

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6. Let logs cool on pan for 10 minutes, and then cut on a diagonal into 3/4-1 inch slices. Lay slices on baking sheet, cut side facing up. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until biscotti are lightly browned. Cool, store in an airtight container, and enjoy with a cup of coffee or a shot of espresso. Or, you know, with a bit of Nutella. 

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Notes
*If you’re big on chocolate, I think you could safely bump this up to a full cup. 
*To toast, spread on a baking sheet and toast in a 350ºF oven for 10 minutes or until nuts are fragrant and turning golden, stirring halfway through. Also note that hazelnut skins can be bitter, so you may want to buy hazelnuts with the skins removed. You can also remove the skins yourself. After you’ve removed the nuts from the oven, wrap them in a dishtowel. Wait 5 minutes, then rub hazelnuts together while they’re still in the towel. This should remove most of the skins, but don’t worry if you don’t get all of them. 

Fun Facts (nice!) 
- It’s no wonder Nutella and Ferrero Rocher taste so similar - they’re both made by Ferrero
- February 5th is World Nutella Day, a day when Nutella lovers across the globe share recipes featuring or inspired by their beloved spread. I bet a lot of people also enjoyed a spoonful of the stuff straight from the jar. 
- While I’ve got you thinking about cookies inspired by a spread, why not check out this article about a controversial little spread made from cookies? (And yes, you heard me correctly. It’s a spread. Made from cookies.)

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