Monday, April 7, 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Pizzelles

It seems like we haven't baked cookies in a really long time. I definitely have not made pizzelles in a really long time. We didn't even make them at Christmas time, the first time in 6 or 7 years that we haven't made pizzelles at Christmas time. Suddenly this past weekend, I wanted, I needed pizzelles. But not just ordinary pizzelles. Special pizzelles. A new flavor of pizzelle. Chocolate Hazelnut Pizzelles.
The last time we made chocolate pizzelles, it was a disaster. The recipe called for chopped chocolate in addition to cocoa powder, but the chopped chocolate wasn't melted, it went into the dough as little bits of chocolate. Those little bits got all melty and sticky and gooey in the pizzelle maker. The pizzelles stuck. It was a mess of stuck pizzelle, pried off bits flying around the kitchen, melty chocolate smears everywhere... I've never seen SP so annoyed in the kitchen. What was salvaged tasted horrible. Not at all pizzelle like.
The advantage here: no chocolate bits, just cocoa powder. But there are finely ground hazelnuts. I was a little worried about how the nuts would fare in the pizzelle maker.
You can see the little hazelnut bits in the dough. We ground them in the food processor, but they still weren't super fine. We definitely coated the pizzelle maker with oil - one time I skipped that initial brushing of oil step and regretted it. This time, instead of brushing on vegetable oil, we sprayed Pam cooking spray onto the maker.
Success! No sticking! These are yummy. In addition to the cocoa powder and hazelnuts, there is a bit of cinnamon in the dough. You can taste all three flavors and the nut bits blend right in - there's not a discernible crunch of nut even though the ground hazelnuts were not as fine as almonds when we grind them in the food processor.
In our experience, pizzelles taste better as they age. One Christmas we made Cappuccino Pizzelles and for the first 1-2 days, I was kind of disappointed in the weak flavors. But then, they started to 'age' and all the flavors started to shine through and they were amazing. I am hoping the same thing happens with these pizzelles. They were really good yesterday, the day we made them, and they're still really good today (of course I had to have one after lunch!), lots of hazelnut flavor, a hint of cinnamon, nice pizzelle texture and crispness, a wee hint of cocoa. But since I remember how much those Cappuccino Pizzelles improved with age I can't help but hope these get even better after a couple of days!

Also, they're really good with some Nutella spread on top, which is how I ate one last night.
Recipe here. Scroll down to Pizzelle with Hazelnuts.

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