This is my comeback post. I hope this makes up for the absence (:

Recipe first. I loooove biscotti! Is so easy, so fancy and guilt free. I only say that because it rarely has any fat, so is lower in calorie than most cookies. But still, it can be just as delicious and pretty. This one is Pumpkin & Caramelized Hazelnuts Biscotti. Only I made it with butternut squash instead of pumpkin. I have a SERIOUS obsession with those things. Specially when they’re all small and cute. I can’t walk past them in the vegetable section without giggling uncontrollably and reaching for one. Or two. I just adore them, but now I have to come up with things to do with them before they go bad. You won’t miss the pumpkin in these, trust me, they are incredible!

I followed Simply Recipes’ recipe. Mainly because it is really simple  (recipe, simple? I swear that was totally unintentional) and pretty much every other recipe I found was based on that one. It worked out perfectly and I think the hazelnuts are such an amazing and seasonal addition. And caramelizing them? Best. Idea. Ever. Crunchy, toasty, buttery, fragant…I don’t know how to describe my love for hazelnuts either. I have a weird love for a lot of food items. Is a problem I tell you…

Anyway, I also used brown sugar instead of white because…everything is better with brown sugar. Oh, and don’t you DARE to even think about using unsalted butter when caramelizing the nuts. Is a SIN!…Okay you can use unsalted if is all you have, but please make sure to add a sprinkling of salt when melting the sugar. Trust me here ,yes? Please? Just a kiss of salt makes everything so much better. Everybody loved this and it was done in a pinch. Try it!

Caramelized Hazelnuts

Recipe by me

1 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted. (You can remove the skins if you’d like)

1/3 cup of white sugar

1 TBSP of salted butter (or use unsalted and add a big pinch when melting the sugar)

Get ready a greased cookie sheet or a large piece of parchment paper.

Throw the sugar in a pan heat over medium to high heat. The sugar will start to melt in the middle. Push the sugar around the sides to the center a little, and then swirl the pan around  to give all the sugar a chance to melt. You do not want to stir at this point or you can create sugar cristals that are hard to melt. Depending on your liking here you can let the sugar cook  to a light golden or a darker amber color. I like it really dark, just before it starts to burn and become bitter. At this point, throw in the tablespoon of butter, stirring quickly and then pour the hazelnuts, stirring to coat them all. Working quickly, pour the whole thing in the parchment paper (or greased cookie sheet) and spread in one layer. Let it cool until it hardens significantly.

At this point, depending on your use for the hazelnuts, you can break it into pieces and eat as candy, grind them in a food processor to make a nice hazelnut praline, or chop them roughly to use in desserts (like the biscotti)

Pumpkin & Caramelized Hazelnuts Biscotti

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 batch of caramelized hazelnuts, chopped.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Give it a rough stir to  combine the ingredients, the dough will be crumbly. Add the chopped hazelnuts and try to incorporate them too.

Flour your hands and a clean kitchen surface and lightly knead the dough. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into a large log, roughly about 15-20 inches by 6-7 inches. Bake for 22-30 minutes at 350ºF, until the center is firm to the touch. (

Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then using a serrated knife cut into 1 inch wide pieces. Turn the oven to 300ºF and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.

And now this song…oh god. It makes me heart curl up and twist. I don’t know if that makes any sense but the lyrics and so, so beautiful. I’ve cried several times just listening to it. And this dance choreographed by Emily Shock does it so much justice. Heartbreaking in the best way.

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