Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Crackers

After brunch last week, Eugene and I brought my in-laws over to Chelsea Market. It was my mother-in-law's first time there, and we spent a lovely hour-or-so wandering through the market, dipping in and out of the shops.

One of my favorites there is Buon Italia. I love this place, as it reminds me of when I lived in Tuscany. I roam around the shop, reading the various Italian packaging and adding random things to my basket. Burrata. Mortadella. Roasted nuts. Chickpea flour.

This time I came across a bag of crispy chocolate hazelnut cookies. They were like biscotti, but sliced very thinly--no thicker than a deli slice of cheese. They looked irresistible, so I added them to my basket along with the other goodies.

These cookies were so good. Addictive. Crispy. A little bit sweet, but not too bad, with that perfect combination of hazelnut and dark chocolate. I ate one after another after another, until I realized that the bag would soon be empty.

And then I thought...I can make this!

They reminded me of the Fruit and Nut Crackers I made last year--tea loaves, sliced thinly and baked until crisp.

So I got in the kitchen & started mixing, only stopping when Eugene walked by and asked what I was doing.

"Already?!?" he exclaimed.

When I get an idea in my head, I just can't be stopped.

Sweet crackers really do need to become more of a thing. These are wonderful on their own. Eaten absentmindedly while leaning against the kitchen counter. Or more deliberately, spread with softened salty butter. You can dip them into teas. Sandwich them with peanut butter or cream cheese. Or serve them on a cheese plate.

(I actually meant to do the latter at my brunch party this weekend, but completely forgot. "More crackers for me," said Eugene when I remembered, hours after the guests had left.)

If you do make these (and you really should), I recommend making one or two of the loaves and leaving the others frozen for a future date when you've got guests coming over or craving a special snack.

Want more? Try my other favorite homemade cracker recipe


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Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Crackers
Makes about 80 crackers


Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg

1/2 cup brewed coffee (tip: use a hazelnut-flavored coffee if you have it!)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts



Directions

Generously grease 4 mini loaf pans or 2 regular loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.



Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, kosher salt in a bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, coffee, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix until evenly combined. Fold in the toasted hazelnuts.



Divide batter into prepared pans and bake 30-35 minutes until risen (these rise up very high!). Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for minimum of 3 hours, but ideally overnight.



When ready to bake, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Use a very sharp knife to slice thin, even slices and arrange on racks (the same kind you use to cool the cake). If you don't have racks, you can also use an unlined baking sheet, and flip the crackers halfway into the baking.

Bake 17-25 minutes, or until the crackers are crisp and shrink slightly--this will be determined by how thinly you sliced them. I suggest keeping an eye on them during the last 7 or so minutes of baking to make sure they don't burn. 

Let cool completely.

 Can be stored in an air-tight container for about 10 days.

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