Fig + Hazelnut + Chocolate = Cookies
My favorite gelateria in Florence is Gelateria La Carraia for two reasons. Reason #1 They are the best bang for the buck (euro). You see, I lived in Florence before and after the euro came into creation. Before the euro, the smallest gelato cost 1,000 lira in most gelaterie. That was about 50 cents (American). Now…most gelaterie sell their smallest gelato for 2 euro which is currently $2.74 American dollars! So you see, something strange happened.
But, Gelateria La Carraia is one of the few to offer a 1 euro cone when no one else does. They still see the value in keeping it real with the prices, and don’t be fooled! Gelato is way more filling than ice cream, and you really don’t need anything more than the smallest size to quench your sweet tooth and fill your belly… Everyone knows you are a foreigner if you walk out of a gelateria with a giant 5 euro waffle cone and gelato quickly dripping down your wrist.
Reason #2 They have a flavor called Nocciolosa. This flavor is amazing! It is chocolate-hazelnut deliciousness…smooth and creamy, with bits of gooey chewy nutella-ness. That is what has inspired my Figgy Nocciolosa Cookies. The amazing combination of chocolate and hazelnuts, with a bit of a chew. It brings me back to my days in Florence…
These cookies are gluten-free and grain-free…and a powerhouse of nuts, chocolate and dried figs. Yum! Last night I gathered with some friends and shared cookies and ceremony, and these Figgy Nocciolosa Cookies were a hit! Definitely try them out, and let me know what you think.
Figgy Nocciolosa Cookies
1 c hazelnuts
1 c gluten free almond flour
1/4 c black mission dried figs (about 8 figs)
1/2 c ghirardelli bittersweet baking chips
1/4 c cacao powder
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 c agave
1/4 c coconut oil
(warmed to a liquid)
1 t vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place hazelnuts on a dry cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 8 minutes. When done, remove from oven and let cool.
In the meantime chop the figs in the food processor on pulse for about 1 minute. The figs should be chopped into small pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl with the almond flour, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix ingredients with a whisk.
Next place the ghirardelli chips in a food processor and pulse 10 times. (This gets the chips into smaller bits to make the cookies easier to roll.) Add these to the mixing bowl.
Once the hazelnuts have cooled, grab handfuls and rub them between your hands to remove the brown skin from the nut. Don’t worry about removing every single skin, but it helps to clear off the nuts as best you can.
Next, place hazelnuts in the food processor and run until the nuts are finely ground. (Be sure to keep an eye on them so that they don’t turn into nut butter!) Add the hazelnut meal to the mixing bowl and stir all ingredients together.
In a measuring glass add the agave, coconut oil and vanilla and whisk to incorporate the liquids. Once they are blended, add the liquid mix to the dry mix until the dough is sticky.
Using a cookie scoop or spoon place balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and shape as desired.
Bake cookies in the oven for about 10 minutes. They will still be soft when you take them out, but they will form when they cool, and have a nice balance of chew and crunch.
Thanks to Theo of Green River Pottery in Santa Fe, NM for letting me use the beautiful jar (above) for my cookie photo shoot.