Monday, 19 April 2010
When I was younger we used to eat biscuits called Boasters. These are the closest approximation to my memory I've made. Having googled them, it doesn't look like they had hazelnuts, but I swear I remember the taste. The clearest memory I have of eating them is when my mum and I were driving out to Verbier for the winter season when I was thirteen. We stopped at a petrol station in England, just off a roundabout, and bought a pack of Boasters. I always wanted one more than I was allowed.
We always have biscuits on the long, fifteen hour drive. When we drive back the other way from Switzerland we always buy a pack of dark chocolate Petit Beurre from a particular petrol station in France. Creatures of habit. I amuse myself by taking pictures out of the window.
I'm not entirely sure what drew me to the idea of making these today. Perhaps because it's not such a gorgeous day. After a little run of stunning summer days it's overcast today (volcanic ash, perhaps? Heh) but the flowers are still blossoming and the warmth of summer is still hanging in the air. I can look at the photos from the past few days and believe the sun is still shining.
Whatever the reason, I'm glad I made them. They're slightly soft in the middle, crunchy on the outsides and speckled with the distinctive tone of the hazelnuts among the chocolate. Perfect with a cup of tea and a chat.
I'm glad I bought nice milk chocolate to make these - I used the lovely Green and Blacks milk chocolate. I ate a little too much of the chocolate left over...
This was originally a recipe for white chocolate and pecan cookies in the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. I switched round the nuts and chocolate and made a few other changes including halving the recipe. I quite like having a few slightly bitter slips of skin on my hazelnuts so I didn't totally rub the skins off.
Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscuits
(Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)
125g unsalted butter, softened
100g soft brown sugar
50g golden caster sugar
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g milk chocolate
50g whole hazelnuts
Toast the nuts and rub to remove most of the skins. Chop the nuts and chocolate roughly. Cream the butter and sugars together. Beat the egg in throughly. Sift in the flours and beat until it comes together. Stir in the nuts and chocolate. Get a rectangle of cling film out and scoop half of the mixture onto it. Shape it into a rough cylinder, about 3 cm across. Wrap up with the cling film and give it a roll to smooth it out. Repeat with the other half. Put both into the freezer for a few hours.
Heat the oven to 170C. Take out one or both of the cylinders (they keep in the freezer). Slice them up into 1-2 cm rounds. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving space for them to expand. Put into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.