noccioletti (hazelnut cookies)

our favorite italian cookie…and SO simple to make!


noccioletti (hazelnut cookies)
Recipe type: treat
Author: adapted from LA TAVOLA ITALIANA
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 12
a bite sized taste sensation of toasted hazelnuts, honey, butter, flour and sugar…the perfect “not too sweet” treat.
  • 1/2 cup shelled raw hazelnuts
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/4 lb.)
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • parchment paper for baking
  1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. spread hazelnuts on baking sheet and toast them for 8 minutes (don’t let them overly brown!)
  3. cool slightly and wrap in a dishtowel and rub together roughly to remove most of the brown skins.
  4. grind the hazelnuts coarsely.
  5. cream the butter with the confectioners’ sugar, in a medium but deep bowl.
  6. beat in the honey.
  7. beat in the flour and nuts and make a soft dough.
  8. flour your hands and roll bits of dough (i use a teaspoon to roughly measure) into a ball shape.
  9. if dough is too sticky add a bit of flour until you can easily roll into a ball shape.
  10. place the noccioletti on two parchment lined baking sheets 1 inch apart.
  11. bake for approximately 20 minutes (swapping out sheets and reversing them mid-way through)
  12. baking time will vary with the weather and your particular oven, so watch them carefully to prevent burning.
  13. set the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.
  14. NOTE: my italian cookbook suggests rolling them in confectioners’ sugar at this point, but we choose to enjoy the flavor of the hazelnuts and shortbread-like dough without added sweetness. enjoy a few with a coffee or tea just out of the oven! also great with red wine or champagne…

caprese salad on a stick…

so many flavors in one bite!

caprese salad on a stick…
Recipe type: appetizer
Author: elena
Prep time: 20 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 24
the perfect appetizer for any occasion…drizzle with a good balsamic vinaigrette, if desired, and watch the mini capreses disappear!
  • 24 small fresh mozzarella balls in water (generally 1 container)
  • 24 ripe/firm cherry tomatoes (variety of colors preferable)
  • 48 small basil leaves stemmed (or 24 large leaves cut in half)
  • 48 wooden toothpicks
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette to drizzle over when serving
  • note: i make a simple vinaigrette to drizzle over as follows,
  • 1 tablespoon baker & olive traditional dark balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  1. cut the mozzarella balls in half with a sharp knife
  2. cut the cherry tomatoes in half with a sharp knife
  3. gently take one tomato half and lace onto toothpick (cut side facing in)
  4. skewer a basil leaf onto toothpick
  5. finish with a half ball of fresh mozzarella (cut side facing in)
  6. to make the balsamic vinaigrette put vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small jar
  7. shake to mix and add EVOO very slowly, shake again to emulsify
  8. drizzle the skewers with balsamic vinaigrette JUST before serving…
  9. enjoy!