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Make Your Own Ice Cream Sandwiches


Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwich

From the moment I cracked open a copy of Pam Anderson’s “Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $32), I started a list of ingredients I needed to pick up in order to make dish after dish. At the top of the list was her recipe for Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches.

These go together quickly, largely because they are a mix of store-bought ingredients. Take a chocolate cookie, a pint of chocolate ice cream, Nutella and some roasted hazelnuts and you are all set.

That is, if you can find the ingredients.

Anderson recommends Nabisco Famous chocolate wafers, but the store didn’t have them. Instead, I bought a package of chocolate chocolate chip cookies from the bakery. I only had a little Nocciolata, a chocolate-hazelnut spread that I prefer to Nutella (it can be found at www.GauchoGourmet.com), enough to make one sandwich. Then I started to use peanut butter and jellies, especially raspberry and apricot. Toasted almonds, pine nuts and pecans work as well as hazelnuts, too.

In other words, make these sensational summer treats any way you like them. A lemon cookie with lemon curd and vanilla ice cream plus some candy sprinkles would definitely be welcome in 90-degree heat. So would a sugar cookie with strawberry ice cream and almonds on the side.

Just remember what Anderson says, “The cookie should not be too thick, too hard, or too brittle. Sandwiches can be double wrapped and frozen for up to 1 week.”

Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

1 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/3 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella)
16 chocolate wafers, preferably Nabisco Famous
1 pint premium chocolate ice cream

Spread ice cream on the hazelnut-spread side of the cookie.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts in a shallow baking pan large enough to hold them in a single layer; bake until fragrant and golden, 10 to 12  minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, smear a portion of hazelnut spread over one side of each wafer; set aside. Scoop 8 ice cream balls, a scant 3 tablespoons in size, and set on baking sheet in freezer until ready to assemble.

To assemble, set an ice cream ball on the hazelnut-spread side of each of 8 cookies; cap with remaining cookies, hazelnut-spread side down, and press to make a sandwich.

Roll sides of each ice cream sandwich in chopped hazelnuts. Double wrap in plastic and place in freezer until ready to serve.

Makes 8 servings.

From “Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers” by Pam Anderson.

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A ‘Tangled’ Treat: Creamy Hazelnut Soup


'Tangled' is the latest animated film from Disney. (Courtesy Disney.)

In the new animated feature from Disney, “Tangled,” an old crone named Mother Gothel, voiced with malevolent glee by Donna Murphy, keeps threatening Rapunzel with a hazelnut soup that has parsnips in it. It’s a running  gag that has probably had more than one kid gagging at the thought. But it had the opposite effect on me. I wanted to run home and make a batch of it.

The thought of toasted hazelnuts mingling with a strong vegetable stock and a touch of heavy cream led me to a recipe that was just what I had in mind. It even had a parsnip in it.

Creamy hazelnut soup

1 cup ground hazelnuts
3 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 medium leek, white only, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1 tablespoon flour
1 quart vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/8 cup chopped hazelnuts, roasted

Creamy Hazelnut Soup

Roast the ground hazelnuts in a pan (no fat necessary as the nuts contain enough for them not to stick or burn) until they emit a strong sweet smell.

Add the butter, shallots, leek and parsnip, and cook them for about 10 minutes or until soft. Dust with the flour and incorporate.

Add the stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream.

Purée the soup in a blender and strain through a sieve, if desired. (For a more rustic texture, you don’t have to strain the soup.) Return to the pan, season with salt and pepper and reduce to the desired consistency.

Sprinkle with roasted hazelnuts to serve.

Makes 6 small appetizer servings.

Adapted from thepassionatecook.com

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Heavenly Chocolate Hazelnut Spread


Make your own version of Nutella.

Have you ever wanted to make your own Nutella, that rich, creamy mixture of chocolate and hazelnuts? Now you can, with this recipe from “Nuts in the Kitchen” (William Morrow, $21.99), Susan Herrmann Loomis’ latest cookbook.

“I add 5 tablespoons of cocoa to the mixture, which gives it a very satisfying chocolate and hazelnut flavor — you may want to add a bit more or a bit less,” she writes. “I call for a neutral oil here, which gives it a lovely spreadable consistency. If you leave out the oil — which I do on occasion — the flavor is still the same, but it is a bit more solid and less easy to spread.

“Finally, don’t expect the completely smooth texture of commercial Nutella here. Think of this as the ‘crunchy’ version!”

You can also vary this recipe to your tastes. If you, like many, find the flavor of Nutella too sweet, cut back on the sugar and taste it, adjusting to your preferences. Or up the salt, to about 1/4 teaspoon, to bring out the flavor of the nuts and the cocoa powder.

Miniature jars of this would make excellent holiday gifts.

Heavenly Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

2 cups hazelnuts
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup good quality unsweetened dark cocoa powder, such as Valrhona or Scharffen Berger
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons canola oil or more if necessary (optional)

Hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts on a jelly-roll pan and toast them until you can smell them, about 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and place them in a cotton towel. Scrub and roll them around in the towel to remove the skins.

When the hazelnuts are skinned (don’t be concerned if you cannot remove all the skin — just do the best you can), place the hazelnuts in a food processor and process until the nuts make a smooth paste, which will take some time, about 10 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and process again until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add the salt, process, and if the mixture is very dry, add the canola oil while the machine is running. Taste for seasoning. If the mixture is very warm, let it cool completely before transferring to a jar and sealing it. It will keep for about 1 month in a cool, dark spot.

Makes about 2 cups.

From “Nuts in the Kitchen” by Susan Herrmann Loomis

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Hazelnut-encrusted Salmon with Cilantro-Lime Crème


Hazelnuts are used in the crust of this salmon dish.

“A coating of toasted hazelnuts encrusted on a fresh, sweet fillet of salmon adds a buttery, smoky flavor,” Robert M. Landolphi writes in “Gluten-Free Every Day Cookbook.” “The Cilantro-Lime Crème adds the perfect bit of tang.”

Hazelnut-encrusted Salmon with Cilantro-Lime Crème

Cilantro-Lime Crème:
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Salmon:
1/2 cup tapioca flour
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup hazelnuts, ground
1/3 cup gluten-free dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 large eggs
Olive oil, for pan-frying
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin and pin bones removed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

For the crème: In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until needed.

For the salmon: In a shallow bowl, combine the tapioca flour and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Set aside. In a 9-inch pie plate, combine the hazelnuts, breadcrumbs and rosemary; stir to blend. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until pale and frothy.

In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1/4 inch olive oil over medium-high heat. Dredge both sides of the salmon fillets in the tapioca flour, then in the eggs, then in the hazelnut mixture. Place the salmon fillets in the skillet and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the salmon over and repeat on the other side. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the salmon is flaky and slightly translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with a dollop of Cilantro-Lime Crème.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Gluten-Free Every Day Cookbook” by Robert M. Landolphi

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Hazelnuts, Garlic Combine to Make a Great Meat Sauce


hazelnutSpicy Garlic-Hazelnut Sauce

Need an easy sauce recipe that goes with grilled meats, sausages, roasted chicken and fish? Try this versatile version of the Spanish picada. It goes together in minutes and will make nut lovers really happy.

1/2 cup pure olive oil, divided use
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 slice firm white sandwich bread, torn
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt, to taste

[amazon-product]155832237X[/amazon-product]In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the hazelnuts and cook, stirring, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the nuts to a plate to cool. Add the bread to the skillet and cook, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Transfer the nuts and bread to a food processor, add the garlic, mint and red pepper and pulse until finely chopped. Add the vinegar and pulse to a coarse, thick paste. While the machine is running, gradually add the remaining oil in a thin stream through the feed tube and process until smooth. Season with salt. This is best used right away, but will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Makes about 1 cup.

From “Get Saucy” by Grace Parisi

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