Monday, July 19, 2010

Chocolate-Hazelnut Smooches

Let me shed some light on how I pick out cookie recipes the magic. Usually I go to, look up cookie recipes - hold on tight to your seat, this is where things get exciting - and sort them by "easy." First off,, may I suggest changing that to "ease?" Just an issue that keeps me awake at night. Not a big deal. Just means the world to me.

Anyways, I go to about page 30 or something because every cookie recipe on is easy. But once I'm in the meat of the "intermediate" recipes, shit gets real.

Replace Martin Lawrence with me and Will Smith with Frank.

But it doesn't just take an intermediate recipe to get my goat. No. My goat is only gotten once I dig deeper...I'm talking the user ratings and reviews. And when I stumbled upon this gem, I knew it was meant to be.

You had me at "Labor Intensive!" but you sealed the deal with "life threatening."

Also, the creator of this recipe is named Baci. Baci! Best. Recipe. Ever. (!!!)


So I haven't baked in forever and I've never baked in this kitchen. I am slowly learning many exciting new things about ovens.
  1. Noxious fumes are totally normal so don't worry if your face feels poisoned from time to time.
  2. Just like two pairs of Levi's jeans that are supposed to be exactly the same size and style, no two ovens are alike. And just like those jeans which are both supposed to be 27s because you are sort of a 27 and you'd expect both 27s to fit the same but one of them fits great and the other fits like it was made by a one-eyed 8 year old seamstress (fuck you Levi's), some ovens are really really fucking hot.
  3. Noxious is a great word, yeah?
This oven in New Orleans is without a doubt the hottest oven in the world. It only makes sense though, seeing as New Orleans is like hell on earth. I mean that in a mildly offensive way.

So I started by preheating my oven to 350 degrees (I think if you work New Orleans conversions, that comes out to about 10000 degrees so make sure you adapt to your surroundings) to roast 3 cups of hazelnuts.

Technically speaking, these hazelnuts go from here to ya-ya.

Three cups of hazelnuts is so many cups of hazelnuts! Imagine a lot of hazelnuts and then imagine more. That's how many three cups of hazelnuts is.

After roasting them for 15 minutes or something (I think you roast them for a couple years if using a normal oven) their skins got all peely and it was time to jump headfirst into the land of labor intensive baking.

After about 5 hazelnuts, you are tired of rubbing hazelnuts between your hands to get the skin off. After 3 cups of hazelnuts, you are wondering what kind of sick fuck Baci D'Alassio is. What's his angle anyways, you start to think.

Skinless but not ready to stop ruining your life quite yet.

But I was feeling pretty accomplished after all this. I even got Frank involved. We had a great routine for when I would drop hazelnuts (which was only constantly). I yelled "FRANK!" and he came running from wherever he was, looked at me, and waited for me to point to where the hazelnut was on the floor. Then he would feast. It's like I was having a real conversation with his hazelnut sized brain.

Next, I labor intensived some more with a knife. I'm like real afraid of knives. It's not a big deal except that it's a huge deal. Especially when you have to cut small round nuts with said death-tool.

Tip: red cutting board or bloody massacre? your guests will never know!

There's another thing I like about certain recipes. Call it a way to pick out the winners... Descriptive words. This recipe called for the hazelnut goop to resemble a powder and then a paste. I LOVE eating both powder and paste. The only thing I like more than powder or paste is sand.


And the only thing I like more than sand (I know, I know nothing is better than sand but maybe just do me a solid and suspend disbelief for a sec?) is dirty wet sand.

Do I eat or do I rub it all over my face? Decisions!!

Then, it was time to make the turds. Only the best cookies look like poop. Descriptive words.

I dunno, I'd like to see it look a little more like excrement.
Right now it's hardly even trying.

. This recipe. I knew it would be the worst, but I wasn't prepared for how much the worst it would be. But let's get back to that life threatening part in the review. Food poisoning's my favorite right after unicorns and skipping but slightly ahead of rainbows. Apparently, this recipe suggests leaving these little turds out all night. Oh and there are 4 egg whites in this recipe. Something something not good for you something.

At this point in the recipe, I was starting to question Food Network. I mean, it seemed like every chance they got, they wanted me to be thinking about crippling diarrhea while making these cookies. Guess what guys, it totally worked. Pats on the back all around. These are poop cookies. It almost made me want to give up. But I wasn't going to let the three cups of toasted, skinned, chopped, and ground hazelnuts win. I'd let them make me violently ill, but not win.

I put the poo pans in the fridge and let them hang out all night. Then, this morning, I promptly burnt the shit out of them.

Mmm. Tastes like burning!

This fucking oven. They are totally soft and moderately delicious on top and burnt to hell on the bottom. I tried to scrape the bottoms but the cookies actually started laughing at me.

The only thing that's worse than burnt cookies is burnt cookies that take two days to make. And are labor intensive. And life threatening. And concocted from the sick mind of one Baci "Cock" D'Alassio.

The upswing to this whole burnt disaster? You get to smother the cookies with chocolate and make them into burnt sandwich cookies. Yay?

I'm almost disappointed to say that these cookies weren't that bad. They're kind of good. Why does the cookie always win?

I'll eat you, but I won't like it. I'll only love it. Asshole.


3/5 > I'll have you know, this is an incredibly smug 3/5 rating. What a jerk this cookie is.
EASE: 1/5 > Labor Intensive is a nice way to put it. If I had a windowless basement where I locked up people I didn't like for an outrageously and inappropriately long time, I would insist they make these cookies everyday. That's how unfun this was.
FILTH OF KITCHEN: 4/5 > Hazelnuts everywhere. Hazelnuts hiding in the oven. Hazelnuts creeping between the burners. Hazelnuts haunting my dreams.
DID THE DOG EAT IT THE DOUGH: He ate more hazelnuts than any one dog has ever eaten. He's disgusted in himself and has been moping around for moments.
IMPRESS-O-METER: 3.5/5 > Hazelnuts are certainly more wow-y than pecans or walnuts or peanuts or almonds (did I just blow your mind with that nut knowledge?) but I burnt the shit out of them. And they are ugly poo cookies. I am so angry at this moderately good tasting cookie. I'm probably going to eat another one soon. Grr.