BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘hazelnuts

Gluten-Free Goodness

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Rebecka sinks her teeth into these chewy, sweet hazelnut and coconut (flourless) wafers.

I’ve fallen in love with a simple gluten-free cookie recipe just in time for a visit from my sister Elaine, who unsuccessfully tried to get me on the bandwagon when we visited her in Atlanta in January. My gluten-free friend George (the man behind Corvallis Local Foods) had a birthday party coming up, and I had bags of ground hazelnut and also almond flour to burn through. So I turned to this simple Piedmontese recipe for Italian Hazelnut Cookies from Eating Well magazine. I didn’t bother to skin the hazelnuts, because mine, from our local Hazelnut Hill farm, were already ground into a meal. Plus, I like the color, texture (fiber?) and flavor the thin skins provide anyway. All you do is beat the egg whites into stiff peaks and then mix that fluffiness in with the combined sugar and ground nuts and then bake. I added some coconut and cardamom to the mix to spice things up. The results are quite addictive. With no added oil or starchy carbs, one can almost be convinced these cookies are good for you.

This is a recipe to return to again and again, with endless possible variations. They’re really almost like roughed up tops of macaroons in a way. This weekend, I made the cookies with the almond flour I love from Trader Joe’s, coconut and chunks of chocolate in some. I was thrilled to finally have a use for the containers of long-forgotten egg whites I had frozen away. The key is to find a use for the whites and yolks at about the same time. Stay tuned for my mention of yolks in the aioli I made for a steamed version of stuffed artichokes last week.

Written by baltimoregon

May 10, 2010 at 1:19 am

Foraging Again, through Brambles of Blackberries

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Fresh from the woods.

Fresh from the woods.

Lots of treacherous thorns to dodge.

Lots of treacherous thorns to dodge.

Blackberries were about the last thing I should have bought upon my return to the Corvallis Farmer’s Market Saturday. Not because I don’t like them. Oregonians love to forage for and eat those wild blackberries so abundant here. But they loathe those same thorny canes that can become some of the most invasive plants, suffocating all other life out of your garden and yard with those looming, downward-seeking vines. Luckily, wild blackberry plants line the trails where I run, just minutes from our home. I didn’t realize they were already blackening (ripening) until I stumbled upon them in Bald Hill Park yesterday. Why buy blackberries when nature gives them up, generously, for free?

I set out to collect two cups more today for dessert. This time, I came prepared, pulling thick rubber boots over my jeans and bringing yard gloves to protect my hands from thorns. Blackberry gathering is like bee-keeping I suppose: the threat of pricks and stings somehow makes the fruit and honey gathered that much more sweet. I’m sure Novella Carpenter would agree. In 30 minutes (including my bike ride down the road and back), I had gathered what I needed.

Ivy Manning’s cookbook once again inspired me: this time, to make her uber-local Peach and Blackberry Hazelnut Crisp. Unfortunately, peaches are just barely in season here, but I still managed to snag some at the food co-op. Though ripe, the peaches sure didn’t seem freestone, clinging as they did to their pit. The blackberries: foraged. The ground hazelnuts, from nearby Hazelnut Hill farm. The Quaker rolled oats didn’t quite belong. Add chopped crystallized ginger to the fruit mixture if you have some lying around. Top with vanilla ice cream. I used vanilla coconut milk cream, because the pricey concoction was $2 off. Now if I could only forage for peaches.

Written by baltimoregon

August 11, 2009 at 12:48 am

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