Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Yeah, I went there.

It’s the end of August. As fall quickly approaches, you will soon be exchanging the time you spent all summer going to street festivals and drinking margaritas at 3 in the afternoon for quiet nights in, and if you’re anything like me, whiskey. And chocolate.

As a baker, I know that the majority of what I make is already considered an indulgence for most of you, but this recipe also contains a strong hint of gluttony that I’m not even going to try to hide. It will be the perfect treat to share with friends and family on those special nights in. Remember–no more bathing suits ’til next summer. Are you with me? Continue reading

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Chocolate Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

Your first impression of these cookies is probably like most everyone that saw them in real life: “Why are they shaped like hatchets, you creep?”. Well, on the day that I made them I thought it would be more obvious, being that it was Halloween and all. Hatchets are scary! Halloween is scary! It totally makes sense. Plus, it was a perfect opportunity for me to use one of the awesome cookie cutters my friend Natalie got me for Christmas last year.

Still, no one got it, making me look like a total weirdo. This isn’t uncommon, just a little unfortunate.

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Hazelnut and Brown Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

Last week my friend Miquel came to visit from Spain. The two of us met when I was studying abroad in Barcelona and he was the R.A. in my dorm. Back then we weren’t as great of friends as he was always upset with me for finding wine in my closet or staying out too late. I was in Spain (and college) – give me a break. Fast forward 2 years later and we are much better friends considering I’m not threatening his job for the sake of a couple glasses of Rioja. It’s working out quite well.

So during his time in Chicago, what did we do, you ask? No, we did not go to the top of the Sears—ahem, Willis—Tower. No, we did not ride the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier. One thing we did do, though, is make cupcakes. Yes, I said cupcakes. They don’t have these things in Spain.

   

Ok, yes they do–but my friends Claire and John are getting married (heyo!), and their engagement party was one of the nights that Miquel was in town. Miquel also shares a love for baking so we made them these delectable brown butter and hazelnut cupcakes with chocolate ganache. Yes, I did say brown butter, hazelnut, and chocolate.

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