Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hazelnut Bites


We've had a bottle of fine aged sherry waiting for an occasion to match its complexity. We'll pour that wine at noon today when Barack Obama takes the oath of office. I wanted a slightly sweet nibble to serve with the wine and I've found an ideal counterpart in these small hazelnut cookies. They are simple to make and perfect for special occasions. There are few occasions more special than the one occurring today. It begins with great optimism and expectations of a sunrise that will lead America and its citizens to a new, more burnished, glory. I pray for the man, for us and the country we love so much. We are a people of hope, reconciliation and resilience who share an unquenchable belief in possibility. That is the blessing we pass to our children. Theirs will be a world that is limited only by a failure to imagine what is possible. They will come of age in a country where a revolution in the hearts of men overcame xenophobia and moved us, as a nation, one step closer to the "perfect union" of our Constitution. Not a bad gift, that. This morning, at 11:50 EST, a group of us, now grown old, will symbolically link hands and once again sing "We Shall Overcome." It's in my playlist if you'd like to join us.

Hazelnut Bites

1 cup chopped toasted and skinned hazelnuts
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
4 large egg whites

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to fit 2 baking sheets with overhang on either end.
2) Place hazelnuts, confectioners' sugar and cinnamon in a heavy bottomed (2-quart) saucepan. Set aside.
3) Place egg whites in bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into nut mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is golden brown and pulls away from sides of pan, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
4) Use two teaspoons to form mounds of dough about 1-1/2 to 2-inches in diameter on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Lift parchment sheets and cookies to cooling racks. When cool, remove cookies from paper and store, tightly covered, until ready to serve. Yield: 20 cookies.


Anonymous said...

The hazelnuts and sherry are a wonderful pairing. What a treat.

Anonymous said...

What a way to celebrate the new President's inauguration! I share your hopes for the President and for the country. :)

Anonymous said...

I remember visiting friends in Salem many years ago and driving the coastline of Oregon. The groves of hazelnut trees were so beautiful. Love hazelnuts. I see that we can even buy them now in the cellophane bags at the grocer. Just noticed that this week. Not like the real stuff though. God Bless your toast and this young man who has a lot on his shoulders.

Maria said...

Hazelnuts are my favorite! I love the bites! And yahoo for Obama!!

Allie said...

You made a good choice pairing the 2 together, it sounds yummy!

Pam said...

Cheers to a GREAT day in our history. Your hazelnut bites look superb.

Paula said...

Love the hazelnuts! It's been an exciting day for the US for sure. Here's to better days for all of us!

Lisa said...

Sounds wonderfully simple yet elegant. A great way to mark the occasion and usher in a new era!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Those do look grand and easy to put together!

Anonymous said...

What a perfect little bite and wonderful to have with a glass of wine! And, yes, Tuesday was truly an amazing, wonderful day. I am once again proud to be an American!

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