Hazelnut Pistachio Butter Cookies

These cookies have been on my baking-to-do-list for a few months now… Ever since a good friend brought be a box of them from her local supermarket down in Virginia. I had one of them and was in heaven. Hazelnuts, pistachios and confectioners’ sugar… How could it not be delicious!?! To create my own version I decided to tweak a recipe for Mexican Wedding Cookies that I had made for Cinco De Mayo last year. Those cookies are made with pecans so I decided to swap those out with an equal amount of hazelnuts and pistachios.

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I began by chopping up a 1/2 cup each of hazelnuts and pistachios.

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I set the nuts aside and began making the dough for the cookies by creaming together butter and confectioners’ sugar and then adding in vanilla extract.

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With the mixer on low speed I added in the flour.

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And finally I folded in the hazelnuts and pistachios.

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Using a cookie scoop I scooped the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and baked the cookies in a 275 F preheated oven for 35 minutes, until the bottoms were just beginning to brown.

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After letting them cool for a few minutes I sprinkled them with confectioners’ sugar.

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These cookies are super simple to make but big on taste!

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Hazelnut Pistachio Butter Cookies – Adapted from here

Makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for coating cookies

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped into small pieces

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped into small pieces

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 275 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar at low speed until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract.

3. At low speed gradually add in the flour.

4. Using a spatula, fold in the hazelnut and pistachios.

5. Using a cookie scoop scoop the dough onto the parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes.

6. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes before using a sifter to dust them with confectioners’ sugar.

Marbled Nutella Banana Bread

A few months ago I came across a recipe for a Marbled Nutella Banana Bread on a fellow bloggers’, My Ninja Naan, blog  and I have wanted to make it ever since. I was all set to make it last weekend but then my dad ate one of my perfectly ripened bananas. It was probably for the best though, the bananas were practically over-ripened in my book so I am sure the taste of the bread would have been overpowered by the banana taste and the Nutella flavor would have gotten lost in it. While I am a fan of bananas I prefer to eat mine when they are pale yellow without any spots – when most people would say they are not ready to be eaten – so they won’t have the overpowering banana taste I am not fond of. So, I bought three bananas that were on the verge of turning a darker shade of yellow and let them sit for a week to ripen up a bit to make the bread.

I started off by sifting together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. While I do have a traditional sifter, I prefer to use a sieve to sift my dry ingredients as it’s much quicker and I find that it does the job just as well.

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I set the dry ingredients aside and I began to mix together the wet ingredients. First up, I mashed three ripe bananas.

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Next, I added in the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract and used my hand mixer to combine them all.

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I then mixed in two eggs.

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And finally I added in the flour mixture.

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Once the batter was well combined I divided it into two bowls and added the Nutella to one of them.

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To get the marbled effect I alternately spooned the banana and the Nutella-banana batters into my prepared 9-inch loaf pan (I just sprayed it with baking spray) and then swirled it with a knife.

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After baking for an hour in a 350 degrees F preheated oven the bread was done.

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I let it cool for a bit and then sliced a few slices to see the marble effect and of course to try it and it was delish!

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Marbled Nutella Banana Bread

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 bananas)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/2 cup Nutella

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift the together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy and well combined – about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs until well combined – about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined.

Divide 1/2 of the batter into a medium bowl; stir in Nutella until combined.

Alternate spoonfuls of batter into loaf pan until all of the batter is used up. Swirl batter gently with a knife (not too much!).

Bake 1 hour or until well risen, deep golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into bread comes out with moist crumbs attached.

Makes 1 loaf.