Chocolate Hazelnut

We're suckers for chocolate hazelnut anything so these bars really had us going crazy. The base for these bars is a crunchy biscotti cookie crust made with Chocolate Chip Brownie Soft-Baked Biscotti mixed with chopped toasted hazelnuts. This crust is topped off with a sweet & creamy layer, chocolate ganache, and even more hazelnuts. These mouthwatering bars would be a  unique option to bring to your kid's bake sale, school lunches, or next birthday celebration as party favors, although we wouldn't mind make a batch all for ourselves!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Bars, adapted from Gail Simmons

INGREDIENTS: 

Crust:

1/2 cup raw hazelnuts

3 x 5oz boxes or 16 x 1oz individually wrapped Chocolate Chip Brownie Soft-Baked Biscotti

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), melted

2 large eggs, beaten

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pinch kosher salt

Filling:

2 cups powdered sugar (about 6 1/2 ounces)

1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), at room temperature

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pinch of kosher salt 

Ganache:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped

1/4 cup unsalted butter

METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast in preheated oven until fragrant and blistered, about 10 minutes.

2. Transfer hot toasted hazelnuts to a clean kitchen towel, and rub together to remove skins. Discard skins & let nuts cool completely, about 15 minutes.

3. Coarsely chop cooled nuts using a knife or food processor and reserve 2 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts.

4. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on all sides.

5. Whisk together remaining chopped toasted hazelnuts, biscotti, coconut, melted butter, eggs, granulated sugar, cocoa, and vanilla in a large bowl until well combined. Press mixture firmly into prepared baking pan, using palm of hand to make sure it is as flat & even as possible.

6. Bake in preheated oven until just dry to the touch, about 16 minutes. Transfer baking pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

7. Beat powdered sugar, butter, cornstarch, milk, vanilla, and salt with a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until well combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Spread mixture evenly over crust in baking pan. Chill at least 15 minutes while you make the ganache.

8. Combine chocolate and butter in a microwavable bowl, and microwave at high until butter is melted, stirring at 20-second intervals. Stir mixture until smooth and thick. 

9. Spread ganache evenly over chilled filing in baking pan. Sprinkle with reserved 2 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts.

 

Enjoy!

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