Hazelnut Chewies

…yes we met online thru our love for food. She stumbled upon my website and after going through my archives, she realized that I am in the yacht industry. She was in Barcelona, I was in Ft Lauderdale.

We exchanged emails, almost two summers ago. Then in 2009, I was back in France, she was in Cannes and I was in Antibes.

So we met…. we clicked, same passion and as it turned out we even have a few friends in common.

She is a yacht chef. So her boat left France, back to Florida, I had no idea what I would do next.
But our paths met again in Ft Lauderdale.

Who would have thought her boat was next to mine… Thus the beginning of our food exchange not just recipes;
She gave our crew her Italian hazelnut cookies and I gave her rice sticky pudding.

When a job offer came for me to work as a chef, it was her, I sought advice from. She said I should be able to do it and has been my life support since then.

Victoria has authored two books, Sea Fare: A Chef’s Journey Across the Ocean. For a wanderlust like me and much more a yacht crew, this book is her story when she first started boating and her exotic life traveling and cooking around the world.

Few weeks back I received her second book titled, SEAsoned, A Chef’s Journey with her Captain… this book I can relate to very well; demanding guests, crazy and fun crew, last minute changes of menus and shopping at different markets especially here in the Mediterranean. The book comes with interesting recipes as well like pan-seared grouper with Thai curry sauce.

Every now and then she shares with me interesting recipes and one email came with a message, “what ever you are doing, drop it now and bake …”

And yes the cookies turned out to be so chewy and I love the way it crack up a bit… I had fun taking photos of the cookies since I was alone here at the boat and had no work that day… let’s bake:

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons butter
1 ¼ cups Nutella
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons espresso
¼ cup milk
2 cups hazelnuts
1 cup icing sugar

Toast, skin and chop the hazelnuts to fine.
In a standing mixer, beat the Nutella, butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, vanilla, espresso and milk. Add flour, baking powder and ¾ cups chopped hazelnuts.
Divide dough in half , wrap in plastic and refrigerate. For 2 hours.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll dough into 1” balls and roll in remaining chopped hazelnuts then icing sugar. Space on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes, rotating half way through.

Makes 5 dozen

Oh by the way, I emptied the nutella, was worried I about dealing with violent reactions from the crew… but Victoria right, it was all worth it.

Thank you for all the recipes and support Victoria!