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Crazy for a Nut!

By in Journal

When I was young my dad had a wooden bowl by his chair in the family room. The bowl held an assortment of nuts and of course the chrome nutcracker.  Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and one that I really didn’t like and never learned what it was. He would sit in his chair in the evenings (especially during the holidays) and crack away at the shells and he was always more than happy to share. My favorite was the hazelnut and in the last few years as I have begun creating new and interesting baked dishes I have turned to this nut more than once.

The first cake recipe I created on my own was the Pear Spice Cake and the addition of the hazelnut definitely made the cake. A few nights ago, at my partner’s request, I whipped up a maple hazelnut ice cream that was absolutely to die for. And since I love sharing new ideas with you, here is the recipe for the Maple Hazelnut Ice Cream and a homemade Hazelnut Extract that you can make.

Maple Hazelnut Ice Cream


1 cup Skim Milk
3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1 pint Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
pinch of Salt
1 cup Halved Hazelnuts


Mix together milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt.  Next lightly whisk in the heavy cream.  Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and let mix for 20-30 minutes until it forms a solid soft serve consistency.  Then fold in the hazelnuts and pour into an airtight container and place into the freezer overnight. Enjoy the next day.

Hazelnut Extract


6 Hazelnuts Halved


Place hazelnuts into a small glass jar (3-5 ounces), fill with vodka and let sit for 1-2 months. Shake periodically and the extract will be good for up to 6 months.