Today I would like to welcome Hisham from Cook in Five Square Meters! He is sharing a recipe with us as part of our December Blog Swap Meet! These Swap Meets are monthly events where we swap posts with one another, which is not only fun but also helps us all get exposure to new audiences, and it is a great way to meet new blogger friends! If you are a blogger who posts recipes on your blog and you would like to participate in future swap meets, just email Edward (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com). We will start coordinating the January Swap Meet in a few weeks and can make sure you are included. In the meantime, I know you will enjoy Hisham’s recipe for Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts!
We’re not big on Christmas traditions. In fact, we’re building it with each passing year. Our usual menu is barbecued meat and chicken, tabbouleh, hummus, and a selection of the Lebanese mezze then going to the midnight mass at the church close by. It sounds good, except when we have the same food every time we gather, with or without an occasion.
In the past couple of years, I’ve been trying to introduce special dinner dishes. I’ve made Coq au vin, Poulet au citron with roasted vegetable, and once mom tried stuffing small chickens instead of a turkey because turkeys are too big for our family. The outcome wasn’t outstanding. They needed a little tweaking, like less wine, less cooking times, and less stuffing. The stuffed chickens exploded for being over stuffed. Mom still gets upset when we bring that story up. I hope she doesn’t read this. I should have listened and not overcooked the lemon as it turned out bitter and the wine had a sharp taste that wasn’t well tolerated.
This year I’m in charge of the menu. I’ll be catering for the family’s taste, the extended family. I’ve gained more experience through reading and practicing all year long. I’m not sure about what I’ll be cooking but we’ve decided upon the turkey, and with the help of a little Pinterest search, and the help of awesome food bloggers who shared their favorite holiday’s recipes, I will know what I will go with the turkey.
As for gifts, it’s also a habit in the making. For me, I would love to be in the kitchen preparing gifts for the people I love. There is nothing better than a gift you actually think of and spend time making. You feel the person’s love and passion flowing through the presents. Wrapped in brown wax paper, I made these time-consuming, love-filled chocolate covered hazelnuts.
In addition to hazelnuts, I used the extra melted chocolate to coat a tablespoon or two of Starbucks Christmas blend coffee beans. For a little “Christmassy” buzz, feel free to stir in some rum, liquor or your favorite alcohol, but before melting the chocolate, otherwise the cold liquid would ruin the texture and make the chocolate all crumbly.
- 500g raw hazelnuts
- 250g dark chocolate (I used 72% Lindt baking chocolate)
- 1 tbsp butter
- Liquor, rum for example (optional)
- Coffee beans (optional)
- Roast the hazelnuts and remove the skin. Either put the roasted hazelnuts in a bag and shake till the skin peels off, or rub between kitchen towels and blow the skin away. Set aside
- Over a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate with the butter. If adding alcohol, this is where you add it, before the chocolate melts
- Stir the mixture well and make sure it’s smooth and lump-free
- Dip the hazelnuts in the chocolate, shake and set on wax paper. Another method is to dip a handful of hazelnuts in the chocolate and fish them out (using chopsticks of you’re good with them, as my sister suggested) shaking them to remove excess (as if there is anything like that) chocolate and lining them on the wax paper.
- Cool and store in an air tight container, or handmade wax paper bags.
I’m making another batch and serving it at Christmas dinner
What’s your Christmas tradition?
What gifts make you feel warm inside?
Below the collage are links to all of the posts that participated in our Blog Swap Meet: Holiday Recipes!
Stop by and visit them all!
If You Can Read, You Can Cook posted on The Patriotic Pam
The Patriotic Pam posted on If You Can Read, You Can Cook
Cook in 5 Square Meters posted on Dizzy Busy and Hungry!
Dizzy Busy and Hungry! posted on Anyonita Nibbles
Anyonita Nibbles posted on Cook in 5 Square Meters
Many thanks to Hisham for sharing this wonderful recipe with us today! Enjoy!