Gluten Free Hazelnut Squares

by Ruth Almon

Hazelnut squares

Do you ever read a recipe and actually taste the flavor of the dish coming right off the page? That’s how it was when I read this Hazelnut and Olive Oil Shortbread recipe. But even on first reading, I’d mentally replaced the olive oil with butter. I had a suspicion that the taste of butter would shine. I was not disappointed.

I paleofied it in other ways as well. I made it gluten free and reduced the sugar. And while I was at it, I simplified the instructions. The result was a hit.

This is an excellent dessert for people who are allergic to eggs. You won’t find too many baked goods that are eggless and gluten free. As a bonus, if you use olive oil, as in the original recipe, the recipe becomes dairy free as well. If you opt for olive oil, make sure to use one that is mild tasting. I always buy olive oil with a very strong taste, which would be conspicuous in this recipe, and not in a good way.

The result is so buttery and delicious, with the great taste of hazelnut, and it’s so simple to make. Yum!

Hazelnut Squares

1 1/3 cups whole hazelnuts  (200 gm., 8 0z.)

2/3 cup rice flour

1/3 cup organic cane sugar

½ tsp. fine sea salt

Zest from 1 large lemon (Update: 1 1/2 lemons is better)

125. gm. butter (a little over a stick of butter), melted

 

  1. Toast hazelnuts in a frying pan until the peel starts coming off (not all of it will).Hazelnut3
  2. Heat oven to 190 C (375 F).
  3. After the hazelnuts cool, rub them between your palms to remove the peel. Don’t worry about the peels that don’t want to come off.
  4. Grind the hazelnuts carefully, pulsing, using a food processor until you get hazelnut meal that looks like this.Hazelnut-mixtureTip: If you don’t have a food processor, they can be ground with a hand grinder.
  5. Mix the hazelnut meal with the rice flour, sugar, and salt.
  6. Add the zest of one lemon and melted butter. Mix well.
  7. Line a 16 X 24 cm. baking dish with parchment paper. This is the fun part! Put the hazelnut mixture into the baking dish and press it down with your fingers. It has a cool texture.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. The edges should just start to brown.
  9. Cut into squares (or rectangles or diamonds) immediately, but don’t remove from pan until it cools completely.

Hazelnut squares

Goes great with a cup of tea.

Like hazelnuts? Try this most yummy hazelnut torte.

Enjoy!

 

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Posted in Paleo Desserts, Paleo Diet Recipes

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