Erin was the one who guessed correctly! These are Avellanas, otherwise known as Chilean Hazelnuts! They came already skinned and most of them were halved - they seem to be almost half the size of a normal hazelnut too. When I went out looking to get some hazelnuts for the recipe today, I spotted these at Trader Joe's and had to try them out. I'm going to miss having a TJ's so close when we move!
This bar cookie recipe, Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Bars, takes a basic chocolate chip cookie to an adult level. Two generous amounts of chips, semisweet and bittersweet, along with the Avellanas make sure that you have a variety of each in every bite. The Avellanas have an unusual sweetness to them and bring a very crunchy texture contrast against the soft chips. The bars themselves have a crisp outside (not crunchy) with a dense and almost a sticky chew as you work your way into the cookie. Be sure to cut these while they are still a bit warm; if you wait, they might crumble some and loose the clean outer finish.
Treat day continues! Even though Jeff is no longer working at the Phoenix campus, it does not mean we have to stop with the Wednesday Treat Day tradition! We will sneak these bars over tomorrow morning and hope his former co-workers enjoy them.
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Bars