Dear Readers,

How many of you loved snow days as a child? I am imagining an array of raised hands appearing as you read this sentence. As winter draws to a close, I began thinking of how we did not get snow this year and how much fun snow days were as a child! With no school, the possibilities for the day are endless with opportunities for snowmen making, snow fort building, and of course sledding (my personal favorite!). My parent’s house is strategically located on a hill offering a multitude of choices for descent. The dominant choice was a series of front steps in the front yard. (Yes, this is a total Home Alone moment! Although my Mom was open minded, we were not allowed to start on the interior stairs of the house as Mister Kevin McAllister did). In my child eyes the hill was massive and my speed only accelerated as I flew down to the bottom. My siblings and I would eagerly repeat this trek and descent continuously till dusk. You could never get in enough rounds. Whenever it snows, these childhood feelings of freedom and joy stir in me and my first inkling is to grab a sled and seek a hill. These magical feelings are so precious and need to be treasured as any keepsake. Freedom of the imagination is a great gift and when embraced it can take you to new heights.

To compliment this savory memory of childhood freedom, I am including my recipe for chocolate hazelnut cookies. I hope you enjoy them as much as my loved ones do!

Love Always,
Kristina Lucia xoxo

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies Recipe

INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIES:

  •       2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •       ½ cup of chocolate coco
  •       1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  •       1 teaspoon of baking powder
  •       1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  •       1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •       1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •       1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •       1/3 cup (firmly packed) dark brown sugar
  •       1 cup granulated sugar
  •       1 large egg
  •       1 teaspoon of hazelnut extract

·       ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

PREPARATION

  1.   In stand mixer, beat butter and sugars together till light and fluffy.  Add egg and extracts to the mixture.
  2.   Gradually add dry ingredients, to this mixture.  Once fully combined, cover the bowl and refrigerate. (Most recipes recommend 2 hours, but I highly suggest refrigerating the dough overnight).  
  3.   Preheat oven to 350°F
  4.   Coat the counter and rolling pin lightly with flour and roll out the dough.  Use cookie cutter shape of your desire.  (I personally use hearts for Valentine’s Day)
  5.   Lay out cookies on baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.  (I recommend that you keep an eye on your cookies to make sure they do not overcook.  Every oven is different!)

6.    Once the cookies have cooled, eat and enjoy with loved ones.