So you know how sometimes I say that I’m “all organic, all the time”?
Well. About that…
What I really mean is that I’m “all organic until I happen to stumble across one of New York City’s many street vendors who just happens to be selling strawberries for a dollar a quart or mangoes for a dollar a pop or six heads of garlic for 50 cents”.
I like to pretend that rather than some menial worker, he’s actually straight from the farm selling the good quality wares that he’s grown from scratch. Tell myself that I’m entirely certain that he rolled through the Midtown Tunnel or over the 59th Street Bridge on his tractor with good quality organic dirt under the fingernails that are attached to his two good quality green thumbs.
(Well. At least I’m probably right about the fingernails.)
That’s why you shouldn’t feel bad about my “white lies”. Because I just full-on deceive myself.
It’s just that sometimes. Especially on my most stressed days. I need to have strawberries in the house.
Their presence keeps me sane.
They whisper sweet nothings into my ear.
They keep me from eating every ounce of the chocolate covered pomegranate jellies that we have sitting on our kitchen table. Or the block of feta cheese in my fridge. Or a jar of peanut butter.
And sure, I occasionally end up eating an entire quart in 10 minutes. But, I’ll be honest with you, (and this is where you roll your eyes because while honesty is surely the best policy, I think it’s obvious that I don’t always employ it to its fullest potential), maybe it was just this last box, but street strawberries taste pretty damn delicious. Usually I can smell them from a block away.
And in NYC summer heat, what with all the exhaust fumes and homeless-man-urine scents abounding.
That’s quite a feat.
And then, of course, because self control has never been my strong point.
And because who can actually resist a good 2-for-1 special at times like these. I usually purchase multiple boxes. With the intent of eating half.
And baking with half.
Yeah, my frugal side totally has ulterior motives. That involve cakes and cookies and cupcakes.
And now crisps.
I need to be protected from myself. Send help.
I found this recipe for a strawberry hazelnut crisp in one of my cookbooks, which was quite fortuitous given that Oh! Nuts sent me a bag of hazelnuts to try about a decade ago. Then, as I was really reading through it, I realized that it had hazelnuts but no chocolate. Doesn’t that seem heretical to you? Do hazelnuts exist without chocolate? Not in my apartment.
Hence this strawberry hazelnut chocolate crisp was born. Swoon.
(Although next time, I’ll probably increase the hazelnut:panko ratio in the crust. Probably go with 1/2 cup panko to 1 cup hazelnuts. More hazelnuts are always better.)
NOTE – if you’d like a little extra ME this weekend, go check out my guest post over at Perry’s Plate! And while you’re at it, check out the rest of Natalie’s blog…because she’s super awesome!
Strawberry Hazelnut Chocolate Crisp
Fills 4 ramekins, adapted from Luscious Berry Desserts
1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 2/3 cup panko (or freshly made bread crumbs), divided
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 375.
2. In a medium-large bowl, combine the strawberry slices, 2/3 cup panko, confectioner’s sugar, lemon, and salt. Stir until combined, then divvy up into 4 ramekins.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the panko, hazelnuts, and sugar. Mix with the melted butter until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips. Spread over the top of each ramekin so that the whole thing is covered. (You will have extra topping.)
4. Put on a baking tray in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and top is golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve.