These Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Hazelnuts & Sea Salt are inspired by the flavors of Oregon and intensely chocolaty, without being overly sweet.
I’m really excited to be teaming up with one of my favorite local brands, Bob’s Red Mill, and sharing my Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Hazelnuts & Sea Salt as part of their United States of Cookies campaign. They asked one blogger from each of the 50 states to create a cookie recipe influenced by their home state. For me, it doesn’t get much more Oregon than hazelnuts and sea salt. Both ingredients remind me of my weekends – On Saturday and Sunday you’ll most likely find me at a local vineyard or on the beach.
Here in Oregon, you’ll find lots of hazelnut groves that pop up amongst our local vineyards – And, for good reason. Hazelnuts and pinot noir grapes both love the volcanic soils and temperate ocean, mountain and river climates in the area. Did you know that Oregon produces a staggering 99% of the entire hazelnut crop in the United States? We win at hazelnuts.
And then there’s the sea salt. That stuff that makes everything at our beach house rust away also adds some pretty amazing flavor to so many foods. Last winter, during a stormy day at the beach, Rick and I took a short drive up to Netarts Bay where we were able to check out some local sea salt production in action. It was such a windy day that the power was actually out at the production facility. But, through the limited bit of sun that was peeking through the windows, we were able to check out the salt making process. Large vats, that reminded me of those tanks you see at fisheries, held loads of shiny salt crystals that are formed through evaporation. The size of some of the crystals was amazing – The salt fiend in me found my happy place.
But let’s not leave out the Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour. It’s also produced right here in Oregon. As a kid, I remember my dad making the 2-hour drive from Eugene to Oregon City just to stock up on Bob’s Red Mill products – Cornmeal, flour, beans. Nowadays, you can just buy their products in your local grocery store. Which is awesome, because I love using their flour in my baked goods. It’s the same high protein flour used by professional bakers and it always does its job at producing light and airy cookies for me.
Let me present you with The Oregon Cookie: Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Hazelnuts & Sea Salt. Intensely chocolaty, without being overly sweet, salty, buttery and crisp. I’d say that they’re the perfect cookies – Even outside of Oregon….