My parents have this beautiful hazel in their back garden. It was already there when we moved in when I was 6, but we never paid that much attention to it. I remember one year it gave us a huge harvest, but we barely did anything with it; we just had a humongous bowl full of hazelnuts sitting somewhere in the house for a couple of months.
This year we’ve got another one of those big harvests, but now we’re planning to actually do something with all (or most) of those delicious hazelnuts. Because they’re good. They’re really good. I’ve already had a lot of them and they’re really tasty straight out of their shell, let alone when incorporated in some delicious bake.
When I was at my parents’ about a week ago my mother suggested we’d use some of these nuts to bake some traditional Frisian cookies called Fryske Dúmkes (literally translated: Frisian thumbs). They are delicious cookies that are especially known for their distinct anise flavour, and originated in Friesland, a province in the northern part of the Netherlands where my parents both grew up and most of my family still lives.
Besides aniseed and hazelnuts, these cookies also contain ginger and cinnamon, which together make for a fantastic flavour. Mine don’t exactly look like the traditional Fryske dúmke, which is somewhat smaller and looks like it has a thumb print on it. The last picture in this post shows what it’s (more or less) supposed to look like.