This summer John and I went to Indonesia. I know, random place to go, but our friends live in South Korea and were going to Bali (Indonesia) for vacation and invited us along. Because of all our free airline miles, we thought “what the heck, let’s go to Bali.” And so we did. And behold, that is where I stumbled upon perhaps the cutest little coffee/food/gelato cafe I’ve ever stepped foot in: Sea Circus.
Thanks to the recommendation of a fellow blogger who lives in the area, we happened upon this somewhat familiar “American” food establishment with a Balinese twist. Oh man was it delicious. And the coffee! When you haven’t had good coffee for 10 days + and then someone puts a proper capp in front of your face, you could just die. Just literally die. Don’t even get me started on the tacos…
Another reason I loved this place? They had BACIO (chocolate-hazelnut) gelato that was rich and chocolatey and intense with hazelnut flavor thanks tiny bits of hazelnut blended right into every bite. It was intense.
Ever since I slurped down that bacio gelato cone I could NOT shake the idea of making chocolate-hazelnut cookies from my mind. And so to the kitchen I went to test. After one raw batch and one baked, I heavily preferred the no-bakes. I mean, 4 ingredients, no butter or sugar or baking AND they tasted better? It was kind of a no brainer.
These cookies require just 1 bowl, 5 minutes and 4 ingredients, meaning they fit ALL THREE requirements for the recipes on this blog. A trifecta of simplicity, if you will. But that doesn’t mean they skimp on flavor or texture one bit.
The dates provide ample sweetness and fudginess.
The cocoa powder gives them that slightly bitter chocolate taste.
The hazelnuts add that essential nuttiness & “bacio” profile.
And semisweet chocolate chips add yet another layer of chocolate decadence.
This humble cookie is kind of my bliss. Now, if I could only get back to Sea Circus sometime for another scoop of bacio gelato, then my bliss tank would be all the way full. Until then, let them eat bacio
- 1 cup hazelnut meal (ground from raw hazelnuts)
- 1 cup medjool or deglet nour dates
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder (or sub cacao powder)
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Add dates to a food processor and pulse until small bits remain - it should form a ball, but not a big deal if it doesn't.
- Add chocolate chips, cocoa powder and hazelnut meal and mix until well incorporated (see photo).
- Add more dates through the spout while mixing if it appears too dry. You know you have the right texture when you gather a small amount in your fingers and it easily forms a dough. I added a few more to get that perfect doughy texture.
- Form into 1-inch discs and eat immediately. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container or bag; freeze for longterm storage.