Roasted Hazelnut Milk & Hazelnut Hot Cocoa
Author: 
Serves: Makes about 4 cups
 
Ingredients
  • For the hazelnut milk:
  • 2 cups roasted and skinned hazelnuts*
  • 4 cups water, plus more as needed
  • small pinch of salt
  • ½ vanilla bean (or ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract), optional
  • 2-3 tsp. pure maple syrup, honey, a few pitted dates, or other sweetener, optional
  • _
  • For the hazelnut hot cocoa:
  • 3-4 oz. good quality dark chocolate, or vegan chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups hazelnut milk
  • Optional: fresh whipped cream, or coconut cream, for serving
Instructions
  1. Add the hazelnuts, water, and salt, and the vanilla (if using), to your blender. Optionally, you can add in a little maple syrup or other sweetener (if you're using dates, you need to add them now -- otherwise, if you're using a liquid sweetener, you can hold off until the nut milk is finished and add a little to taste).
  2. Blend thoroughly until the liquid is thick and cloudy, and the hazelnuts are very finely ground, about 1-2 minutes (you may require more or less time depending on your blender). Let the mixture steep for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Place a large nut milk bag, or a few layers of cheesecloth over a colander, over a large bowl, and slowly pour the milk mixture into the center of it. If you're using cheesecloth, or a smaller nut milk bag, you may have to do this in batches. Pull up the sides of the bag or cheesecloth to form a pouch, and lift it above the bowl to allow the milk to drain through. Squeeze the bottom and sides of the bag or cheesecloth to extract all the liquid you can. Continue until all of the milk has been thoroughly strained. (Set the solids aside, but do not discard them. See recipe notes for tips on how to use the nut solids.)
  4. Taste the milk, and add any liquid sweeteners you'd like if you feel the milk needs it (I used a couple tsp. maple syrup and found that to be perfect for my taste, but you can adjust accordingly). If you feel the milk is too creamy or rich for you, simply add additional water to thin it down.
  5. Transfer to a jar or other airtight container, and store in the fridge. Milk should last for 4-5 days. (The milk will separate after a few hours, but that's completely normal. Just give it a good shake before using.)
  6. Drink it straight, pour it over cereal, add it to your tea or coffee, or make luscious hazelnut hot cocoas with it.
  7. _
  8. For the hazelnut hot cocoa:
  9. In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups of hazelnut milk until bubbles start to appear around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat, and add the chocolate. Stir until completely melted, and serve immediately. (Or, let cool, then refrigerate for chocolate milk.) Top with fresh whipped cream, or coconut whipped cream, if you like.
Notes
*You can find my tutorial for how to roast and skin hazelnuts, HERE. (UPDATE: or, check out my new tutorial on an easier way to skin hazelnuts, HERE. )
Alternatively, you could make this milk with raw hazelnuts, just as you would using almonds. To do so, soak the raw hazelnuts overnight, then drain and proceed with the recipe as written. (This will make a less flavorful milk, but if you prefer the benefits of using raw nuts it will make a perfectly acceptable substitute.)

When making nut milk, I like to save the pulp, rather than discard it. The pulp can be used in recipes like carrot cake or banana bread, or other moist baked goods. (I've successfully added as much as half a cup of nut pulp to this banana oat muffin recipe, with the only real difference being a slightly denser texture.)
To store it, I simply scoop the pulp onto a baking sheet with a ¼ or ½ cup measure (packing each scoop into a mound), then freeze it. Once frozen, I plop the blocks of pulp into a freezer bag and keep them around for future baking.

(P.S., you could totally add a splash of frangelico, rum, or other liquor to make boozy hazelnut hot cocoas. Just sayin'.)

Recipe inspired by Summer of O&O Eats. You can find her recipe for hazelnut milk, HERE.
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at https://www.willcookforfriends.com/2015/04/roasted-hazelnut-milk-hazelnut-hot-cocoa.html