Vanilla Gelato Bites with Chocolate and Hazelnuts
Place a small tray or a plate in the freezer. Remove the gelato from the freezer to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove the chilled tray from the freezer. Scoop out 16 bite-sized balls of gelato and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Remove from the freezer and quickly insert a wooden popstick into each gelato ball. Return them to the freezer for at least 1 hour.
When the gelato balls have frozen with their sticks in place, place the chocolate in a double-boiler over very gently simmering water until melted. Next to the pot of chocolate, place the toasted, chopped hazelnuts in a shallow bowl.
Remove the gelato balls from the freezer, 4 at a time. Working quickly, hold the gelato ball by the stick and dip into the melted chocolate, then dredge it in the hazelnuts. Return them to the freezer and continue with 4 more gelato balls, until all the gelato balls are covered in chocolate and nuts. Freeze the chocolate-and-nut-covered gelato for at least 1 hour.
These are very fun, festive, and tasty. The ice cream scoop I used is a number 40 (holds 1 tablespoon, is 1 1/2 inches in diameter.)
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis