Chocolate & Hazelnut Cookies.
While the concept of baking is a rather daunting one to a hap handed calamity like myself, the enticement of chocolate and hazelnut is more alluring than the daunt. It seems as though when it comes to baking cookies – or more so, eating them – my baking nervosa is trumped by my chocolate tooth and in all honesty, it’s a war I’m happy to lose.
Don’t be alarmed by the fact that there are two styles of sugars mentioned here as they have been lowered in quantities to allow equal space. I’m glutton but not for calorie punishment. The reason you need the two sugars here is so that you get an intense almost treacle like note that plays well alongside the hazelnuts.
I also just want to clarify that I use a free standing food processor with this recipe because I like to stare wistfully out windows while drinking coffee as something else does the donkey work for me, but a bowl and spoon job would do the trick here.
- 200g Hazelnuts (from a packet)
- 150g Caster Sugar
- 150g Dark Muscovado Sugar
- 150g Butter
- 1 Egg (kept in a fridge – for some reason. I’ll explain later)
- 1 Vanilla Pod (or extract, it doesn’t matter)
- 150g Plain Flor
- 1 tsp Bicarb Soda
- Pinch of salt
- 100g Chocolate Drops (from a packet)
Preheat the oven to 180C before frying the hazelnuts in a dry pan until they start to smell quite nice and then remove off the heat. Should take about 4 minutes. I guess you could take the skins off here (by rubbing them in a tea towel) but I’m lazy so I didn’t. Put half of them in a ziplock bag and bash the daylights out of them and put to one side; put the other half in a food processor and blitz to a thick, dusty consistency. Leave both to one side and crack on with the batter.
Start by creaming together the two sugars and the butter. Split the vanilla pod down the middle and scrape the vanilla seeds into the butter before cracking in the egg – SIDE NOTE, when making cookies, I always keep the egg in the fridge? It was a tip given to me by a baking friend years ago and I have never looked back.
If using a mixer, drop the speed a little and sift in the flour, bicarb of soda, a little finger full of salt and the hazelnuts from the processor and proceed to mix until a batter as formed. Taste it. It’s amazing. Finally, for the mixing part anyway, drop in the chocolate chips and the hazelnuts from the ziplock bag and give one final turn.
Place a piece of baking parchment on a baking tray and ignore measuring the thing, just rip it. Scoop little balls of the cookie dough on to the baking tray – I use a cute little ice cream scoop for this so that it ensures all of the cookies stay similarly shaped, but using fingers is fine. The mixture will give you roughly 12/13 cookies so work in batches of four however I don’t know how big your baking tray is. When you put the dough on the baking tray, slide them into the oven for about 10 minutes and take out. Don’t worry if they seem a little spongy, they will harden as they cool.
For some reason I always aligned baking to a Sunday whereby I have hours upon hours to kill and therefore partaking in a majestic cyclone around the Kitchen to prepare my cookies seems apt but in all honesty, from ingredients to final product, the whole thing takes about just over an hour. It’s a very shameless recipe.