The idea for these cookies began while I was staring at a bag of hazelnuts that's been sitting in the pantry for about 6 months. They were bought and used in a couple of recipes but we discovered maybe we don't like hazelnuts. At least not as raw nuts by themself. Nutella is probably the one hazelnut based thing that I like, and probably so much so because it's paired with chocolate. Anyway, these cookies were inspired by that bag of hazelnuts that had no use and a love of Nutella.
The hazelnuts were toasted and ground into a meal that was used, along with whole wheat pastry flour, as the base of the cookie. A few simple other ingredients and these cookies turned out perfect. They remind me of the chocolate chip cookies my mom makes, which are perfect every time, but these have that little something different. Next time you are thinking of chocolate chip cookies - give these ones a try.
They bake up tiny, perfectly nutty, and loaded with dark chocolate. I made them on a recent day off and they were the exact thing that a dreary and rainy week day needed-the smell of toasted nuts and butter wafting through the apartment.
adapted from Nestle Toll House recipe
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup hazelnut meal
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 1 egg & 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- To make hazelnut meal: toast one cup of hazelnuts in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them as you don't want them to burn. Once they are toasted, remove, and place in a dish towel to remove skins. It's okay if some of the skins are left on. Once you have removed the skins place hazelnuts in a food processor and process until they have a flour/meal like consistency. Be careful not to over process as it will start to turn into hazelnut butter.
- Brown your butter. Place butter in a pan over med-high heat, stirring occasionally until you begin to see small brown flecks and it gives off a nutty aroma; approximately 10-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Whisk together flours, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
- Once butter has cooled whisk together with sugar in a mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla extract.
- Once all your wet ingredients are mixed, add your dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Roll dough into one inch balls and bake at 350 for about 7 minutes.