I really can't explain this. I don't even like hazelnuts. But I do like these cookies. A lot. Think Nutella, if it were a cookie. Not just spread between two sugar cookies. But what if the Nutella was the cookie itself.
I have to hand it to Kim Boyce, who's Good to the Grain simply inspires me more and more. I was in the process of indexing the book on Gobbledybook (remember that? Yes, I'm still, very slowly, entering cookbooks), and bookmarking just about every other recipe to make, when I came across the Honey Hazelnut Cookies. They looked like the perfect little biscuits... just the thing for a cup of tea. And then, I thought, what if... what if I added some cocoa powder. Wouldn't that be something?
Then I thought, what if, instead of the little tea biscuits, what if I used a basic chocolate chip cookie type dough instead. The biscuits (which I still want to make) are a drier cookie. I wanted more of a soft, moist dough. Chocolate chip cookie dough, especially the whole wheat version in the same book, could be just the ticket. Kim's dough is 100% whole wheat, but given I was adding ground hazelnuts, I decided to go with a combination of whole wheat, graham and all-purpose flours. I'm sure you could do any sorts of flour combinations, depending on how your tastes run. I love the little extra richness the graham and whole wheat flours give.
Under-baked, just slightly, the way I like my chocolate chip cookies, they are crisped just around the edges and soft and just little gooey inside.
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
1/2 cup (45 g) hazelnuts
1/4 cup (30 g) graham flour
1/2 cup (80 g) all purpose
1/2 cup (80 g) whole wheat
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Lightly toast the hazelnuts. You can do this in a skillet on the stovetop, or in a hot oven. You want them to heat just a little to release start to release their oils, not scorch them. Then use a spice grinder or food processor to finely grind them, skins and all.
Lightly whisk the dry ingredients (flours through salt) together to blend well. You can use a sifter, but small grains may be left over that don't make it through the mesh. You can simply add these back in.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until they are smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat in the egg followed by the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mixing on low speed until just combined. Then, add in the ground hazelnuts and chocolate chips if you are using them.
You can bake these immediately, by dropping 1 to 2 tablespoon sized balls (depending on the size of cookie you want) onto the baking sheet with 1 to 2 inches between them (depending on the ball size). Bake until the cookies are a rich brown, about 10 to 15 minutes, turning half way through the baking. I like to under-bake mine a bit, so they stay soft.
You can also chill the dough, and keep it refrigerated up to a week. Cookies made form chilled dough will be thicker than those made from dough at room temperature.