Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Is there anything better than Nutella? I mean, think about it. Chocolate and hazelnuts get together and produce a sweet, smooth, creamy baby, available in a handy jar. In a jar, people. Basically begging to be spread on everything from croissants to pretzels to your fingers. Sick of healthy apples for a snack? A dab of Nutella will fix that right up. Want to get your kids to eat their broccoli? Add Nutella! It goes with everything.

So yes, I have a serious weakness where Nutella is concerned. Even if it is, like 98% trans fats and 1.5% hazelnut goo and .5% sketchy cocoa solids, I still love it and defend it and buy it in wee overpriced jars from the supermarket. That's why, when I saw this recipe for Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies on Maria's blog awhile back, I knew I had to make them with the hazelnuts I got from Oh! Nuts.

These cookies were similar to a chcolate-chip cookie dough, with the addition of Nutella, and chopped hazelnuts in lieu of the chocolate chips. I was expecting fireworks when I tasted the dough, but I actually found it a little bland. The hazelnut flavor was barely there, and the chocolate didn't come through at all. (Guess it's the revenge of all those nasty trans fats, and the relatively small amount of Nutella in the dough.) Fortunately I had some hazelnut extract that I was able to add, which really boosted the hazelnut flavor.

The cookies baked up beautifully--crispy on the edges, while still very soft in the centers. The hazelnuts added a nice crunch and a toasty flavor. If I were to do it again, I'd add some semi-sweet chocolate chunks, since these cookies looked chocolatey, but didn't have much chocolate taste. Overall, I thought they were a pretty good cookie, but I don't know if I would have liked them much if I hadn't added the extra hazelnut flavor. I guess I'm still searching for the perfect chocolate-hazelnut cookie...or maybe I should go back to spreading Nutella on every cookie that comes my way...

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Adapted from Giada's Kitchen (recipe courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Drop of hazelnut extract (I added this, use if you have it!)
3/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl combine the butter, chocolate hazelnut spread, sugar, and brown sugar. Using an electric mixer, cream the ingredients together, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and drop of hazelnut extract if you are using it and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Add the hazelnuts and stir until just combined.

Using a tablespoon measure, spoon out the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet, spacing the mounds about 4 inches apart. Bake until lightly golden around the edges, about 10 minutes. Use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
**To toast hazelnuts-spread nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Bake for about ten minutes at 350 degrees. Stir them a couple of times while they are baking.**


  1. Like you, I KNOW Nutella is bad for me, but man it can make rubber shoe taste good! :) I slather nutella on nilla wafers --- a quick way to get my fix.

    Bummer that this didn't quite meet your sounded really promising!

  2. I love Nutella, it is the best! Putting it in cookies, even better!

  3. Anonymous4:51 PM

    No, there is nothing better than Nutella. Okay, that may be an exaggeration but it is wonderful. The cookies look great.

  4. These look delicious! I love Nutella!

  5. If you're feeling adventurous, and want to try to avoid some of the fat and those hidden nasties in nutella, you can make your own pretty easily!

    Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
    1/3 cup hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)
    1/2 cup dry nonfat milk powder
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 tbsp cornstarch
    3/4 cup milk (low fat)
    1 tbsp vegetable oil

    In a medium saucepan, combine hazelnut meal, dry milk powder, brown sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch. Add in milk and vegetable oil and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture begins to thicken and just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof container, preferably one with an airtight lid.
    Cool to room temperature and, if not eating right away, store in the fridge with an airtight lid on the container.
    Spread tastes best at room temperature and will keep for several days in the fridge.

    Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

  6. ooooOOoooo Nutella.

    and those cookies.....I'm hungry!

  7. Weakness is definitely one way to describe nutella addiction. Glad I'm not alone.

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