Saturday, April 19, 2014

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies

Barring allergies, I have yet to find a person who loathes the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts. You may not love Nutella as much as my sister, my stepbrother or I do (we used to eat it from the jar with a spoon, and both my sister and my stepbrother smear thick layers onto their bread in the morning), but you have to admit the rounder, more "earthy" flavour of toasted nuts adds to the richness of chocolate. In particular, I loved the perfect combination of dark chocolate and hazelnuts - each ingredient buffered the other, keeping the mixture in perfect harmony. A jar of dark chocolate hazelnut spread in the house with two dark chocolate fiends (myself and my mom) was definitely a dangerous prospect!

Ironically, the only variation on the chocolate-hazelnut theme I didn't like (and still don't) was actual chunks of nuts in my chocolate. The texture was just too "out there" for me. That said, ground and pasted nuts in my brownies and cookies were A-OK with me. When I got the urge to bake recently, I decided I'd take that theme and run with it, using a vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe and adding the nutty trifecta of toasted hazelnut oil, ground hazelnuts and Frangelico for a wallop of flavour. I cut down on the sugar a tad and used whole grain flours to let the nut flavour shine, adding miniature dark chocolate chips for a grownup sweet treat. The resultant cookie is tender with just a slight chewiness to the edge, peppered with chocolate and rippled with elements of hazelnut in every bite. Whether you've been a fan of the chocolate-hazelnut combination for decades or are a recent convert, you'll be sure to find something to love with these - even more so if you dunk them in chocolate hazelnut milk... yup, I went there!

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookie

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies
Makes 24
½ cup dark coconut sugar
12 packets Truvia sweetener (or ½ cup sucanat)
½ cup roasted hazelnut oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp Frangelico
3 tbsp water
1 cup oat flour
1 cup spelt flour
¼ tsp guar gum (optional, but adds texture and chew)
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp Kosher salt
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ cup miniature chocolate chips
1/3 cup ground hazelnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl beat together the sugar, Truvia, oil, vanilla, Frangelico and water
  3. Add the flours, guar gum, baking powder, Kosher salt, and nutmeg and mix well.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and ground hazelnuts.
  5. Scoop tablespoons of dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet (do not grease). Keep remaining dough covered in the fridge.
  6. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time.
  7. Cool completely on the sheets.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 105.1
Total Fat: 7.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 35.6 mg
Total Carbs: 11.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
Protein: 1.5 g