Friday, April 27, 2012

Gianduja Cookies

I've been in a bit of a funk this past week - physically, emotionally and mentally. No matter what I tried, I just couldn't find the "get up and go" to do the things I normally clamour to, which was (to put it mildly) frustrating!

Finally, it seems, I've got my groove back on track. Between hitting the gym, having great conversations with pals on Twitter, a dinner out with my sister and dad, getting super excited about a friend's new baby boy and hearing about Carla's Award-Winning Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes, I've been too busy to be mopey (although I did take a few naps along the way)! The other thing that I love to do when I have a fresh burst of energy (or a ball of stress) is - surprise! - bake! Chocolate is such a great comfort food to me, and Nutella used to be a weakness that I could eat right from the jar.

The rich chocolate-hazelnut combination is also nothing new on this blog or in the food world in general. To me, the sudden craze for the spread was somewhat belated - by the time the rest of the world caught on to it, my sister and I had been eating it for almost 20 years. From what I can gather, it was the company's lack of cross-America availability until recently that's to blame, but now that it's here, it's here to stay. Unless somebody else decides to sue Ferrero, that is. Seriously - what posesses someone to believe that a chocolate spread is an overly healthy item? Even if the marketing did portray it as such (and I'm not saying it does or doesn't), can we not read labels anymore and see the 11 grams of sugar, 100 calories and 6 grams of fat per TABLESPOON?

But I digress.

These cookies actually don't contain Nutella - at least not the spreadable variety. Instead, I took the flavour elements of Nutella on toasty whole wheat bread and formed them into a sweet, snackable and much less messy form!

Gianduja Cookies
Makes 18
3 tbsp warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tbsp hazelnut oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup 1% milk
1 tbsp corn syrup (for chewy cookies!)
1/2 cup oat flour
1/3 cup oat bran
1 cup flour
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard 63%), plus some for garnish if desired
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and warm water.
  2. Add the sugar, oils, vanilla, milk and corn syrup and beat until well combined.
  3. Stir in the oat flour, oat bran, flour, cookie crumbs, ground hazelnuts, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour, up to 2 days.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment (do not grease).
  6. Scoop balls of dough 1 1/2" apart on the sheets and dot with chocolate chips if desired.
  7. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for 12 minutes. Cool completely on the sheets.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 147.6
Total Fat: 7.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.2 mg
Sodium: 34.7 mg
Total Carbs: 19.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 1.9 g

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