Hazelnut cookies made with ground hazelnuts, and drizzled with dark chocolate--the best holiday cookies there ever was! It's closer to hazelnut shortbread, and their dense texture makes them perfect with a cup of coffee, any time of day.
These cookies started out as not very good scones. I'm a huge scone lover, though most people you share an elevator with will say muffins all-the-way. I like dense, crumbly scones made with so much cream, the crumb is almost cool on your palate. Do you know what I'm talking about? It crumbles so quickly that your mouth is almost cool.
However, when you incorporate the amount of hazelnut meal needed to actually make scones taste like hazelnuts, the scone gets overly soft and fluffy. And very cookie-like. I piled the hazelnut scones of failure on a plate and set them to the side in the kitchen. Then, I made my afternoon cup of herbal tea (so into nettle tea right now), and I grabbed a piece of failure to accompany it. As I dunked it into my tea, I realized that these hazelnuts wanted to be cookies, not scones, after all!
I buy the big one-pound bag of hazelnuts at Trader Joe's. I think they were $7 or so? I know hazelnuts everywhere else can be expensive, so if you don't have a Trader Joe's nearby you might hit the internet for hazelnuts instead. Why is TJ's so affordable on so many items? I swear my local grocery store has pecans for $1 each.
Anyway, what can you do with the rest of the bag of hazelnuts? I'm so glad you asked! You can double this recipe, or you can make my pear salad with blue cheese and hazelnuts. Highly recommend a toasty crunchy hazelnut in a salad with creamy chunks of blue cheese. Also, you can make yourself some nutella from scratch. I'll get to work on homemade nutella and report back. For now, I buy my Nutella to make pumpkin Nutella muffins.
Anytime I have leftover Nutella, I make peanut butter Nutella cookies, because the swirls of Nutella seem to make a day that hasn't gone quite right much, much better.
Do you see the cracks in the cookies? That means the insides are fluffy and chewy. And these little babes really taste like hazelnuts because they have finely ground nuts as part of the flour mixture and then a handful of chopped babies, too. I kinda think these are going to be on my Christmas cookie list this year!
- Hazelnuts. You need ½ cup of hazelnut meal to make this recipe. To make it from scratch, grind a little less than ½ cup of toasted hazelnuts in a mini food processor or high-speed blender until a flour forms. Be careful not to blend it too much, or it will turn into hazelnut butter. Stop when it is powdery and flour-like. You can also add a small handful of chopped hazelnuts to the cookie dough for a nutty crunch. You might also like my chocolate chip cookies with walnuts, if you like nutty cookies.
- All-Purpose Flour.
- Baking Soda.
- Baking Powder.
- Unsalted Butter. For these hazelnut cookies, we need to keep the butter cold. So pull it straight from the fridge, and start baking!
- Heavy Cream. Sometimes this is called double cream.
- Egg Yolk. Just the egg yolk; reserve the egg white for another recipe, like fluffy lemon cupcakes.
- Chocolate. We need ⅓. cup of dark chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate. We will melt it with the coconut oil to make the chocolate drizzle.
- Coconut Oil. You can use coconut oil or shortening to make the chocolate drizzle. I really recommend coconut oil, because at slightly cool temperatures, the chocolate will set and make the cookies stackable. If you use oil to melt the chocolate, it will stay melty.
How to make hazelnut cookies:
- Gather the ingredients: hazelnut meal, flour, baking soda and baking powder, cold butter, cream, and egg yolk. You'll need the chocolate and oil later on, after the cookies have baked. Ensure the oven has a rack in the center position, and preheat the oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Have ready a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- First, in a medium bowl, whisk together the hazelnut meal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Next, add the cold diced butter, and use two forks or a pastry blender to work it into the dough.
- When the butter is fully incorporated, it will only be the size of rice grains, and the mixture will start to clump together when squeezed in your hands. Now, add the egg yolk and cream.
- Use a fork to stir the egg yolk and cream into the dough, until a soft dough forms.
- Now, scoop out 12 dough balls, and roll them in your hands to form perfect circles.
- Space the hazelnut cookies evenly on the sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and then bake for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the cookies are completely cool, combine the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Melt the chocolate into the oil by using the microwave at 50% power, and stirring after each 20 second pulse. It takes about 60 seconds total, for me.
- Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled cookies in any pattern you like. If you used coconut oil, the chocolate will set at a cool temperature so the cookies are stackable and the chocolate will be dry to the touch.
How to store leftover hazelnut cookies:
Keep the cookies in an air-tight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.
How to ship cookies:
If you would like to ship these, first I must recommend that you skip the chocolate drizzle. Even if you use coconut oil that sets up firm when cool, it will melt in a delivery truck, I promise. So, to ship these hazelnut cookies plain, pack them flat in a plastic bag, and place the bag in-between layers of popcorn in a flat box. Ship overnight or next-day by air.
How to make ahead:
You can make these hazelnut cookies ahead of time by freezing the dough. As you scoop out the 12 balls, place them on a small cookie sheet that fits inside your freezer. Don't let the dough balls tough for now. Freeze the cookies for 2 hours, and then remove them from the sheet and place them in plastic bags. They can touch without sticking once they're already frozen. Store for up to 3 months, tightly wrapped in the freezer. Bake from frozen, and add 1-2 minutes of additional baking time.
- ½ cup (58 grams) hazelnut meal*
- ¾ cup (96 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
- ¼ cup (59 mL) heavy cream
- 1 large egg yolk
For the chocolate drizzle:
- ⅓ cup (53 grams) dark chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil (or shortening)
- Preheat the oven to 400, and ensure you have a rack in the center position of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and gather cookie ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the hazelnut meal, flour, salt, baking soda and powder. Add a handful of coarsely chopped hazelnuts, if desired.
- Next, dice the cold butter, and add it to the flour mixture.
- Work the butter into the flour using your fingers or a pastry blender. The butter should be evenly incorporated and roughly the size of rice grains. Then, add the heavy cream and egg yolk.
- Stir until a soft dough forms, ad then scoop out 12 balls of dough, rolling in your hand lightly to form balls.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 10 minutes.
- Let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes (the cracks will develop as they cool), and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the chocolate drizzle, heat the chocolate chips and coconut oil at 50% power in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until melted. It takes me about 3 pulses.
- Drizzle the chocolate over the cookies with a spoon.
Hazelnut Meal: To make a ½ cup of ground hazelnut meal, grind a little less than ½ cup of toasted hazelnuts in a food processor. Stop blending when it is powdery and flour-like.
Heavy Cream: Also called double cream.
Egg Yolk: We only need the egg yolk; reserve the egg white for another use.
Chocolate: Either ⅓ cup of dark chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate.
Coconut Oil: You can subsitute shortening. However, I really recommend coconut oil, because the chocolate will set and make the cookies stackable.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g