I have to admit that pecans are probably my favorite nut to put into a cookie, judging by the fact that I use them more than any other nut, but I can go for anything from walnuts to macadamias to pistachios. This time around, I decided to use hazelnuts to add some crunch to a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Hazelnuts and chocolate make a great combination – as evidenced by the popularity of Nutella – and hazelnuts tend to be a little bit crunchier than some other nuts because they’re a little less buttery and tender on their own.
I used lightly toasted, whole hazelnuts for this recipe, so they had a nice nutty flavor going into the cookies. Some recipes that use hazelnuts call for their skins to be removed first, but that is not necessary for these casual cookies because flecks of brown hazelnut skin won’t stand out (or look bad, even if they do) against the golden brown cookies. To further emphasize the hazelnut flavor in these, I also incorporated a little bit of Nutella into the cookie dough.
The cookies have a crisp edge and a slightly chewy center to them. When they are fresh from the oven, you can really get a great Nutella flavor from both the small amount of Nutella in the dough and the warm chocolate surrounding the hazelnuts. They retain their chewiness after they’ve cooled and store, in an airtight container, well for a couple of days.
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp Nutella
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light. Beat in nutella, egg and vanilla until smooth. Add flour mixture and incorporate at low speed (or by hand) until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in chocolate chips and hazelnuts.
Drop by 1-inch balls onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are a light golden brown around the edges.
Let cool for 2-3 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies