Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Why is Nutella so good?  Why do I think it is ok to have it for breakfast when I am Europe?  

These cookies are obviously screaming Nutella.  But, if you make these, you need to follow three rules (I broke all of these at some point):

1.  Use blanched, skinless hazelnuts.  The skin is bitter.  
2.  Cut up a chunk of milk chocolate, don't use chips.
3.  Experiment with the baking temp and time to get the cookie the right (soft) consistency.

This is an interesting recipe because the dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 3-4 hours before baking.  We actually baked these to order over the week.  The dough is good for up to a week in the fridge.  But, unlike most "chocolate chip cookies", these honestly taste better completely cooled than they do warm.  

I did make some "high altitude" adjustments.  I think because of all the nuts and nut flour, these cookies do really well at high altitude regardless.  However, I did increase the temp and shorten the cooking time.  I did a little research online and it seems like others who have made these also decreased the baking temperature (by almost a half!)  And there was no indication that they were at high altitude.  

I have to say, I loved these!  There is tons of milk chocolate in these.  Normally, I put way less chocolate chips than what any recipe calls for.  I don't like an overwhelming amount of chocolate in my chocolate chip cookies.  But these...these are more like Nutella cookies.  Like chocolate cookies.  Finally!  I rate a dessert higher than Scot!

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
from Flour by Joanne Chang

1 1/2 sticks butter, plus 1 tablespoon
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blanched whole hazelnuts, toasted (remove skins)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed for approximately 5 minutes (10 minutes if using a hand mixer), or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to release any clinging butter or sugar.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl again to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.

In a food processor, pulse 1/2 cup of the hazelnuts until ground to a fine powder (stop grinding once they are powdery; if you continue, they will become a paste). Roughly chop the remaining 1 cup hazelnuts.

In a medium bowl, stir together the ground and chopped hazelnuts, the flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate. On low speed, slowly blend the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture and then mix just until the flour mixture is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed.

For the best results, scrape the dough into an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight (or at least for 3-4 hours) before baking. When you are ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F (I baked mine at 365 degrees F).

Drop the dough in 1/4-cup balls onto a baking sheet, spacing them approximately 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 20-22 minutes (I baked mine for 5 minutes, rotated the pan 180 degrees and then baked for 2-3 minutes longer…even for sea level, I wouldn’t bake for 20 min., check every 5 min.), or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and pale and slightly soft in the center. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Note 1: Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Note 2: My adjustments are in italics. They may or may not be high altitude adjustments. All I know is that I baked four of these babies at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes and they were hard as a rock.

(Servings: 20-25 cookies, Prep time: 1 hr., Chill time: 3-4 hrs., Bake time: 40 min., Difficulty: Easy)

foodforscot Rating:

Shanon (taste):  8/10
Scot (taste):  7/10
Effort:  3/5
Dishwashing Effort:  4/5


  1. I may have to make these for my sister in law this weekend - chocolate and hazelnut is one of her favorite combinations!

  2. I cannot eat nuts, but this looks so good its worth getting an allergic reaction.

  3. Hi Shannon, I voted for you today, I play bridge with your dad, I will recruit some more votes for you tomorrow night when we all play, a captive audience at the bridge club! Best of luck!
    Chris Hatton