Do you need a quick and easy solution sometimes? Mine is often a batch of almost brownie-like, intense dark Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies – especially after making chocolate macarons.
Why? Surely seeing a batch of finished, sandwiched macarons together, there’s no problem, right?
Sit down with a cup of tea and imagine the scene: there’s this large batch of dark chocolate and hazelnut macarons sitting sandwiched together with gooey ganache on a baking tray and their incredible aromas are snake-drifting around the house. Suddenly, a numbed expectant devouring silence hits the air, as my chocolate-loving teenagers and husband remember… they are NOT ready to eat just yet.
They’ve learned over time not to pinch one. Instead, it’s totally worth the wait for macarons to mature to their ultimate, crispy and fondant perfection. So, as the heavy macaron-laden box disappears in the fridge for a couple of days to perform their magic, my favourite nutty cookies come to the rescue.
Why haven’t I posted my favourite cookie recipe yet? Perhaps because, paradoxically, I make them so often. Or perhaps it has been my safely guarded secret, passed to me by our local chocolate factory. Yes, one of our neighbours a couple of blocks away was the Chocolaterie du Pecq. Alas, I say ‘was’, as they are permanently shut down following a fire that took place a couple of years ago.
Every December, they would open their doors for a few hours to the public. Us locals would queue, unusually for the French – even if it was more sideways than a normal straight British-style queue – on our allotted early morning Saturday slot. As we were tasting their latest magic (another reason for going sideways and becoming high on cacao), we’d complete our order forms for bulk packs of the most exquisite dark chocolate chips, praline, unsweetened cocoa powder and ballotins of our favourite filled chocolates.
Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies – with Toasted Nuts & Salt!
Thankfully, the chocolate factory’s recipes go on – and this is one of them. Over the years, I’ve used their original recipe, cutting down on the sugar (if it’s too sweet, how can you appreciate all the flavours in there?) but if you have a few more minutes (that’s all), take the cookies to the NEXT LEVEL and toast some hazelnuts and add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s all in the recipe below!
Have you put dark chocolate and good quality salt (fleur de sel from Brittany) together? The chocolate becomes even more intense in flavour. If you’ve never tried this before, then I urge you to give it a go. Added to these cookies, it makes them even more addictive. And speaking of salty cookies, have you tried these palets bretons, the deliciously salty butter biscuits from Brittany?
Next time you make a batch of chocolate macarons, just remember this quick and easy cookie recipe – and, if you have extra whites left over, then make some crunchy Tuiles or delicious buttery Financiers from my book, Teatime in Paris!
I can sense that this will be seen as “just another cookie recipe post”. Am I right? Prove me wrong and try the recipe. If you do, please tell me and rate the recipe below!
Perfectly gooey, crumbly and intense in dark chocolate, these toasted hazelnut cookies are addictive with a touch of French fleur de sel salt to add that extra oh-la-la factor while waiting for your chocolate macarons to mature.
- 80 g (3oz) unsalted Butter softened, nearly melted
- 50 g (1.75oz) cane Sugar or Cassonade French sugar
- 50 g (1.75oz) ground hazelnuts hazelnut flour*
- 80 g (3oz) plain flour all-purpose
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Van Houten) OPTIONAL
- 1 egg (organic) at room temperature
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt fleur de sel
- 100 g (3.5oz) dark chocolate chips (good quality)
- 40 g (1.5oz) hazelnuts OPTIONAL
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas6.
In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until it's a creamy, mousse-like mixture
(Optional - If using, dry fry the hazelnuts for about 5 minutes over a high heat until toasted.)
Add all the other ingredients and mix together using a spatula or spoon. If adding the extra toasted hazelnuts, chop them roughly or break them up in a mortar & pestle or crush them in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin.
Line a baking sheet with baking parchment or a silicone mat. Using a dessert spoon or ice cream scoop, form about 10-12 balls well spaced apart. You may need a second baking sheet, depending on the size of yours.
Turn down the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/320°F/Gas3 and bake them for 17 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION per 40g serving (makes 12 cookies): 158 Calories; 3g protein; lipids 10g; glucides 14g.
Best eaten on the day but store in a cookie jar and eat within 24 hours so they're at their best.
The optional step of adding the extra toasted hazelnuts perhaps sounds complicated, but it's worth it!
*If you can't find hazelnut flour, finely ground whole hazelnuts or use ground almonds (almond flour)