Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies


Yes, they are as Yum as they look! I came across this little gem of a recipe watching Giada de Laurentiis' Everyday Italian a few years ago. The recipe she gives is absolutely fab on its own but you can also make lots of changes in ingredients that come out just as good. Giada uses hazelnuts but you can use anything you want. I've also used macadamia nuts, walnuts and pecans. The cookies come out crispy, but if you change the ratio of brown sugar to granulated sugar you get crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. And to top it off, they have bits of toffee in them. 

You start off by taking ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats and finely chopping them in a food processor. I make these cookies so often that I made "oat flour" out of a whole canister of oatmeal, now all I have to do is measure out what I need.
Next, you chop up and toast whatever nuts you decide to use. I love those already chopped little 1 cup bag of nuts you can get in the baking aisle. If I do use hazelnuts, I don't worry about skinning them.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Giada's recipe doesn't call for cinnamon but I love it so I add ½ teaspoon to the dry ingredients.
Now you add the butter and sugar to a mixer bowl and mix til light and fluffy. When I want crispy/chewy cookies, I use 1½ cups brown sugar and ½ cup granulated sugar. The mix won't really look light and fluffy just make sure it's mixed thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture in and mix just until blended.
Stir in the toffee, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies in a rounded tablespoon about 1-inch apart onto a heavy baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325° for 12 to 15 minutes. I like mine at 12 minutes.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Then pour yourself a glass of moo juice and try not to bogart the whole batch.
The recipe says it makes 4 dozen but mine always comes out to almost 5 dozen. I usually make 2 or 3 dozen and then put the left over dough in a plastic container and store in the fridge until it's time to bake more.

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces English toffee candy (recommended: Heath or Skor bar), finely chopped
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, and chopped
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper. Finely chop the oats in a food processor. Transfer the oats to a medium bowl. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the toffee, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips.
For each cookie, drop 1 rounded tablespoonful of dough onto sheet, spacing 1-inch apart (do not flatten dough). Bake until the cookies are golden (cookies will flatten slightly), about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. (The cookies can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

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