I scraped the smudge of cookie dough that had adhered to the counter after rolling the dough into logs, off the counter with an off-set spatula so I could enjoy ever last gram of it. Though said smudge didn’t include chunks of toasted nuts and bittersweet chocolate that otherwise riddle this dough, it was well worth the special tool. The finished cookies are maybe even better.
–adapted from Biscotti: Recipes from the Kitchen of the American Academy in Rome/Rome Sustainable Food Project
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
I used more or less 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 all purpose flour. I used all brown sugar instead of both brown and granulated and reduced the sugar just a tad. If you can get your hands on bulk filberts/hazelnuts, cracking them doesn’t really take that long and toasting them in the oven takes another 15 minutes. Do a lot at once and you’ll have the best snack imaginable on hand as well. This also makes these nuts affordable.
8 ounces hazelnuts, toasted at 350 for about 15 minutes, cooled, skins rubbed off as best you can and coarsely chopped
9 tablespoons butter (1 stick + 1 tbs)
3/4 cup brown sugar (I used dark brown since that’s what I had but use light if that’s what you have)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Scant 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt (or a little less if you have finer salt)
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (see headnote)
3/4 cup all purpose flour minus 2 tbs (see headnote)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and creamy. Add the vanilla, egg and salt and mix well. In a small bowl mix the flours with the baking soda. Add the flour mixture and nuts and chocolate to the butter mixture and stir and then use your hands to bring it together and finish incorporating the flour and nuts/chocolate. Don’t over mix. Let the the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, wrapped in plastic. Then turn the dough onto the counter and break the dough in half and shape into two logs, 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour or several months.
When ready to bake remove logs from freezer and cut into 1/4- 1/3-inch rounds with a sharp knife. You need a sharp, heavy knife to cut through the nuts. Arrange on a baking sheet and let come to room temperature (about 10 minutes). Bake for about 10 minutes until the nuts start looking golden and the edges are browning a bit. Cool on the sheet pan for a few minutes and then move to rack. When cool the cookies will be crisp.