Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love cookies. Well, I should be fair. I love a nice soft chewy chocolate chip cookie. It’s actually to blame for me getting into cooking. Sure watching my mom meticulously decorate cakes and then later trying it myself satisfied the artist in me, but cookies were the “gateway drug” into the world of cooking. It all started with my chocolate chip cookies

My original chocolate chip cookie recipe is one that I don’t like to mess with. It’s proven to be a winner so if anything changes it’s only with great consideration. So far the only thing I have changed in that original recipe are the brand of butter, the brand/quality of chocolate, and the type of eggs (since I now only use duck eggs).

That being said, every now and then I see a recipe for yet another version of a chocolate chop cookie and debate about trying it. It takes a lot for me to try new recipes. I don’t like thin flat cookies, I don’t think crispy cookies, and I don’t like dry crumbly cookies. The “chew” of a chocolate chip cookie is maybe the most important thing to me.

It wasn’t until I was thumbing through my copy of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi that I came across a recipe interesting enough to try. They were called “Edouard’s Chocolate Chip Cookies“. A recipe from a pastry Chef in France, this wasn’t all to different but there were a few differences. What really caught my eye was the use of Hazelnut Flour. So I set out on making them. They turned out fine but I wasn’t happy with the technique in the directions of the recipe. One major issue for me making cookies is that they should be quick and simple. Any recipe that calls for refrigerating the dough for 2 hours before I can even bake cookies is usually a no go for me but like I said the first time though a recipe I follow it as close as I can, you never know what little tweaks will make enough of a difference.

OK, so let me tell you about the recipe in the book. It starts with sifting the dry ingredients together and setting aside. Then in the mixer, creaming the butter till smooth, adding the sugar and beat until well combine, then add the vanilla while the mixer is running and finally add the eggs one at a time beating for another minute after each egg.

So let me stop right there. Why? Why wouldn’t you do all the ingredients together until light and fluffy like most all other cookie recipes? All that stoping and starting doesn’t seem to make a difference and just seems fussy. To compound the issue she then has you add the sifted ingredients in 4-5 additions stopping after each one and scraping down the bowl. Then it finishes with adding the chopped chocolate and the hazelnut flour. If you’re keeping track, that’s 9-10 starts and stops of the mixer! The recipe then has you divide the dough in half wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours. After the dough has sat in the fridge for two hours you are then supposed to “scoop” into mounds the size of golf balls. I am not sure about you but have you ever tried to “scoop” cold hard cookie dough?! As if to just make this the most complicated recipe I have ever seen for a cookie it also calls for you to bake the cookies for 8 minutes and then with the back of a spatula press the mounds down and finish baking for another 7 minutes. Oy Vey!

The cookie was interesting enough to fuss with the recipe and make it more reasonable in my opinion. I started with making these the way I make my traditional chocolate chip cookies. I put all the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla in the mixer and beat until fluffy. I then added the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. I then added the hazelnut meal and the chopped chocolate and mixed till well combined. (That’s only 3 starts and stops.)

I wasn’t sure how impactful the chilling of the dough was but what I opted to do the first time was scoop the dough using my cookie scoop packing a sheet pan with the mounds of dough covering with plastic and refrigerating. I then baked them (I never pressed the centers down). I eventually gave up on the chilling and didn’t see enough of a difference to go back to it. So now the recipe is more like a normal drop cookie recipe and is fantastic!

My revamped Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add:

  • 226 grams Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 200 grams Granulated Sugar
  • 220 grams Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs, jumbo (about 4 ½ ounces and yes, I used duck eggs)

Beat well, until light and fluffy. Don’t worry at this point you can’t “over mix” your ingredients. Stop the mixer and then add:

  • 476 grams All-purpose Flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Powder

Starting at a slow speed turn the mixer back on and mix in the dry ingredients just until combine. Stop the mixer again and add:

  • 12 ounces 60% Chocolate Chips
  • 150 grams Hazelnut Flour

Mix until well combine. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with a silpat and using a cookie scoop evenly space out your balls of dough leaving room for the dough to spread slightly.

I use a ½ once scoop for all my cookies. This makes the final cookie just slightly bigger than a half dollar coin. I have found this size to be ideal. It makes a two bit cookie. I bake this size for 9 minutes and then remove and cool on a wire rack. If you are doing larger cookies you will need to extend you baking time. The key with these are to just slightly under done to maintain a chewy center.

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Once cooled I put them in freezer ziplock bags in quantity per serving. The day I would like cookies I just set them out to thaw and within an hour they are perfect. This recipe was also made especially amazing by using Valrhona’s new 60% Chocolate Chips! I learned the joys of how amazing their chocolate is a while ago but with them now offering chips I no longer have to chop the chocolate. I much prefer chunks of chocolate rather than uneven flakes, chunks, and dust in my cookies. I am also thinking since I enjoy nuts I might add coarsely chopped hazelnuts to my next batch! Should be good!

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