Out with the old, in with the new! This New Year's Eve I chopped off six inches of my hair, made John Legend's recipe for mac 'n cheese casserole, and got together with some of my closest friends to watch the countdown on TV and make tacky resolutions for each other. It's been a pretty eventful year and I'm excited for the next one. Cheers to the next three-hundred and sixty-five days!
In terms of baking, this was not my week. Failure after failure emerged from my kitchen, including:
- a batch of overbaked pistachio cookies
- an oatmeal pie that was pretty but inedible
- mini pork-apple pies that were, on the other hand, delicious but ugly
Whenever I make something unsatisfactory I feel like I have to keep going, so each project was a scrambled attempt at making up for the previous failure. I was just about to throw all of my kitchen tools into the fireplace and move to Korea when I decided to give it one more try.
These cookies are the result of this final effort - Redemption Cookies, I will call them, for they have put an end to my failure streak at last!!
Admittedly I don't post nearly enough original recipes, but this is finally one I can be proud of! These cookies boast an intense bittersweet chocolate flavor that pairs perfectly with toasted hazelnuts, Nutella, and a sea salt topping. Though I'm not usually one to sprinkle everything in sight with sea salt, for these cookies I highly recommend it. At first I was disappointed they didn't have the super chewy consistency that I usually love, but the light and crisp texture grew on me immediately. Combined with the crunchy hazelnuts and smooth dark chocolate chunks, I think it might even suit the cookie better.
After a marathon of extravagant holiday treats slathered in royal icing of every color, these cookies served as a remedial dessert of sorts - just barely sweet enough to satisfy that sugar craving, but much tamer than most desserts around this time of year. What better way to transition into your health-related New Year's resolutions?? (kidding).
Sending you all of my best wishes for a fantastic 2015!!!
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
makes about 24 cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Nutella spread
3.5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used 72%)
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped and toasted*
coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Add Nutella and mix well to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture, combining gently with a fork so as to avoid over-mixing. Add in chopped chocolate and hazelnuts and stir to combine.
Scoop dough into 1 Tablespoon-sized balls and space out evenly on parchment paper. Sprinkle generously with sea salt.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until edges are set and the centers are still slightly soft but not gooey. Let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
* To toast and remove skin from hazelnuts, place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Immediately cover them with a towel and let them steam for a minute or two. Use the towel to scoop up hazelnuts and rub together to remove the skin.