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Recipe: Toasted Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
There is a lot of talk at the moment about the lockdown causing us to reevaluate the way we live our lives. As a self-employed freelancer I was pretty much marching to the beat of my own drum anyway unlike many of my friends following a more structured career path, but one minor thing I have noticed is that after years of simply not enjoying it (no sweets was literally the only demand of my publishers I made before signing the contract for One Pan Pescatarian(ad), though there is a savoury loaf in there with courgette, olives and sundried tomatoes served with a whipped anchovy butter I love so much I chose it as one of the recipes for the cover!) I’ve somehow become a baker again.
These cookies are it, not quite. No they’re not just a plain, simple chocolate chip cookie, but they do follow that template as a really simple basic cookie recipe for everyday snacking, but given a bit of a grown-up makeover (the baking equivalent of a good red lipstick and a pair of heels if you will) with a good pinch of flaky sea salt, dark chocolate chips and a crunchy handful of toasted hazelnuts stirred into the dough. I’ve adapted them slightly (to remove the self-raising flour and make the recipe easier to follow for my international readers) from the handwritten recipe in my mother’s recipe box. I think it originally came out of an old edition of Waitrose Food.
A simple, classic chocolate chip cookie recipe made grown-up with dark chocolate, flaky sea salt and toasted hazelnuts.
100g (3.5 oz) blanched hazelnuts
125g (4.5 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g (3.5 oz) light brown muscovado sugar
50g (2 oz) golden caster (granulated) sugar
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt (I use Malson)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
175g (6 oz) plain (all purpose) flour
75g (2.5 oz) dark chocolate chips
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (355 fahrenheit). Spread the hazelnuts out across a baking tray with a lipped edge and toast them for roughly 8 minutes until they are just golden. Remove from the oven to cool.
Beat together the butter, sugars and sea salt until pale. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
Carefully stir in the baking powder, followed by the flour until the dough is just combined.
Roughly chop the toasted hazelnuts and add them along with the chocolate chips to the dough and stir to combine.
Line three baking trays with baking parchment. If you only own two, or your oven only holds two racks you can bake in batches but keep in mind your oven will get hotter the longer it is on so keep an eye on the second batch of cookies – you may need to bake them a little less to avoid them getting crunchy!
Divide the dough into 24 heaped tablespoon-sized balls and space them 3-4cm apart on the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until just starting to turn golden around the edges.
Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on their trays before sliding them out onto a wire wrack to cool.
If you can’t find blanched hazelnuts toast them with the skins still on as usual and once they’re cool enough to touch rub off the skins with your fingers or a tea towel. This can be quite fiddly so don’t worry if a bit of skin still remains!
I usually do all my cookies by hand but experimenting when I threw my shoulder out this recipe also comes together well in a stand mixer.
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One Pan Pescatarian: 100 Delicious Dinners – Veggie, Vegan, Fish
My second cookbook contains 100 delicious dinner recipes, all of which are either vegetarian, vegan or which celebrate fish and seafood - all cooked in either one pot or one pan.*