Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
A simple twist turns classic peanut butter cookies into elegant chocolate-hazelnut cookies — either soft and chewy, or crunchy, depending on how long you bake them.
tips from our bakers
Hazelnut flavor takes these cookies over the top, taste-wise. If you don't have hazelnut flavor, the cookies will taste good, but not overly "hazelnutty." Substitute 1/4 teaspoon almond extract for the hazelnut, if you like; almond will give the cookies a vaguely nutty flavor, though it won't be hazelnut. A better substitute is 3/4 teaspoon vanilla-butternut flavor, if you have it.
The wide range of baking times covers both small and large cookies, plus three textures: soft; soft in the center, crisp on the edges; and crunchy all the way through. All times assume baking on a light-colored aluminum pan lined with parchment. Bake the teaspoon-scoop cookies for 7 minutes if you like them soft; 11 to 12 minutes if you like them crunchy. The larger, tablespoon scoop-size cookies will be soft when baked for 8 minutes; and crunchy when baked for 12 to 13 minutes.
Want to make these cookies with whole wheat flour? Go right ahead; we often substitute King Arthur Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour 1:1 for the all-purpose flour, no additional changes needed.
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional, for enhanced flavor
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon hazelnut flavor, optional, for enhanced flavor*
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread, such as Nutella or Jif
- 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
* Don't have hazelnut flavor? See "tips" above.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
- Beat together the shortening, sugars, egg, vanilla, espresso powder, hazelnut flavor, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate-hazelnut spread until smooth.
- Add the flour, beating gently until everything is well combined; the dough will be quite stiff and a bit crumbly. If it doesn't hold together well, drizzle in enough water or cold coffee (1 tablespoon or less) to bring it together. Watch out, though; if you add too much liquid, the cookies will flatten and spread out too much as they bake.
- Drop the cookie dough by teaspoonsful or tablespoonsful onto the prepared baking sheets (a teaspoon or tablespoon cookie scoop works well here), leaving 2 inches between them. The larger balls of dough will be about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and weigh
a generous 1 ounce each (if you have a scale); the smaller ones will be about 1 1/4 inch in diameter, and about 1/2 ounce in weight.
- Use a large dinner fork to flatten each cookie to about 3/8" thick, making a cross-hatch design.
- Bake the cookies for 7 to 12 minutes, until they don't appear super-moist any longer, and seem set. Since they're dark colored, it's difficult to tell when they're done by whether or not they're browned; it's a good idea to bake one test cookie first, to figure out the timing. Smaller cookies baked for the shorter amount of time will be softer; larger cookies baked for the longest amount of time will be crunchy. See "tips," at left, for more details.
- Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool right on the pan; or on a rack.
Yield: 22 to 48 cookies, depending on size | Bake: 12 min | Total: 37 min
Recipe and photo used with permission from:
King Arthur Flour
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