Monday, December 15, 2008

chocolate hazelnut crinkle cookies

chocolate hazelnut crinkle cookies

I don’t know about you, but as disciplined and balanced an eater as I am, I can’t stay away from Nutella. It is my one weakness, my kryptonite. I could, in all honesty, much have a pretty awesome evening with a book, a jar of Nutella and a spoon. Forget bread, as it just gets in the way. And if you think I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect, here’s a small confession, I’ve been known to go through a complete jar of Nutella from start to finish in one sitting. Yes, I have that little will-power. Hazelnut chocolate – I just can’t quit you!

toasted hazelnuts

So you would think I’d be wise enough not to make chocolate hazelnut crinkle cookies; cookies that bring hazelnuts and chocolate together. You’d think I would have enough common sense to know early on this was a very bad idea indeed. You’d think I would see the impending doom coming. Instead, I ignored every scrap of common sense and made the cookies anyway.

pulverized hazelnutsgradually add eggs, one by one
add the milksmelled like nutella

I should have smelled trouble when I started to lick the chocolate hazelnut batter off the mixing paddle and licked the paddle clean. But here as well, I ignored the warning signs. I should have just refrigerated the dough and brought it over to a more disciplined friend and begged her to take it. But I persisted and proceeded to make the cookies.

chocolate hazelnut crinkle cookies

And they were cooling, I kept looking over at them, circling the kitchen island like a shark in waiting. And then, I could take it no more. I poured myself a gigantic glass of milk, piled a half dozen cookies on my plate and within minutes both the glass and the plate were empty save for a few loose cookie crumbs. I brought the rest to a birthday party where I am hoping they were decimated.

chocolate hazelnut crinkle cookieschocolate hazelnut crinkle cookies

You would think I’d learn my lesson then, except that as I’m typing this, there’s an open jar of Nutella to my right, with a spoon in it. I guess that makes me a slow learner.

chocolate hazelnut crinkle cookies


Chocolate Hazelnut Crinkle Cookies
Gourmet, December 2006.

Ingredients:
2/3 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 oz fine-quality bittersweet
chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup confectioners sugar

Special equipment: parchment paper

Preparation:

Make dough:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Toast hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan in oven until skins split and nuts are pale golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven (turn oven off), then wrap hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and rub to remove any loose skins. Cool nuts completely.

Pulse nuts with granulated sugar in a food processor until finely chopped.

Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water or in top of a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and set aside.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

Beat together butter and brown sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in melted chocolate until combined. Add milk and vanilla, beating to incorporate. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in nut mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough until firm, 2 to 3 hours.

Form and bake cookies:

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift confectioners sugar into a bowl. Halve dough and chill 1 half, wrapped in plastic wrap. Roll remaining half into 1-inch balls, placing them on a sheet of wax paper as rolled. Roll balls, 3 or 4 at a time, in confectioners sugar to coat generously and arrange 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets.

Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are puffed and cracked and edges feel dry (but centers are still slightly soft), 12 to 18 minutes total. Transfer cookies (still on parchment) to racks to cool completely.

While first batch is baking, roll remaining dough into balls. Line cooled cookie sheets with fresh parchment, then coat balls with confectioners sugar and bake in same manner.

Cooks’ note:
Cookies keep, layered between sheets of parchment or wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature 5 days.

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11 Comments

  • 1
    Jessica said:

    I’ve been contemplating making these using the “lightened up” version in the latest Cooking Light magazine… you may have just convinced me to go for it :)

    December 16, 2008 9:26 am
  • 2
    heidi said:

    I’m a sinner too. I love chocolate-hazelnuts combination on anything, and yes, you got me, specially in Nutella (but I like it with the bread, a crusty one to balance the sweetness…hehe)even thought my kryptonite is cajeta, a mexican goat’s milk jam. Pure heaven!

    December 16, 2008 9:56 am
  • 3
    radish said:

    Jessica, let me know how the “light” version turns out — the full fat ones are sublime.
    Heidi – I have been looking for a cajeta all around new york, short of coming up to mexicans and asking them to get me the stuff – i hear you on how addictive that stuff is. Sigh. Now you made me crave it :-)

    December 16, 2008 10:22 am
  • 4
    Caitlin said:

    Oh, that is so true. I, too, can go through a jar of Nutella in one evening. It just can’t go on my shopping list, even if I need it for a recipe. But dangit, these look too good not to make them…

    December 16, 2008 1:31 pm
  • 5

    Yum! My mother-in-law made a similar version without the nuts. I’m sure the nuts would be even better.

    December 16, 2008 2:41 pm
  • 6
    radish said:

    Caitlin – you actually don’t need Nutella – just chocolate and hazelnuts :)
    Lisa – there’s a Martha chocolate espresso version I want to try as well.

    December 16, 2008 3:39 pm
  • 7

    I’m not proud to say I’m also powerless to Nutella, and have suffered more than a few Nutella hangovers in my day.
    Since I’m fresh out of the stuff, with hazelnuts in my pantry, these cookies are calling me.

    December 16, 2008 5:44 pm
  • 8

    Now I’m wishing I could trade that espresso version for this nutella-y version! They’re beautiful.

    December 16, 2008 9:55 pm
  • 9
    Judy said:

    i am so excited…this is going to make my daughter’s christmas! she became a BIG fan of nutella while studying in florence…and i STILL have the biggest jar of it in my pantry! regular chocolate crinkles are her favorite christmas cookie…so i can’t wait to see her face when she bites into these!!!!!

    December 17, 2008 8:03 am
  • 10
    Kasey said:

    I, like you, also have a passion for nutella. When traveling as a broke college student through Europe, I sustained myself on bananas and a jar of nutella! Thanks for this delicious recipe. Must try.

    January 14, 2009 4:18 pm
  • 11
    Gansen said:

    blogyn

    September 25, 2009 7:02 am

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