Friday, 13 May 2011

Hazelnut Choc Chip Cookies

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Multicultural Inspiration from... the world of baking!






It’s a cold, rainy, Melbourne day. I’ve already dragged myself out of bed for an early morning gym session, and now I’m back in my PJs and ugg boots, curled up on the couch. The heater on high, working it’s magic and I’m warm and cosy under a blanket, with my furry, faithful companion snuggled up by my side; it’s a text-book doona day, and the only thing that’s missing is something chocolatey to nibble on…

Sitting on the coffee table in front of me is Mrs. Fields’ Best Ever Cookie Book, which I subconsciously find myself flicking through. I’m feeling like chocolate, not just my standard favourite milk, but white chocolate as well… and something a bit crunchy and nutty… so with a little inspiration from Mrs. Fields and a mish-mash of my own ideas, I settle on making a sweet, chewy hazelnut choc chip cookie.


Here’s my recipe for these yummy doona day delights… 
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150g butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped/crushed hazelnuts

Here’s how I put them together…

Preheat the oven to 150°C

Lay a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray – spread the hazelnuts out over the sheet and place in oven for 20 minutes.
Freshly toasted hazelnuts... just let them cool down for a few minutes before sneaking a few in!

In a small bowl, sift in the flour and baking powder, and stir to combine.

Place the butter and sugar in a medium bowl, and cream together with an electric mixer. This is my furry companion, we’ll call him the Kitchen Bug, comes in. The Kitchen Bug is named thus because he is like a moth to a flame when it comes to all things prepared in the eating arena. The Kitchen Bug is native to the kitchen, uses his cuddly charm to get close to food, and is quite partial to butter cream frosting and raw cake mixture.
The Kitchen Bug waits for his share of the cookie dough



Once combined, add in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. 
Almost ready...

Next, beat in the flour until just combined – be very careful not to over mix.

Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts, then drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons an inch or so apart on the baking tray. They will flatten themselves and spread out, so don’t make them too big or put them too close together.

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until just starting to brown on top.
About 5 - 8 minutes away from being completely done!

Once cooked, let them cool on the tray for 10 minutes or so before transferring them to a wire rack – they’re a very soft cookie, so they’ll fall apart if you try to move them around too quickly. I would however recommend eating 1 (or 4) while they’re still warm – AMAZING!!!


The actual cookie itself is super sweet, as are the warm, semi melted chocolate chips, closely followed by the crunchy, earthy taste of the hazelnuts, and very, very moorish! Note to self – must go to the gym tomorrow morning! 


So, with my cookies baked and the Kitchen Bug whimpering by my side, desperate for a bite, it’s time to settle back down on the couch with a few cookies in hand and a few episodes of Iron Chef on Foxtel IQ to inspire my next culinary experiment



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