Pecan Pie Tart Hybrid: a combination of two ideas

Its Rodeo time Houston! And if you’re not from Houston, don’t worry. You can have a little taste of the Rodeo with this new dish. And no, it’s not battered and fried. There are a lot of staple foods that are associated with Texas such as BBQ, Tex-Mex, and just about anything you can think of that’s fried. For me, one of the best Texas foods, excluding BBQ of course, is pecan pie. So today I decided to make some pecan pie in honor of the Rodeo and also because I want some.  I combined two different recipes here. From the first, I stole the idea to make my pie into a tart, and I made the filling from the second recipe I found on The Food Network. Now let’s get started!

For the crust, I used my trusty and thoroughly tested formula for success. This is the same crust I made for my chocolate tart and the crumble in my raspberry cheesecakes. Simply follow the directions for the crust here.

While the crust is baking we will make the filling. First toast your pecans. If they are not halved make sure to chop them just a bit.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. This is very similar to making your own caramel, in case you were wondering.

Bring the ingredients in the saucepan to a boil over medium heat. Stir constantly until combined. Then let the mixture boil for about a minute, stirring occasionally.

Remove the saucepan from heat and add in the pecans, bourbon and vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly. Your crust should be coming out of the oven soon. If it’s already finished, make sure it’s still warm. If the crust has cooled, pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes to warm it through quickly.

Beat the three eggs in a small bowl and then pour them into the tart filling. Stir to combine.

Pour the filling into the crust. I ended up with extra liquid from my filling, so I scooped out all of the pecans into the tart and made caramel with the leftover filling by just keeping it on a small heat to cook the eggs. If you do this, make sure to stir constantly.

Bake the tart at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes until the edges are set and the center is still a little loose.  Let the tart cool for ten minutes before cutting and serving.

Pecan Tart

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Instructions:

  • 1 Chocolate Tart Crust 
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

Directions:

  1. Make one batch of crust following the same instructions for the Chocolate Tart Crust
  1. While the crust is baking make the filling: In medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts, bourbon, and the vanilla.
  1. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (If the crust has cooled, return it to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through.) Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Put the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the hot crust.
  1. Bake on the lower oven rack at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 30 to 40 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil half way during baking.) Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

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Whole Wheat Cocoa Nib Sablés: the healthy cookie

Ok let’s break this down because that is a very wordy title. You might be wondering, what are Sablés? I was wondering the same thing. This is just the fancy term for round French shortbread cookies. As you will see though, my Sablés didn’t turn out too “round.” Moving on to the cocoa nibs. I love theses things. It’s basically raw chocolate in its purest form. Noting has been added to it. Not even sugar – gasp! But somehow, even without sugar, they are not bitter. On the plus side, they’re much healthier than regular chocolate. The last part of these cookies in that they are whole wheat. Don’t worry though, adding whole wheat flower really doesn’t change the flavor very much and it’s better for you than white flower. So I guess we can say that these cookies are heathy for us, which I suppose it’s true if you turn a blind eye to the 14 tablespoons of butter that goes in them. I found this interesting recipe from Use Real Butter. And can I jus say what an awesome title for a blog. With that, always use real butter instead of margarine, ugh.

Beat the softened butter with the sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat the ingredients until they are smooth but not fluffy. You don’t want to over mix. Add the cocoa nibs and stir to combine.

Measure out your dry ingredients. I used a scale to get a more accurate measurement here. For the flower you can use the whole wheat pastry flour or substitute that with an approximate one-to-one ration of white flour and whole wheat flour.

Add the flour to your dough and beat until it is just combined. The less you mix this the better. You can even take the dough out of the bowl and knead to by hand if you prefer.

Dump your dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and using your hand form it into a thick log. As you can see I had some trouble with forming my log. The dough was a bit too dry to manipulate with ease and my log turned out to be more rectangular than circular. This is why my cookies turned out shaped a little funky.

Wrap the dough log in the plastic wrap and twist the ends tight. Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours or you could hold in overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take the dough out of the oven and using a sharp knife cut the log into 1/4 inch slices.

Place the slices of dough on the cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until light golden at the edges. Take the Sablés out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack. Then enjoys these flavorful and almost guilt-free cookies.

Whole Wheat Cocoa Nib Sablés

  • Servings: 30
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (9 oz.) whole wheat pastry flour OR
  • 1 cup (4.5 oz.) all-purpose flour plus 1 scant cup (4 oz.) whole wheat flour
  • 14 tbsps unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 oz.) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/4 oz.) cacao nibs

Directions:

  1. Beat the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract together in a mixing bowl until smooth, but not fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cacao nibs and beat until combined.
  1. Add the flour and mix until just incorporated (don’t overbeat). You can gently knead any excess flour into the dough.
  1. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form the dough into a 12-x2-inch log. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place the slices 1 1/2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until light golden at the edges.
  1. Let cool for 1 minute on the baking sheets before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Flavor improves after a day. Store for up to 1 month in an airtight container. Makes 30 cookies.

Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes: tiny but mighty

menumusings.blogspot.com

menumusings.blogspot.com

I remember the first time I ever encountered cheesecake. I thought it was the most disgusting thing to put cheese into a cake. Back then I had a very limited idea of what constituted as dessert. Now, of course, I understand and appreciate the delectate combination of cream cheese and sugar to create a smooth and creamy cake. I adapted this recipe from from Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom and took my own take on the classic raspberry cheesecake. I love this recipe because the cook time for the mini cheesecakes is much shorter than most other recipes I found. This leaves the cheesecake soft and creamy and it doesn’t fall after cooling. I made my own crumble from scratch rather than using Oreos because Oreos are too sweet. So without further ado, let’s get started. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with cupcake liners. Also, take out all of your cold ingredients so that they can come to room temperature.

For the crumble I made the crust for the Chocolate Tart that I had made previously. The only difference was that I switched out two tablespoons of flower for two tablespoons of cocoa powder to make the crumble chocolate to mimic the Oreos. Bake the crust like you would for the tart. Once the crust has cooled on a wire rack break it up into smaller pieces. In a food processor mix the crust until it becomes crumbly. Then add the melted butter while the food processor is still running. Mix in as much of the butter as needed until the mixture becomes the consistency of mud. Mmmm, yummy mud. Place about a teaspoon of the crumble in each cupcake mold and press it down. Then cover the tray with plastic and let it cool in the fridge to harden. To make my favorite part – the raspberry sauce – measure out a cup of raspberries. As u can see, my “cup” of raspberries isn’t accurately measured. In my opinion, the more the merrier. Combine the raspberries with the sugar and corn starch in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Using the back of your spoon, break up the raspberries until the mixture resembles a thick sauce. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using.

Beat the cream cheese the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed until it becomes soft. Then add the sugar and continue to mix until combined. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and continue to mix until the mixture becomes uniform. Add the eggs one at a time until they are fully mixed then add in the sour cream and continue to mix the filling until it combines. You can sneak a quick taste now to check the sweetness and add more sugar or lemon zest if needed. Once the filling is ready, take the cupcake pan out of the refrigerator and begin to fill each cupcake paper with the cream cheese filling. Make sure to fill them up almost all the way to the top.

Place three big drops of the raspberry sauce on top of the filling and use a toothpick to swirl it together. Ta da! Pretty swirls. Bake the cheesecakes for 20 to 22 minutes. When you take them out the centers should still be moist and jiggly. Let the cheesecakes cool at room temperate. Then refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of Chocolate Tart Crust
  • 3-4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 6 oz (a slightly rounded cup) of raspberries 
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 (8oz) blocks of full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup full fat sour cream, room temperature

Directions:

  1. Begin by taking out all of your cold filling ingredients so they can come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Make one batch of Chocolate Tart crust. Mix the crust in a food processor and add the melted butter until the mixture comes together. Press I Tbsp of the crumble into each cupcake liner that you have set into standard muffin pan.  Press the crust down with your fingers.  Cover the entire pan and place in the refrigerator to harden.
  3. Mix the raspberries, sugar, and corn starch in a saucepan over low heat until just bubbling.  Break down the raspberries by mashing them with the back of your spoon.  Remove from heat when thickened. Transfer to a glass container and cool in the refrigerator until needed.
  4. Mix all room temperature ingredients in a stand mixer, on low.  You don’t want to mix on high because it will put too much air into the batter. Start by beating the cream cheese, then add the sugar, salt, vanilla, and lemon. Add one egg at a time until combined. Mix in the sour cream until the filling becomes uniform. Fill the cupcake papers almost to the top. Place three “drops” of the cooled raspberry sauce on top of the filled cheesecake batter. Use a toothpick or knife to swirl the raspberry sauce into the cheesecake batter.
  5. Bake on 300 F for 18-22 minutes.  The center should still be a little bit “jiggly” and still slightly moist looking.  Remove and allow them to cool.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or for several hours.

Chocolate Tart: proof that hard work pays off

americastestkitchen.com

Warning, this is a rather involved recipe with many details steps. I adapted it from America’s Test Kitchen where all they do is try recipes over and over and over until they get the perfect results. This chocolate tart took me 2 days to complete, but that was mostly due to by busy weekend schedule. I make the dough late Saturday night and finished the rest of the tart the next day. With all that said, don’t worry. You don’t need to be a master chef to get this recipe. It does not require any fancy sills or magic. It is just a bit time consuming. There is a lot of putting the dough in the fridge then taking it out, then putting it back in again. America’s Test Kitchen’s goal for this recipe was to make the “perfect” chocolate tart with a smooth, shiny, air bubble free finish. They did everything form finding a new way to melt chocolate (no more double boilers) to straining eggs through a fine-mesh strainer. No joke. Although my mom and I had quite a lot of fun laughing over the meticulous steps. Now that I have sufficiently dissuaded you from even attempting this tart, let’s begin.

Ok, let’s start simple – the dough. In a food processor combine the almonds and sugar and pulse until the almonds are finely ground. I didn’t have any almond lying around, so I switched them out for almond meal instead. There really is no difference because pulsing the almond basically makes almond meal. If you have a choice though, go with the whole almonds; they are fresher and will increase the flavor of the tart. Add the flower and salt and pulse to combine the ingredients.

Cut the butter into small squares and scatter it around the flower mixture. Pulse several times until the butter combines with the flower and becomes slightly crumbly. Make sure not to over pulse the mixture.

Whisk the egg yolk and heavy cream in a small bowl. Then, while the food processor is still on, pour the mixture into the flower. Keep the food processor running until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Make sure not to over mix this as well. As soon as the dough starts to form, turn of the food processor.

Take the dough out and form it into a ball using your hands. Wrap the dough in plastic and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes until it hardens but is still soft enough to work with. See, that wasn’t too hard. We just made the dough for the crust. We are almost half way there. You can keep the dough in the fridge for up to three days. When you are ready, take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature until it becomes malleable.

Roll the dough out to form a circle that is slightly larger that your tart pan. It should be about 11 inches in diameter and 3/8 of an inch thick. I wonder who coms up with these measurements. I mean, does the chef actually use a ruler to measure the thickness of the dough?  Long story short, just roll your dough out pretty thin but not so thin that it begins to tear. Put your rolled out dough back in the fridge for 15 minutes and enjoy a cup of tea while you wait. (The tea is optional but advised)

After the tea break, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Remove the dough from the fridge and place the tart pan upside down onto the dough. Use the tart pan as a giant cookie cutter and press down to cut out the dough. *See recipe below for detailed instructions on how to form the dough into the tart pan*

Put the tart pan into the freezer for another 20 to thirty minutes (again, I know).

Take the tart pan out of the refrigerator (again).  Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and lightly cover the tart pan with foil, sprayed side down. Make sure to cover the edges of the crust with the foil so that it doesn’t burn. Spread about two cups of pie weights on top of the foil. I didn’t have any pie weights so I used a combination or dried chickpeas and split peas. The idea is to weigh down the dough so that it wont shrink.

Bake the crust foe 25 minutes or until it is dry and light golden brown. Be sure to rotate the tart halfway through.  Remove the pie weights and foil and bake the crust for another 3 to five minutes. In the original recipe, we were supposed to keep the tart in the oven for another ten minutes, but, after only 6 minutes, my crust was beginning to burn. Let the crust cool completely.

While the crust is cooling, we will begin the filling. Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Chop up the chocolate. Try break up the chocolate into small pieces so that it will be easy to melt later on.

In a saucepan, bring the cream, expresso powder and salt to a simmer. Stir the mixture gently until combined.

Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and cover with a lid. Let the chocolate sit like this for about 5 minutes. This is an ingenious way to melt the chocolate because you don’t need to use a double boiler or worry about tempering the chocolate.

Lift the lid and carefully stir the mixture until it becomes a smooth uniform chocolate goodness. It’s important to whisk the mixture gently because we don’t want to incorporate any air which will manifest itself as pesky air bubbles in our otherwise flawless tart. Add the thinly sliced butter and mix until most of it has melted. Now for the fun part. Whisk the eggs and pour then into the chocolate mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Yup, you heard me right. We don’t want any lumpy things getting into our filling. Stir to combine the eggs.

Pour your filling into the crust and tilt side to side to distribute the filling evenly. If you happen to see any air bubbles, just pop them with a toothpick. Bake the tart on a baking sheet for 30 to 35 minutes until the outer edges of the filling have set. The center should still be wobbly. Let cool on a wire rack and then refrigerate (again) for three hours.

Bring the cream and corn syrup to a simmer and stir to combine. Then remove from heat. Finley chop the chocolate and add it to cream mixture and cover with a lid.

Let the mixture sit for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir the chocolate to combine using a whisk. Add the rum or cognac and stir to combine until the mixture looks smooth and shiny. Make sure that the rum or cognac is very warm. Mine was not and the resulting glaze came out a little lumpy in the end. When making the gaze, everything should be about the same temperature.

Pour the glaze over the tart and tilt to coat evenly. Let the tart stand for at least an hour before cutting.

And finally, after god knows how long, and so many trips to and from the fridge, we have our chocolate tart. Garnish with chocolate shavings, mint and raspberries and succumb to the magic that is creamy smooth chocolate. I became emotionally attached to my tart and would not let anyone cut it until my family’s eagerness to try the tart overcame my desire to keep the perfect tart untouched. It was worth is though, because the tart tastes amazing. And I must say, after all that work, I deserved it.

Chocolate Tart

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1 cup (5 ounces)all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoonsunsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Filling

  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 ouncesbittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoonsunsalted butter, cut into thin slices and softened
  • 2large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature

Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 ouncesbittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons rum or cognac

Instructions:

  1. FOR THE CRUST:Beat egg yolk and cream together in small bowl. Process almonds and sugar in food processor until nuts are finely ground, 15 to 20 seconds. Add flour and salt; pulse to combine, about 10 pulses. Scatter butter over flour mixture; pulse to cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 pulses. With processor running, add egg yolk mixture and process until dough forms ball, about 10 seconds. Transfer dough to large sheet of plastic wrap and press into 6-inch disk; wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm but malleable, about 30 minutes. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; before using, let stand at room temperature until malleable but still cool.)
  2. Roll out dough between 2 large sheets of plastic into 11-inch round about 3/8 inch thick. (If dough becomes too soft and sticky to work with, slip it onto baking sheet and refrigerate until workable.) Place dough round (still in plastic) on baking sheet and refrigerate until firm but pliable, about 15 minutes.
  3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with vegetable oil spray. Keeping dough on sheet, remove top layer of plastic. Invert tart pan (with bottom) on top of dough round. Press on tart pan to cut dough. Using 2 hands, pick up sheet and tart pan and carefully invert both, setting tart pan right side up. Remove sheet and peel off plastic; reserve plastic. Roll over edges of tart pan with rolling pin to cut dough. Gently ease and press dough into bottom of pan, reserving scraps. Roll dough scraps into ¾-inch-diameter rope (various lengths are OK). Line edge of tart pan with rope(s) and gently press into fluted sides. Line tart pan with reserved plastic and, using measuring cup, gently press and smooth dough to even thickness (sides should be about ¼ inch thick). Using paring knife, trim any excess dough above rim of tart; discard scraps. Freeze dough-lined pan until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Set dough-lined pan on baking sheet. Spray 12-inch square of aluminum foil with oil spray and press foil, sprayed side down, into pan; fill with 2 cups pie weights. Bake until dough is dry and light golden brown, about 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Carefully remove foil and weights and continue to bake until pastry is rich golden brown and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Let cool completely on sheet on wire rack.
  5. FOR THE FILLING:Heat oven to 250 degrees. Bring cream, espresso powder, and salt to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring once or twice to dissolve espresso powder and salt. Meanwhile, place chocolate in large heatproof bowl. Pour simmering cream mixture over chocolate, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes to allow chocolate to soften. Using whisk, stir mixture slowly and gently (so as not to incorporate air) until homogeneous. Add butter and continue to whisk gently until fully incorporated. Pour eggs through fine-mesh strainer into chocolate mixture; whisk slowly until mixture is homogeneous and glossy. Pour filling into tart crust and shake gently from side to side to distribute and smooth surface; pop any large bubbles with toothpick or skewer. Bake tart, on baking sheet, until outer edge of filling is just set and very faint cracks appear on surface, 30 to 35 minutes; filling will still be very wobbly. Let cool completely on sheet on wire rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, until filling is chilled and set, at least 3 hours or up to 18 hours.
  6. 6. FOR THE GLAZE: Thirty minutes before glazing, remove tart from refrigerator. Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat; stir once or twice to combine. Remove pan from heat, add chocolate, and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow chocolate to soften. Whisk gently (so as not to incorporate air) until mixture is smooth, then whisk in hot rum or cognac until glaze is homogeneous, shiny, and pourable. Working quickly, pour glaze onto center of tart. To distribute glaze, tilt tart and allow glaze to run to edge. (Spreading glaze with spatula will leave marks on surface.) Pop any large bubbles with toothpick or skewer. Let stand for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies: because thats the perfect combination of nuts and chocolate

sallysbakingaddiction.com

Ah, chocolate chip cookies. They are such a classic – a perfect dessert to munch on, binge on, or just dunk and savor. Whichever way you eat them, we can all agree that chocolate chip cookies are amazing. I found this recipe off Pinterest when searching “best chocolate chip cookie recipe”. The pin lead me to a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. The idea behind this recipe is to make the absolute chewiest cookies possible. I personally love my cookies to be soft and chewy, whereas, my mom prefer them crunchy. It’s the great “Team Edward” “Team Jacob” debate of our household. (Although, I personally would go Team Angel any day). Confession – I kind screwed up at the end and held my cookies in the oven a bit too long. They didn’t burn or anything, they turned out quite well, if I say so myself.  However, they weren’t super chewy; they were more like “kind of chewy”. That’s a technical term by the way. So I guess my cookies were a happy medium, both my mom and I approve. I took the liberty to spice up the recipe a bit and add a crunchy helping of hazelnuts into the mix. So, if you would like to know how to make some hazelnut chocolate chip cookies, just keep reading.

IMG_1857

First up, let’s get started with preparing the hazelnuts. You can toss them in a toaster oven or just put them in a pan on medium heat until they turn dark and the skin starts to split. This will help us to peel them later. Make sure not to burn them though.

IMG_1859

Once the hazelnuts have cooled down enough for you to handle, grab a handful and start rubbing them together. The friction of the hazelnuts rubbing together should remove all of the skin. This can get kind of messy, so clean the nuts over the sink or a trashcan. Then set them aside.

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Combine the flower, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Make sure to mix well. You don’t want to bite into a cookie and get a nice junk of baking soda. (Speaking from experience here). Also, make sure to measure out the flower properly. I have a feeling that I used a bit too much flower because, as you will see later, my cookies didn’t spread in the oven as much as in the original recipe.

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In a medium size bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until there are no more big clumps of sugar. Whisk your egg and egg yolk into your sugar mixture. Then whisk in the vanilla extract. Few, that was a lot of whisking.

I find that most American recipes use way too much sugar for my taste. I used a little less than half a cup of each sugar. I would have used less but I was also using 72% dark chocolate, so I figured that the bitterness of the chocolate and the sugar should balance out quite nice. It did. Most chocolate chip recipes use room temp. butter. The reason we are melting ours is because this will make the cookies even chewier. Also, you don’t have to use an electric mixer.

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Dump your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to mix everything up. This will take a couple of minutes of mixing before the dough starts to come together. It will be clumpy and crumbly, so just use the back of your spatula to mold it together.

IMG_1865

Grab a chopping board and a chef’s knife. Chop up your hazelnuts. This was harder said than done because the nuts are very round and would keep rolling off the table. There was lots of bending over and picking up. I find it was easier to work with small amounts of hazelnuts at a time, and to go slowly at first. Once you break them up a bit, the rest of the way is easy. Just chop, chop, chop away. If you are using a big chunk of chocolate or a chocolate bar, chop that up as well.

IMG_1866

Fold the hazelnuts and chocolate into your dough. I used my hands to shape the dough into a nice ball in the center of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and put it in the refrigerator to chill out for about two hours. You need to do this so that the dough comes together. It will also be easier to mold. You can make the dough a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge for up to three days.

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Take the dough out of the fridge and let it defrost for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, go ahead and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

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Start rolling the dough into small balls. I’m pretty sure I made my balls a little too big, which probably added to the fact that they didn’t spread so well. Place the dough balls on the baking sheet making sure to keep some distance between them. This is the opportune time to sneak a taste of your cookie dough. However, I don’t recommend this because salmonella, you know. Just saying, that didn’t stop me from tasting about a good spoonful. I’m a bad role model.

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Bake the cookies for 11 to 12 minutes. When they come out, they will look undercooked which is the whole point. They should continue the baking process on the baking sheet while they cool. I got skeptical at this point and held my cookies in the oven for another 5 minutes. This is why my cookies are not as chewy as the ones in the original recipe. Just trust me here. If you want supper chewy cookies, then hold them in the oven for 12 minutes tops. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Now grab a cookie or maybe two or three. Pair them with a tall glass of milk or some steaming tea. Sit down, relax, and enjoy the chewy goodness and melting chocolate!

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of hazelnutsIMG_1889
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

Directions:

  1. Toast the hazelnuts in either a toaster oven or in a pan on the stovetop until they are dark and the skin is splitting. Let cool. Rub the hazelnuts together until the skin comes off.
  1. Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  1. In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla.
  1. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick.
  1. Chop up the hazelnuts and chocolate (if you are not using chocolate chips)
  1. Fold in the chocolate and hazelnuts. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed among the dough. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.
  1. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  1. Roll the dough into balls, about 3 Tablespoons of dough each. The dough will be crumbly, but the warmth of your hands will allow the balls to stay intact. Roll the cookie dough balls to be taller rather than wide, to ensure the cookies will bake up to be thick. Put the balls of dough onto each cookie sheet. Press a few more chocolate chips/chunks on top of the dough balls for looks, if desired.
  1. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cookies stay soft and fresh for 7 whole days at room temperature. Cookies may be frozen up to 3 months. Rolled cookie dough may be frozen up to three months and baked in their frozen state for 12 minutes.

*Room temperature egg + egg yolk are preferred for even disbursement.  Typically, if a recipe calls for room temperature or melted butter, it’s a good idea to use room temperature eggs as well.  To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, simply place the whole eggs into a glass of warm water for 5 minutes..