You know then feeling when you have a huge amount of one particular ingredient, and it's taking up a heap of space in your pantry and you just want it out? You obviously don't want to waste it on anything awful, so you trawl your cookbook collection and the whole of the internet in the hope of finding a worthy recipe? Well these cookies were born of such a search. I had a bucket load of hazelnuts left over from that kick-ass buckle we had a while back, and I wanted cookies. I searched a bunch of websites but all the pictures looked a little... less than delicious. I'm pretty specific about cookies. I like mostly flat ones, that are only a little bit chewy, and I'm really not that good with super-soft Subway-esque ones, they always taste a bit under-cooked to me.
The thing about the New York Times is, there are no images, for the vintage recipes anyway. So these were a mini gamble. Only a mini one, though, because A) NYT is ace, and B) I had all the ingredients in my pantry so part of the work was already done! They were exactly what I was looking for, the hazelnut butter lends a richness and a Nutella-ness that was wonderful. A cinch to make, too.
The New York Times' Hazelnut Cookies: August 23, 1987
I added in some chocolate chunks to the recipe, because how could it be wrong to?
170g unskinned lightly toasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and grind coarsely. Reserve 1/4 cup of the hazelnuts. Grind the remaining nuts fine and add the oil. Blend the mixture thoroughly until it takes on a butter-like form, this will take about 5-10 minutes of continuous processing. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy (this can be done in the washed food processor or with an electric mixer in a bowl). Beat in the hazelnut butter, the egg and the vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
Sift the flour and add with the baking soda and the salt to the hazelnut mixture. Mix thoroughly and add the reserved hazelnuts. Using a teaspoon, form the dough into balls and arrange them 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Using the prongs of a fork, flatten the balls into 1 1/2 inch rounds (dip the fork into flour to prevent the prongs from sticking and make a criss-cross pattern on the cookies).
Bake in the middle of the oven for 10-to-12 minutes or until the cookies are golden. Cool on racks. The cookies will keep for about a week in a sealed jar.