I know it's also a week, where kids are heading back to school or doing their last minute school supply shopping, so this cookie is for all the Mom's who deserve the recognition for making this happen.
Hazelnuts remind me of autumn; don't know why, but they're the "nut" I choose most often whenever the weather starts to get cooler. We're lucky that they're grown here in the Pacific Northwest and in actuality we have them all year round. My mother called them filberts and besides always being in the "nut" bowl, I remember baking with them often. Back then, we would roast them in the oven, then, place them in a cotton dish towel and rub all the skins off before baking with them. The cultivars that grow here have a very thin skin and rubbing is obsolete. Hazelnuts are rich in protein and unsaturated fat, besides being a good source for thiamine and vitamin B6. These nuts are made into liqueur, Frangelico and products like Nutella, which is what I used in the "crunch."
Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Cookies
Hazelnut Crunch: (recipe from Bon Apetit)
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup Nutella
1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts (measure after chopping)
3 cups rice cereal (I used Rice Krispies)
Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over a double boiler.
Remove bowl from heat and add the Nutella and chopped hazelnuts. Don't be concerned if the mixture seizes, it will "relax" once you add in the rice cereal.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate bits
1/2 of the Hazelnut Crunch
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together thoroughly. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and cocoa and mix again.
Add the dry ingredients and mix on low, scrape down the sides, then, add the mini chocolate bits and Hazelnut Crunch. Mix on low again to incorporate.
Scoop cookie dough onto the parchment-lined sheet and flatten the tops, slightly with your fingers.
Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. Allow to cool on the tray 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. The recipe makes 26 three-inch cookies.
These would be perfect to have when the kids arrive home from school too. I know I always looked forward to that first day with my girls; we could sit down, enjoy some milk and cookies ( M & C's) and I got to hear all about their day--new friends, classes, and how much homework they already had. Enjoy!