salted wholemeal hazelnut and chocolate cookies

I try not to snack between meals and eat fruit for dessert but by the end of the day, I do need a sweet treat with a cup of tea. Most weekends I make a batch of biscuits to see me through the week. These cookies were inspired by a recipe I found in Isidora Popovic's recipe book, Popina Book of Baking. The original recipe called for wholemeal spelt flour but as that sells for $7.00/kilo I was more than happy to use the supermarket brand wholemeal flour I had in the pantry.

I checked through the cupboards and I had some dark chocolate chips and milk chocolate buttons but no hazelnuts. Buying skinned roasted hazelnuts is a short cut I use but recently they've been hard to locate. I found a packet at my local fruit shop and bought them despite the hefty price - anything to avoid having to remove all those skins then chasing them around my kitchen!

I've made these cookies twice now and have played with the recipe quite a bit. I've upped the quantity of butter; added some plain flour to lighten the mix; reduced the quantity of baking powder; added some brown sugar then topped the cookies with sea salt flakes. These cookies literally take 5 minutes to put together and best of all, you don't need any fancy equipment. All you need is a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon.

I used my cookie scoop and made 22 small cookies from this recipe. If you don't have a cookie scoop, a 15 ml tablespoon will do the trick. As I didn't want to be a little piggy, I only baked half the cookies and froze the rest on a baking paper lined tray. The frozen cookies are now in a plastic bag in the freezer waiting for the next time I'm craving a freshly baked cookie. 

I still can't work out why every cookie is a slightly different size even though I use a cookie scoop. Any thoughts?

Who doesn't love a biscuit, still warm from the oven? 

Here's the recipe for you, inspired by this one. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Salted Wholemeal Hazelnut Chocolate Cookies - inspired by Popina Book of Baking. 

100g unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup caster sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
¾ cup whole meal flour
¼ cup plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
40g coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
50g dark chocolate, chopped or chips
50g milk chocolate, chopped or chips
Sea salt

Makes about 22 small cookies.

Preheat oven to 180°C (conventional). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Sift the wholemeal flour into a bowl, then mix in the plain flour and the baking powder and then gently fold the flour into the wet ingredients. Finally mix in the hazelnuts and chocolate. Place the dough in the fridge for an hour.

Take a tablespoon of the biscuit dough and place on one of the prepared baking trays. Flatten it slightly, then repeat this process with the remaining dough, spacing the dough balls well apart, as they will spread when they are baking. Sprinkle the top of each biscuit with a flake or two of sea salt.

Bake each tray in the pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the biscuits are deep golden-brown. I usually rotate each tray halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before placing the biscuits on a wire rack.

Once cold, store the cookies in an airtight container. The cookies keep well and unlike other cookies don't soften in the tin.

I'm going to be travelling a bit next week between Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne so next week's post may be a day or two late.

Until then happy baking.


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