Chocolate Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies
If you want to master just one cookie recipe, make it this one. I’ve been making these Chocolate Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies for years now, and they never cease to be just right. They’re perfect. Dark chocolate smashed into chunks. Toasted hazelnuts that retain their crunch. They’re big, which means they’re satisfying. And they’re grain free and gluten free, of course.
Which Chocolate is Best for Baking?
When we want a square of dark chocolate for it’s super-food qualities, we reach for 90% minimum cacao. It used to be 85%, but for a while my local supermarket only stocked 90%, so that’s what I bought. And that’s what we ate. Sure enough, our sense of taste changed, and when the 85% was available again we noticed that it had become too sweet.
Now, I still buy the 85% but I keep it for making sweet treats, like these Chocolate Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies. For Paleo baking and for eating generally, it’s important that your chocolate has 85% minimum cacao. The ingredient lists on packaged foods detail the highest to lowest quantities contained in the product. For chocolate that contains 85% cacao and above, you’ll notice that the first ingredients are cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sometimes powdered low-fat cocoa. Sugar is way down the list, so this is great for keeping the Sugar Dragon under control. But also, the higher quantity of cacao means the more nutritional benefits we receive.
If you’re not used to eating chocolate with such a high quantity of cacao, then my advice is to persist! Keep reducing the amount of sweeteners in your diet as well as the number of times you reach for something sweet. Within a short time you’ll have developed a refined appreciation for the new, less sweet flavours. People who do my program, the Paleo Reset 31, are amazed by what happens in less than a month.
When it comes to choosing a brand, buy the best quality that you can afford. I buy Lindt. I think the price / quality of their chocolate is good. When I go to the Organic and Whole Foods store, I buy a couple of Fair Trade blocks, and would love to do so all the time but it would stretch the limits of our budget. The important thing when it comes to buying food and ingredients is this: do the best that you can. Dark chocolate with minimum 85% cacao from the discount store is still going to contain far less sugar and more antioxidants than any chocolate below the 85% mark, regardless of the brand.
Tips for Making Perfect Choc Chunk Hazelnut Cookies
There are two tricks to making these Choc Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies:
- Use cold butter, not room temperature
- Don’t whiz in the food processor for so long that the hazelnuts are reduced to butter
Having said that, this recipe is quite forgiving. If you find that the cookie dough has become too sticky, add a little more cassava or almond flour. If too dry, add a little water, a tablespoon at a time. They’ll be fine.
Also, keep an eye on them after 20 minutes so that they colour and crisp to your liking.
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Being one of my most-baked favourites, you’ll find these cookies in my compilation, “Easy & Essential Paleo Recipes for Busy People.” Check it out, it’s full of the recipes that I make all the time.
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On the Side
More chocolate treats.
Orange and Chocolate Cake – This is fabulous. I mean, Orange and chocolate is always fabulous!
Chocolate, Almond and Hazelnut Torte – Lovely to serve with coconut cream or whipped cream if you do dairy.
Chocolate Slab with Macadamia Nuts and Almonds – Always good to have on hand for a snack of healthy fats.
Lose the Weight, the Pain and the Stress. Start now – sign up for the News and download your free E-Book and Guide to the Paleo Reset 31, “Health is Easy”, along with a bunch of PDF printables – all you need to start transforming your health and your life.
Chocolate Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies
- 100 grams butter
- 100 grams dark chocolate 85% minimum cacao
- 100 grams blanced almonds ground to a flour
- 100 grams cassava flour (1 cup)
- 100 grams toasted hazelnuts (3/4 cup)
- 50 grams muscovado sugar (1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon Paleo Baking Powder (2 parts cream of tartar, 1 part baking (bicarb) soda, 1 part tapioca starch)
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
- Using a chef's knife, crack the chocolate into chunks about the size of pumpkin seeds. Put aside.
- Place all the ingredients except the chocolate into the food processor. Whiz until well mixed. Don't over process. The hazelnuts should be broken into small bits, but not turned into butter. If necessary, add water 1 tablespoon at time until the dough starts to hold together. Or, if has become too sticky, add a little more flour.
- Take the blade out of the processor and mix in the chocolate chunks.
- Divide the dough into 20 balls. Place the balls onto the baking sheet and press them into cookies. Flatten them a little with a fork to create decorative stripes.
- Bake for 20 -25 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight tin or jar.