Friday, June 14, 2013

coffee and dessert in one chocolatey hazelnut combo

A decadent and delicious caffeine-infused chocolate concoction, made with some of the million Oregon hazelnuts I have stored in the freezer (thank you for the wedding present, Eugene neighbors ;)

Well this recipe is a bit more chocolatey (yes, that's a word in my world) and elaborate than my usual simple raw cookies, but the truth is, I set out to make a regular chocolate hazelnut cookie for Dave.  Turns out we were out of most of the ingredients, so I figured I may as well just go the healthier route as usual and see what happens.  And so this fantastically fragrant chocolate coffee cookie with a hazelnut coating came to be.  Good dessert party contribution, I'd say....

By the way it looks like a long and complicated recipe but it is pretty fast and simple.  Ingredients in parenthesis are other potential substitutions.  The cookie pictured is using the first ingredient listed after the measurement!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Yields 16-18 small cookies

1 cup gluten-free flour (buckwheat plus almond plus brown rice combo was pretty yum)
3/4 cup sucanat or light brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar, your choice on the sweetener here)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
dash sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil (soft, not melted)
1/2 of a large overripe avocado
1 egg (or chia or flax "egg"--1 tbsp meal mixed with 3 tbsp water)
2 teaspoons cold pressed coffee (or cooled espresso)**
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted and cooled to room temp

Take skinned hazelnuts and toast a few minutes in the oven.  Cool for a couple, and food process until fine to medium pieces. Quick tip to remove skin: toast hazelnuts in oven then gently roll while warm with hands or clean tea towel to rub skin off.

1/2 cup of topping for cookies:
I melted non dairy chocolate chips and slowly added it to almond butter with a little finely ground espresso and vanilla stirred in.  This is so good, it'll make you want to lick the bowl clean.  You can also just spoon a little almond butter in the center if you're in a hurry or would like to tone down the sugar.

Even easier and amazingly yummy option:  Fellow University of Oregon grads Erika and Keeley's company Wild Squirrel makes this bomb Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter that kinda compliments this cookie perfectly!

Make little indents with your thumb before the cookie is baked...this is the "home" for that delicious filling!


1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2.  Sift flour, sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl.
3.  In a mixing bowl, mix overripe avocado with soft coconut oil until creamy (you can food process the avocado first but if it's ripe enough, not necessary--just whip it.  Whip it good ;)
4.  Add in egg and vanilla, still beating.  After a couple minutes, slowly add the dry ingredients, just until combined and batter is shiny.
5.  Spoon out heaping tablespoon-sized cookies, roll in a ball, then roll edges of the ball into ground up toasted hazelnuts.
6.  Bake 8-11 minutes then spoon in your melted chocolate-nut butter combo or Wild Squirrel deliciousness.

**side note: I'm OBSESSED with Chameleon Cold Brew--I could probably be their spokesperson, and I love it.  Very caffeinated.  I dilute it down with filtered water and or unsweetened coconut milk and wish I could enjoy it all day long.  Seriously good, seriously expensive, but worth it.  One day, Running Girl Bakery will have cold pressed coffee options ;)  In lieu of cold pressed coffee though, just stir in some cold coffee or espresso, or heck, if you're lazy, some ground up espresso. 

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