How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Are you still stuffed? I know I am.
But that didn't stop me from getting a head start on my holiday cookie baking this past weekend. Although I've been planning my cookies for awhile now, it's rare that any baking undertaking ever goes to plan. Do you have the same adventures?
The holiday season is like the Olympics for home bakers, and I've been training hard. I have 4-5 recipes up my sleeve this year, but I started things off with something very simple - basically a chocolate chip cookie! Let's face it: no one doesn't want a chocolate chip cookie, no matter how many fancy reindeer cutouts are in front of them.
But this is not just your run of the mill chocolate chip cookie, because it's December, friends, and run of the mill simply doesn't cut it. In fact, this cookie is packed full of holiday cheer, and by cheer, I mean brown butter, hazelnuts, and not one but two kinds of chocolate.
The dough is, of course, from my Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies, which is one of the most read, remade, and pinned recipes on this little site. So there's a pretty strong endorsement for you. Unlike those fist-sized cookies, though, this is a two-bite version. I always make my holiday cookies on the smaller side so that friends and family can try every variety.
Don't be fooled by the fancy-pants ingredients or the name that is so long you need to take a breath midway through - this is a basic recipe that is dressed up in its holiday best, perfect for anyone who wants to bake one cookie for swaps, gifts and parties, and call it a day. Don't get me wrong, there are many more holiday cookie options for you here, but if you're short on time, or don't want anything fancy, these are the only cookies you'll need this season.
Brown Butter Hazelnut Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Buttercream Fanatic (2013)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup whole skinned hazelnuts
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 large egg + 1 large yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients flour, salt, baking soda and cornstarch and set aside.
Preheat a dry pan (I prefer cast-iron for this task, if you have it) over medium high heat for about 2 minutes before adding the whole hazelnuts. Toast for 5-6 minutes or until they begin to brown. Move the pan every 30 seconds to make sure they don't burn. Remove the hazelnuts from the heat, carefully turn onto a cutting board and roughly chop. It is easier to chop these when they are warm. Once chopped, set aside.
In a small stockpot, melt the butter over medium high heat stirring constantly. Continue cooking once melted, without stopping your stirring. The butter will begin to brown little by little. Don't stop stirring, or it will burn! As soon as it reaches a caramel color, and begins to emit a nutty smell, take it off the heat immediately. Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer with the sugars and mix until combined. The consistency will be strange and sort of slimey/rubbery - not what you're used to seeing when you cream butter and sugar together. Don't worry. It's normal.
Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium high speed until the color lightens slightly - about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the dry ingredients all at once. Beat on medium speed until combined. Add the chocolate and nuts and mix slowly to distribute. You'll notice that the dough is glossy and soft, and as a result probably won't hold the add ins very well. After mixing them in as best as you can, refrigerate the entire bowl of dough for 2-3 hours, which will allow the butter to solidify a bit.
After the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge and preheat the oven to 375. The dough will be stiffer, but still crumbly. Scoop the dough into 1 1/2" balls and squeeze each ball firmly in the palm of your hand to get it to adhere. Place balls of dough on a cookie sheet about 2" apart, and bake for 8 minutes until tops have set. Refrigerate dough balls until they go into the oven; don't let the dough come back to room temperature.
Makes approximately 40 cookies. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Dough or baked cookies also freeze well in an airtight container for up to three months.
Looking for more holiday baking options? Look no further!
Just scroll back up to the top and click on the "recipes for the holidays" link.
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