If you’ve been on this blog at all in the last few months you might have noticed a trend. I make a lot of baking blunders! To be fair, I’m a cook, not a baker and the odds are stacked against me without any dairy, eggs or gluten. I have chosen a food blogging niche that means 1 in 3 times I enter the kitchen ends in disaster.
Cookies though, cookies I can do! The combination of hazelnuts and chocolate is a classic baking love story. Chuck them into a cookie and the love story becomes a fairy tale.
These hazelnut chocolate chip cookies are rich and fudgy almost like a brownie and the chocolate overload is balanced perfectly by crunchy toasted hazelnuts! After a couple of these, I quickly forgot about the savoury zucchini bread travesty my partner said was the worst thing I’d ever made!
Questions about the recipe? Or did something go wrong with your hazelnut chocolate chip cookies? I’ve included all the recipe notes at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
115g vegan margarine or butter
85g light muscovado sugar
40g dark muscovado sugar
2 Tbsp. non-dairy milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
150g gluten-free flour, all-purpose
50g cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. xanthan gum
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
100g non-dairy chocolate chips or roughly chopped chocolate
Preheat the oven to 160C and line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper for the cookies.
Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray (it doesn’t have to be lined) and toast in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Once toasted place the hazelnuts in the centre of a clean tea towel. Firmly rub the hazelnuts with the tea towel to remove the skins. Transfer the hazelnuts to a colander and shake over the sink to separate the skins from the hazelnuts and then roughly chop.
Use electric beaters or a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in colour. Add the non-dairy milk and vanilla extract and mix again until well combined.
Into a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Toss the chocolate and chopped hazelnuts into the flour and mix briefly.
Use a baking spatula to fold the flour mixture into the creamed butter and mix until well combined.
Evenly divide the dough into 12 balls, place well spaced apart on the baking trays and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Bake one tray at a time for 18minutes and allow the cookies to cool completely before removing from the tray.
Why are these baked at 160C?
In general gluten-free bakes are baked at a lower oven temperature. Low and slow baking helps with the development of structure in the absence of gluten, prevents crumbling and stops your bakes from drying out.
Can I make these without cocoa powder?
Yes, instead of 50g cocoa powder and 150g GF flour, just add 185g GF flour.
Can I use a different sugar?
I’ve used a combination of light and dark muscovado sugar because I like the flavour they add and they’re a little less sweet than caster sugar but you can add 125g of whatever sugar you have.
What GF flour do you use?
I use Dove’s Farm all-purpose gluten-free flour and love the way it performs.
Can I use a different nut?
Definitely! You can use whatever nut you like, I reckon toasted pecans or salted peanuts would both be delish!
Do I have to use xanthan gum?
Yes – see ‘Why are my gluten-free cookies falling apart?’
Troubleshooting - did something go wrong with your bake?
Why are my gluten-free cookies falling apart?
You left out the xanthan gum. In this recipe (and many others) xanthan gum is standing in for gluten and eggs as a binder, without it, GF bakes have a tendency to crumble. If you’re opposed to xanthan gum you can try a flax egg but note that I haven’t tried the recipe with a binder other than xanthan gum.
You didn’t let them cool completely before removing them from the tray. Gluten-free cookies are more fragile than their gluten-containing counterparts. Allowing them to cool on the tray, allows them to fully set. If you skip this step you may find they completely crumble when moved.
Why are my gluten-free cookies gritty?
Rice flour is to blame for a gritty texture. Try using a different all-purpose GF flour or make your own mix. I like this recipe for gluten-free flour by Minimalist Baker and even better make this recipe with superfine brown and white rice flour.
Why did my cookies spread so much in the oven?
You skipped the fridge step. Gluten-free cookie dough should always go in the fridge before baking as they tend to spread excessively in the oven.
In these small bakes, the butter/marg will melt quickly and without gluten to hold them back you can end up with one giant cookie instead of one dozen. The overnight fridge step in this recipe helps to solidify the source of fat and temper spreading.
This time in the fridge will also soften the flour and help prevent grittiness in cookies.