Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies aka Nutella Happy Cookies (gluten free, dairy free, vegan optional)

These are a version of a well-loved cookie made by my sister and mother which they call "Happy Cookies". In mine, I used a different nut than theirs called for and added cocoa powder because I love the gianduja flavor (or nutella as so many people know it).

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I hope you enjoy these delicious cookies. I know we did!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
2 cups hazelnuts
1/2 cup oat flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend - I've used Namaste brand with great results)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup ground flax
1 cup + 2-4 Tb agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup *read notes below
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put all the hazelnuts on a tray and stick in oven for ten minutes or until skins are cracked and toasted. Remove from oven and place half of the nuts in a clean kitchen towel. Rub vigorously to remove the skins from the nut. Repeat with remaining nuts. Put all the filberts in a food processor. Process until sand like texture occurs (you can do finer than this if you prefer but don't go so far as to make it into nut butter).
3. Add to mixing bowl with flour, cocoa powder, flax and salt. Mix.
4. Add vanilla and one cup of the liquid sweetener of choice and mix completely. Add more liquid sweetener until the mixture is completely incorporated and will stick together.
5. Drop large spoonfuls onto sprayed trays or stoneware and stick in oven for 15 minutes. Another option is to drop just tablespoon size cookies and bake 12 minutes. These cookies are pretty WOWzer so one large or two small are the perfect serving.
6. Remove from oven. Let cool ten minutes then place on plate. Would be delicious served with banana ice cream.

*The agave is a wonderful vegan choice for these cookies. I think honey blends deliciously with hazelnut as does maple syrup. Maple syrup usually lends to a more snappier cookie. Agave results in a softer cookie and honey results in a chewier cookie. You can also combine sweeteners if you like.

(Big Blue Eyes modeling her dipped cookie. Thought it was hilarious after she dipped it, she held it out for me to photograph!)

Question of the Day: What's your favorite cookie?

I would say mine is the original "Happy Cookie" but these probably tie with pecan gingersnaps for second.

And another note - I read several books last month on my good ol' kindle. And what's better than a good book and a delicious chocolate cookie? After a grueling month, it can be exactly what you need! So I'm recommending a few (all of which are around $3 or free with prime membership):


Children of the Fallen was a very well-written and descriptive journey of several "angel-kin" as I'm going to call them. It may be offensive to those who take it literally but I thoroughly enjoyed the read and all of the characters involved. Maya Lassiter really did paint a very colorful picture!

The Shore of Monsters was a very unique story about a women-dominated society where all the men either turn into beasts ravaged by the plague or into vegetables with the plague's antidote. Those who enjoyed the classic The Giver will enjoy this. I'm looking forward to reading the second in the series Fall of Darkness (Shore of Monsters, #2)

Daughter of the Bamboo Forest is about little Jade who is cared for by her grandmother. The book starts right after her father remarries. Jade despises her stepmother and longs to find a mother she's never met. Not written like other books, Daughter of the Bamboo Forest was very real and lifelike in its plot. Reminded me a little of Joy Luck Club.

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