Tag Archives: chocolate chip

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies . . . and a farewell

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies / Especially Edible

Don’t worry. I didn’t forget about Valentine’s Day. And I didn’t purposely ignore it, the way single women in books and movies drown their sorrows in red wine and chocolate on the Day of Love. I have two perfect Valentine’s Day recipes – shortbread hearts and miniature red velvet cakes – queued up. But then I clicked over to the New York Times site and saw that Michele Ferrero, the scion of the candy company responsible for Nutella, had died. To be honest, I’d never thought about who created Nutella. (It was, FYI, Michele’s father, Pietro, who launched the product during World War II.) And I had no idea it was manufactured by the same people behind those fancy Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies / Especially Edible

I only have one Nutella recipe on the blog, but after spending the evening in the kitchen wrestling with what thought would be cute little red velvet hearts (reality: deformed little red velvet lumps), I didn’t have the energy to pull out a recipe from my giant stack of print-outs and whip up a batch of Nutella-swirled brownies or Nutella-stuffed cookies.

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies / Especially Edible

Back at my computer, however, I stumbled across a folder full of pics of the chocolate-chip hazelnut cookies I’d made at the beginning of February and promptly forgot all about. I had intended the recipes for a post about my home state, Oregon, which is a major producer of hazelnuts (or filberts, as we call them). The only thing more Oregonian than a hazelnut cookie would be a hazelnut cookie with salmon icing and marijuana sprinkles. (Kidding. Just kidding. But ew.) Hazelnuts, of course, happen to be the key ingredient in Ferrero’s famous spread. And it just so happens that they’re now available in pre-chopped, ready-to-bake packages, just like pecans and walnuts have been for ages. There is nothing worse than trying to remove the skins from hazelnuts. Don’t believe what you hear about rolling boiled unts in a kitchen towel. Best case scenario, you’re left with a pile of hazelnuts with scraps of skin still stubbornly clinging to them. (I learned this the hard way in high school, while trying to make a mixed-berry pie that called for a hazelnut crust. If you can expertly strip hazelnuts of their skins without batting an eye, good for you. You’re also probably the sort of witch who can peel oranges in one long, curling strand or skin peaches in two seconds after dropping them in boiling water.) At any rate, when I saw a half-cup bag of Diamond hazelnuts at the grocery store, I knew my lazy self had to make something with these beauties. Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies / Especially Edible

As quick as I was to grab the hazelnuts, I came late to the Nutella Internet craze; in fact, I started baking with it about the time that the food blogosphere moved on to Biscoff cookie butter. This time, however, I can be right on time with a tribute to Ferrero, who the Times describes as “the world’s richest candymaker” (his family was ranked 30th on the 2014 Forbes list of the planet’s richest billionaires). In fact, I’ve started thinking of hazelnuts as baby jars of Nutella. After all, behind every jar of Nutella is a twisted, funky-looking filbert tree.

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies / Especially Edible

So here’s to enjoying hazelnut cookies. And here’s to the even greater enjoyment you’ll get from scooping a spoonful of Nutella straight out of the jar and into your mouth.

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 24 small cookies


1 1/4 cups flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

6 Tbs. butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

2/3 cup miniature chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.

Spread oats on a cookie sheet and toast for 5 minutes, or until golden. Do the same with the hazelnuts, toasting for about 7 minutes or until brown and fragrant.

In a small bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, then fold in the hazelnuts and chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and flatten with the palm of your hand (they will not spread much while baking). Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light via Tutti Dolci


Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yes, more pumpkin.

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins / Especially Edible

What can I say? Another day, another pumpkin recipe. I’m ticking down the days until Christmas, yet I’m still plowing through the massive accumulation of fall recipes that I baked, baked, baked in October. Even the site I use to edit my so-so photos (orange – they all look orange!), PicMonkey, has moved on from pumpkins to winter scenes. Instead of visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, I’m stuck in time around Halloween. This time, it’s pumpkin zucchini muffins, even more summery than the last pumpkin-apple recipe I posted. But hey, at least they’ve got some chocolate in them.

The thing about blogging is that after awhile, every recipe starts to look like the last. I unwittingly made two different sweet potato muffin recipes last month, and it wasn’t until I started typing in the file name for the pictures for this one that I realized I’d already made something remarkably similar on September 12. Oops.

That’s not to say that there aren’t differences. Chocolate chips instead of raisins, no fussy crumb topping . . . . I’d personally rather have raisins, but I know people who rail against oatmeal raisin cookies as the most deceptive in the world of sweets. “You think you’re getting a nice bite of chocolate chips, and then – wham. Raisins.” Despite the fact that these muffins feature gooey chocolate instead of nutritious raisins, they’re actually a bit healthier than the first recipe. I like to think that the whole wheat flour, honey, and near absence of fats (there’s just one tablespoon of olive oil) balance out the chocolate chips . . . which, let’s admit, won’t kill you. It’s logic that reminds me of my childhood, when I would rationalize a jelly doughnut and a bag of gummy candies by the fact I’d walked a block and a half to the store to buy them. (This is not normal third-grade thinking. I was not a normal third-grade child.)

Christmas treats, on the other hand – pumpkin and zucchini are not prime ingredients. They’re replaced by sugar, butter, and frosting. When people complain about gaining ten pounds over the holidays, these muffins are decidedly not the culprit. So at the risk of repeating myself, here’s another tally mark to chalk on the “pumpkin” side of the scoreboard.

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins / Especially Edible

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. cloves

1/4 tsp. ginger

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry

1/3 cup honey

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1/2 + 1/4 cup cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, zucchini, honey, oil, egg and vanilla. Whisk in milk.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix into wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into a muffin tin coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top of each muffin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn out onto wire racks to cool.

Recipe slightly adapted from Ambitious Kitchen


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

– William Shakespeare

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So said William Shakespeare . . . not one to be argued with. And I’m certainly not arguing with his take on summer. I’d probably be happy living in the year-round 70-and-sunny temperatures of California. You know how the iPhone comes pre-programmed with its weather widget set for Cupertino? I’ve never changed the location, just because I love looking at my phone and seeing that round yellow sun. Seasons? Pshaw. Who gives a fig about seasons when you can use the outdoor pool 365 days a year?

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But I don’t live in California. I live in Oregon, where we have not only a real summer, but a real fall, winter and spring as well. I’ve spent a year in upstate New York, which has some of the most dramatic displays of leaf color you’ll ever see. (Picture driving down a hill and into a blazing cauldron of red, orange and yellow and you’ll know what October in the Finger Lakes looks like.)

What isn’t said in all the celebration about summer is that fall’s lease, too, hath all too short a date. Fall is like spring backwards, except instead of buds on trees and pent-up expectation of warmer weather, fall ushers in thoughts of heavy snows and cloudy days. The perfect spring day – that rare 24-hour blip in February when it’s unseasonably and unreasonably 72 degrees – is as scarce as the perfect fall day. Blue skies as crisp as a Jonagold apple, crunchy leaves not yet smushed into submission by rain, bright orange pumpkins perched on every doorstep. If I’m lucky, Oregon gets a handful of those each year. This (unattributed) chart from Pinterest sums it up:

  Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 10.23.49 PM

If all we get for fall is that tiny slice of green, we’d better make the most of it. I’ve sorely disappointed myself by not posting a single pumpkin recipe since the beginning of October. So here’s a lovely pumpkin snack cake, chock full of gooey chocolate chips, to make up for it. I halved the original recipe to make it more manageable – I never bake anything in a 9×13 pan unless I’m feeding a crowd –  but left the amount of spices and vanilla extract unchanged . . . . because you can never have too much cinnamon and vanilla!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 16 small bars


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 cup milk chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk together flours, baking soda and spices.

In a large bowl, cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then beat in the pumpkin and vanilla.

Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into an 8x8 pan lined with aluminum foil and coated with cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for fifteen minutes in pan, then lift out with the sides of the tinfoil. Allow to completely before cutting into bars.

Recipe adapted from Nancy Creative and FoodNetwork.com