Chocolate chip cookies. There are already millions of recipes for this favorite cookie, and while I ate many of them while I was growing up and far too many in my early adult years, I have halted making them for quite a few years. Why? Because it’s hard to say no after just one, but a good chocolate chip cookie deserves to be enjoyed from time to time.
It was after having dinner at the James Beard nominated Portland, Oregon, French restaurant Coquine, having enjoyed a full meal, complete with sharing a dessert, that upon paying and receiving our receipt from the waiter, they also gave us a small bag with two freshly baked chocolate chip cookies from the oven. As we strolled back to the vacation rental, taking in the warm summer breeze, we nibbled on the cookies that melted in our mouths and deepened the memory of a delicious meal.
Now that was a good cookie. One was all you needed because it was absolutely decadent, satiating and special.
Don’t forget the flaky sea salt added to the top just before the cookies go into the oven to be baked.
Upon enjoying Coquine’s cookies a few more times when I would be in town and stop in for breakfast after tending to business, I was reminded of New York City’s Levain’s cookies. A similar decadence. Large, plump, crispy on the edges, warm and soft and full of layers of sweet and nutty flavor in the middle. As well, Papa Haydn’s, a favorite restaurant and dessert mecca that I would visit on special occasions when I lived in Portland on NW 23rd, made their own version of the chocolate chip cookie that surpasses the average.
So while I don’t make batches of cookies in my house, I like to have them ready to bake, frozen in my freezer for guests when they stop by. I cannot easily eat them myself as they are frozen, but I can depend on them to be eyes-roll-back-in-your-head special when I share them, chatting away while we wait for them to bake.
I began to work on my own recipe, jogging my tastebuds’ memories from the three favorite cookies mentioned above two years ago when the pandemic began. I had made significant progress and then life grabbed my attention.
However, as of late, and with my first dinner party right around the corner, I wanted to be able to give a warm cookie to each of my guests as they return home, so I stepped back into the kitchen and darn-it, had to taste-test a bit more. 😉 Well, the recipe has reached my tastebuds’ recollection of what I loved, and oh my, the Simply Luxurious Chocolate & Candied Hazelnut Cookie recipe (aka as Oregon’s Chocolate Chip Cookie – because hazelnuts are sourced solely from Oregon in the states – or Turkey internationally, but let’s focus on the Oregon providence 🙃) is ready to be shared.
Now, these cookies require that you give yourself at least 60 minutes after you make the dough because you need them to chill. This is imperative for the crispiness and the balance of gooeyness inside. The longer you chill them (I keep a dozen in my freezer at all times), the better they will be. I do hope you enjoy them and be generous in their size. These are meant to be luxury, and only one is meant to be enjoyed per person (or shared by two people).
This recipe yields about 9 cookies.
A Simply Luxurious Chocolate & Candied Hazelnut Cookie
- 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/3 cup artisan cake/pastry flour (Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup extra dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 up roughly chopped candied toasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup toasted/roasted (unsalted) hazelnuts
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
How to Candy the Hazelnuts
- To candy the hazelnuts (keeping the skins on is fine): have a baking sheet lined with parchment paper prepared. Set aside. Heat over medium heat in a medium sauce pan the sugar. Stirring regularly, let the sugar melt until amber in color (about 5-10 minutes).
- Place the hazelnuts on the parchment lined baking sheet, making sure they is only one layer of nuts.
- Pour the melted sugar over the hazelnuts. They won't all be coated, but drizzle over the nuts as equally as possible. Set aside and let cool for 15 minutes.
- When the candied nuts are cool, break up roughly and put into a food processor. Pulse until roughly broken up. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl or with a hand mixer, combine and cream the butter and two sugars – about 3-5 minutes – until smooth.
- Add the vanilla and egg to the creamed butter mixture. Mix until smooth.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Add the dry mixture gradually to the wet mixture until combined – mix on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between mixing so that all is incorporated well.
- Add the chocolate chips and candied hazelnuts until combined.
- Now, prepare the cookie balls. Remember, these are not meant to be small cookies. Inspired by Levain, Papa Haydn and Coquina these cookies are a luxurious dessert and will be larger than your typical cookie (about 3 inches in diameter when baked.
- using a large spoon or large ice cream scoop, scoop out a large ball of dough and roll into ball. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When complete, gently slightly flatten each cookie, just enough to have a flat top. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and freeze the dough for at least 60 minutes before baking.
Ready to Bake (after having frozen the dough for 60 minutes or more)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is heating up and before it reaches temperature, take out the number of cookie dough balls you want to bake. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven when nicely golden brown and the edges are crispy. Let cool for about 5 minutes before enjoying warm.
Find more TSLL recipes here.