The original recipe calls for walnuts, but I opted for hazelnuts, which is recommended if you have a soft spot for Nutella (even more highly recommended is this very funny Bon Appétit debate about Nutella). Any nut should work here -- marcona almonds and macadamia nuts seem like particularly good options. I also threw in a teaspoon of instant espresso powder, which I couldn't really taste so I will have to add a little more next time.
Fudgy Hazelnut Brownie Cookies
Adapted from Yvonne Ruperti’s One Bowl Baking. This cook book is full of wonderful, no-nonsense, a-bowl-and-wooden-spoon-are-pretty-much-all-you-need recipes.
Makes around 30 cookies. Freezing the raw cookie dough balls is always an option if you don't need a ton of cookies right away, and you will always have a treat in your freezer.
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cubed
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water (take care that the bowl is not touching the water), melt chocolate and butter together until only a couple unmelted bits remain. Off the heat, stir until smooth and fully melted. Stir in the sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and instant espresso powder. Then stir in the eggs one at a time, until completely mixed in. Add the flour and baking powder to the bowl, then stir to combine. Throw in the hazelnuts and stir so that they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Scoop the batter into small balls using a tablespoon*. Space cookie dough balls evenly on sheet pan and bake for about 8 minutes, or until cookies are puffed, cracked, and barely set. Do not over-bake; even though the centers might look a little undone, the cookies will continue to bake a bit and set as you let them cool on the pan for about 5 minutes. Once cooled, transfer cookies to your mouth before you remember to count how many cookies this recipe yields.
* I found that this batter did not spread much while baking, so the cookie dough balls more or less retained their spherical shape, which was perfectly enjoyable. To get cookies that look like the ones in the photo, just press the cookie dough balls between your palms to make a pudgy disk.