Hazelnut Butter Toffee-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Small Plates and Sweet Treats

Cover recipe-Small Plates and Sweet Treats: Hazelnut Butter Toffee-Chocolate Chip Cookies,        Copyright 2012

I switched to a gluten-free diet about 3 years ago.  I wasn’t as strict when I started as I am now.  It was the same time Aran Goyoaga, author of Small Plates and Sweet Treats, was also eliminating gluten from her diet.  It was nice to be able to follow along with her new gluten-free recipes as I adjusted to a life without wheat and gluten.  My gluten-free baking adventures were definitely not as fruitful as they are now, and I often relied on Aran’s expertise as a pastry chef by using or adapting recipes from her blog, Cannelle et Vanille, to suit my needs.  I was very excited when she announced that she was writing a cookbook.  It has definitely become my go-to when it comes to baking and other gluten-free cooking.  The Hazelnut Butter Toffee-Chocolate Chip Cookies on the cover are just beautiful!  I couldn’t wait to try them out.

Aran says they are a family favorite and it’s not difficult to see why!  The cookies are chock full of homemade buttery, rich hazelnut toffee.  It might seem like a superfluous step to make homemade toffee, but I assure you the extra effort is well worth it.  I made the recipe three times, making slight alterations to get the cookies just right.  Read my notes below to see what I thought of the recipe.

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Hazelnut Butter Toffee-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 2-4 dozen, depending on size

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

Hazelnut Butter Toffee-Chocolate Chip Cookies

8 tablespoons (110 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 g) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 g) natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature
1 cup (140 g) superfine brown rice flour
1/3 cup (55g) potato starch
1/3 cup (40 g) tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (70 g) chopped Hazelnut Butter Toffee (recipe below)
1/2 cup 90 g mini semisweet chocolate chips

Hazelnut Butter Toffee

1/4 cup (45 g) hazelnuts
1/3 cup (70 g) natural cane sugar
4 tablespoons (55 g) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

For Cookies

In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix together brown sugar and cane sugar with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and the egg. Mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the superfine brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until it comes together. Add the chopped hazelnut butter toffee and chocolate chips, mix until well-combined.

Scrape the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper; it will be sticky. With the help of the parchment paper, shape the dough into a round log which is about 13 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Roll parchment around the log and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Cut the cookie log into 1/2 inch-thick disks. Place them on the baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before lifting them. Store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

For Hazelnut Butter Toffee

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Toast for 5-7 minutes or until golden. Place together inside a cloth towel while still warm and rub them together to remove their skins. Reserve.

Combine sugar, butter, 2 tbs. water and salt in a small saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat stirring until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Stop stirring and cook until a candy thermometer reads 300 F (150 C). Add the toasted hazelnuts and stir. Pour the toffee onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Let it cool completely.

Coarsely chop the toffee. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Tips:

*I used chopped bittersweet chocolate in place of the mini chocolate chips.
For the cookies:
*The first batch I made spread quite a bit so I altered the recipe by adding additional brown rice flour, tapioca and potato starches.
*Because it's difficult to replicate exact results when baking, a little tweaking might be necessary as brands used differ, oven temperatures can vary, altitude and climate can also affect results. Don't be afraid to bake a few test cookies and add more flour if you need to.
*Lowering the baking temperature by 25 degree F also helped with spreading.
*Freezing the dough made for easier, cleaner slices. Be sure to chill the dough long enough, which will also help prevent spreading.
*If you aren't gluten-free, just replace all-purpose wheat flour for the dry ingredients and proceed as the recipe directs.

For the hazelnut butter toffee:
*Toasting hazelnuts is easy to do. Here's a tutorial with pictures on my blog.
*Candy thermometers really come in handy when making toffee. If you don't have one, drop a little bit of the toffee into a bowl of ice water. If it hardens and snaps when removed the toffee is at the proper temperature. Color is another way to determine if the toffee has been cooked long enough. Remove from heat when it is a deep amber caramel color.
*Make adjustments for high altitude. For every 1000 feet above sea level, reduce temperature by two degrees Fahrenheit.

The results:

I absolutely love this recipe and these cookies! It’s very difficult to mimic wheat flour in cookies and this recipe comes about as close as I think a gluten-free recipe can come. As I mentioned, I made the recipe three times to get the cookies to look just like the cover picture.  See my notes below for specifics.  The first (unaltered) batch definitely tasted the best.  They were chewy and butterscotchy just like I like my chocolate chip cookies to be.  I ended up adding more flour which gave the cookies (pictured above) a sandier texture more like shortbread. They were equally delicious, but looked more like the cover photograph.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

I do think this deserved a cover spotlight!  It’s definitely going to be my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Lindsey Johnson writes the food blog, Cafe Johnsonia, and she works as a freelance recipe developer and photographer. She is the mother to three beautiful, fun children and resides in Utah. She became gluten-free in 2010 and has enjoyed the learning process that comes along with gluten-free baking and cooking. When she's not in the kitchen or behind the camera, she enjoys gardening, reading, being outside, and spending time with her husband and children.

6 Responses to “Hazelnut Butter Toffee-Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. 1

    Tieghan — April 11, 2013 @ 7:24 am

    These cookies sound awesome and so does thins cookbook!

  2. 2

    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — April 11, 2013 @ 8:11 am

    Not only this makes wonderful cookies but also a fabulous hazelnut toffee? Oh my, I am in trouble! :) Love this post, Lindsey! Pinning!

  3. 3

    Deborah — April 11, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    These look gorgeous! And I’m all over that hazelnut toffee – I can think of all kinds of things I’d want to put it in!

  4. 4

    Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia) — April 11, 2013 @ 10:29 am

    Thanks, ladies!

  5. 5

    Lori @ RecipeGirl — April 11, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

    Lindsey- they are perfect! My Mom (gluten-free) is super excited that there is a GF contributor to Culinary Covers (me too)! Your photograph is gorgeous!

  6. 6

    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — April 12, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

    I love the picture! And these cookies sound ridiculously yummy. Love that they’re gluten-free, too. :)

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