Monday, March 7, 2011

Chocolate Chip-Hazelnut Cookies (w/Spelt Flour)

Our first "spelt cookie"

Whenever I go to the library I always end up browsing in the cookbook section.  Recently I came across a book called Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way by Lorna Sass.  I am always looking for recipes that will incorporate healthier foods into our meals and snacks and I was particularly drawn to the back part of this book where there were recipes for muffins, cookies, scones and biscotti.  These are some of my favorite things to make and none of these recipes used refined white flour.  Wooohooooo!!  The first cookie recipe that caught my eye was the one for Chocolate Chip-Hazelnut Cookies.  My husband and I love hazelnuts and even more so when they are roasted in the oven.  The cookie recipes in this book use whole grain spelt flour.  I had used spelt before in the roasted garlic bread I made, and we liked the nutty quality it gave to the bread, although that recipe was not made with 100% spelt flour.

So on Friday I labored over making my first spelt cookies.  These cookies turned out to be probably one of the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had.  I think the roasted, chopped hazelnuts and the use of spelt flour put these chocolate chip cookies over the top.  We think these are awesome cookies and I feel better about eating them and putting them in my husband's lunch knowing that they aren't made with all purpose flour. 

I hope you will try these too!

Chocolate Chip-Hazelnut Cookies
adapted from Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
by Lorna Sass

2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 baking powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, then coursely
1 large egg
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted
    butter, melted and cooled to room
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350.  Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder and cinnamon.  Stir in the chocolate chips and the chopped toasted hazelnuts.  (My hazelnuts came from Whole Foods Market bulk bins and still had the skins/paper on them.  I put the nuts in a shallow pan and roasted them for 10 minutes at about 365-370.  Then I was able to peel the skins off before I chopped them up.)

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg. Whisk in the melted butter and the vanilla.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until a soft dough has formed. 

I used my tablespoon cookie scoop that I got for Christmas to place 9  mounds of dough onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Just make sure to leave a generous 1 inch between each mound of cookie dough.  Gently flatten each ball slightly.  I did this with the palm of my hand.

Bake 1 sheet of cookies at a time for about 10 to 12 minutes for soft cookies and 13 to 15 minutes for crisper cookies.  I rotated my cookie sheets about every 4 minutes, especially towards the end of baking,  to get even browning.  When the cookies are done, slide the parchment (with cookies and all) onto a cooling rack.  Cool cookies to room temp.  Store in an airtight container for 5 days or freeze for longer storage.

Makes approximately 3 dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies.


  1. Hi, Melanie! These look really good...I've never tried baking with spelt although I've been reading a lot about it and am getting curious.

    I couldn't figure out how to email you to answer your question about my ciabatta, so I'll just write it here! I used the ciabatta recipe from Artisan Breads Every Day (Reinhart), but just subbed in whole wheat and whole rye flour for about 40% of the total flour. As you can tell from the picture, I didn't get the traditional ciabatta holes with it, but it tasted great and I'm always happy to feed my family more whole grains! =)

  2. Thank you Abby!! I really like that book. I'll give your variation a try.

  3. Hi Melanie -
    I saw this chocolate chip cookie recipe on your web site (via Bread Experience) & couldn't resist trying it. I had some spelt in the freezer, but had never used it, so this was the perfect opportunity.

    I am a real chocolate chip cookie fan & this recipe works for me!

    I posted my comments on your recipe in my blog last week.