First of all, welcome to The Filthy Kitchen. I’m so excited you’re here!
Do you ever have those days or weeks where everything is just not very great? You’re burnt out and cranky, and can’t figure out where you left your positive outlook on life? I started this blog because baking is what helps me through those days and weeks (even when they turn into months). Oh, and Nutella. Nutella solves everything. Enter, our recipe of the week:
The fist time I made these cookies was an attempt at cheering up my boyfriend and roommates in the middle of a hard Chicago winter and a grueling semester at school. This week I made them to cheer myself up. I got the original recipe from Ambitious Kitchen and tweaked it so my vegan and gluten free friends could get in on the love.
Here are my Magical Hazelnut Make-It-Better Cookies:
To Make this recipe gluten free, I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. It’s really versatile, easy to work with, and a lot easier and cheaper than trying to come up with my own mixture of alternative flours.
To make these cookies vegan, I used Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut butter. It’s vegan and gluten free, whereas Nutella contains milk. I also had to replace the egg in the original recipe. PETA and veganbaking.net have some really great cheat sheets and tips for substituting dairy products in baked goods. I chose to use the ground flaxseed and water method.
1 cup vegan hazelnut spread
1/2 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed (I used Bob’s Red Mill for this, too)
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp brown sugar
Combine the flaxseed meal with water and stir until the mixture becomes gelatinous. I find it works well to allow the mixture to sit for a couple of 30-45 second intervals in between stirring.
Combine flaxseed mixture, brown sugar, and hazelnut spread in a mixing bowl and beat until all the ingredients are combined.
Slowly add the flour and mix until the dough begins to cling together. It’ll look something like this:
Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 while dough is chilling.
Roll dough into small 1″ balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. I like to salt these puppies before and after they go into the oven but that’s more a matter of personal preference.
Bake for 10 minutes, then press with a fork and continue to bake for another 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Generously sprinkle some sea salt on the cookies, and let cool for another 10minutes or so and then you’re ready to find your bliss!
These cookies are nice and crispy on the outside but super fudgy in the inside. You can make them a little bigger as well but I like this size for dunking.
I’ve also made a batch of these that are thinner and crispier and go great with tea or ice cream. To achieve this, use about 2 Tbsp less flour and skip refrigeration. Depending on the time of year though (or whether or not you have air conditioning), you might want to freeze the dough for 10 minutes before baking. Spoon the dough onto the cookie sheet (it’ll be stickier and a little more difficult to roll into balls). Then just bake at 350 for ten minutes and let them cool on a wire rack. They’ll come out looking a little like this:
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Hit me up with any questions or comments.