This recipe began with Nik Sharma's affection for Nutella—the wonders of which he discovered after moving from Bombay to Cincinnati for grad school—and it ends with a streamlined one-bowl, crisp-chewy cookie that happens to be gluten-free. It tastes both everything and nothing like your perfect chocolate chip. Adapted slightly from Season (Chronicle, October 2018). —Genius Recipes
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Nik Sharma’s Spicy Chocolate Chip–Hazelnut Cookies
1 dozen cookies
(165g) hazelnut meal or flour (see note below)
(200g) packed jaggery or muscovado sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons
freshly ground black pepper (see note below)
In a large bowl, whisk together the hazelnut meal, jaggery, baking powder, baking soda, black pepper, and salt. Add the egg, melted butter, hazelnut extract, chocolate, and ginger and stir with a large wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Grease your hands with a little oil to prevent the dough from sticking. Divide the dough into twelve equal parts and shape them into balls. Flatten them into 2 inch (5cm) rounds. Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Wrap the entire baking sheet tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 10 minutes, and preferably 2 hours.
To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and put half the rounds of dough on the second sheet. Spread out the rounds on both baking sheets and refrigerate one of them. Bake one batch of cookies at a time until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Notes: Hazelnut flour varies in coarseness—if your flour is on the finer side, you will end up with taller, pudgier cookies, but they will still be delicious. If you can't find hazelnut flour, almond flour is a good substitute, or you can grind your own in the food processor. If you'd like a spicier cookie, double the black pepper (or for a milder cookie, decrease the pepper).
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