Cookies and I don’t get along very well. Don’t misunderstand me. Of course I like to bake and eat them. But I have a really, really hard time coming up with decent cookie recipes.
When I first started baking, I used baking mixes and switched to recipes from cookbooks pretty soon. Then I went vegan and started this blog at the same time. At first I came up with all of “my” baking recipes by veganizing “regular” ones. But I really have a problem with being perfect. So I always thought that modifying a recipe that is already there wasn’t enough. I wanted the recipes posted on by blog to really be my own recipes. Made from scratch and not based on other recipes.
Making pasta sauce from scratch is easy. But coming up with your own cake recipe may end up in a huge kitchen disaster. At least if you are me. It’s not a coincidence that in order to call yourself a baker in Germany you have to go to school for three years. So of course I really didn’t know where to start when I wanted to make my own cake from scratch. I read books on baking and tried to figure out how to apply all the stuff I had read to vegan baking. It was a lot of work but several kitchen disasters later I can proudly say that my cake recipes truely are my recipes. Not so when it comes to cookies though. I never really figured out how to make them from scratch. Okay I have to say that right when I was about to find it out life happened and instead of studying ingredient ratios I had other things to do. So today you will again find a “new” recipe based on another recipe.
Well, probably my own cookie recipes are as important as the proverbial sack of rice in China. There are already so many great recipes out there, why would anyone want to add a new recipe to this collection? (Sometimes I am glad that recipes aren’t like plastic bags. They aren’t tossed out and end up in the ocean to poison the sea animals. ) There are more and more of them every day and most of them will never be tried out and forgotten very soon. Sometimes when I lack the motivation to blog I tell myself that yes, all of this may be the case but that it doesn’t matter. I have a tiny blog and many people I know probably think it’s crazy to write about recipes. It’s just not an important topic. And they may be right. But for me as an ethical vegan it is an important topic. I write this blog to show people that life without meat, milk, and even cheese is possible. And I write this blog for myself. (I am probably even writing this post for myself.) I really enjoy cooking and baking. For me it is a perfect way to relieve stress, to distract my mind or to cheer myself up. I really enjoy doing this. Plus, writing recipes is a special kind of challenge for me: when something turns out well, I can enjoy some good food and put the recipe on my blog to share it with others. If not, nobody (except for P and me who will have to eat the mess if it is edible) will ever know. So you cannot fail. Which is a really great feeling and makes writing a food blog a very postive and creative thing. And this is why I want to develop my own recipes.
Wow, if you are still reading you really, really deserve some cookies now.
The cookies itself are very simple and plain. The filling is adapted from my chocolate hazelnut spread recipe. Made with 1/4 cup of Kahlúa and a pinch of tonka bean it becomes “grown up” version of the spread and gives the cookies a special twist. Tip: The cookie dough has to be made one day in advance. To safe time, you can also make the filling ahead and store it in the fridge.
Hazelnut Cookies with Kahlúa Chocolate Filling (makes about 13 sandwich cookies)
Cookies adapted from this recipe.
55 g (1/4 cup) margarine, room temperature
65 g (1/3 cup) sugar
2 tablespoons hazelnut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons kahlúa
160 g (1 1/3 cups) flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
Cream together margarine and sugar. (For this rather small amount I used my mini food processor. A handheld mixer works probably well, too.) Add hazelnut butter and liqueur and process until everything is combined well. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add 1/3 cup of flour to the food processor and pulse until most of it is incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour. (Don’t add more than 1/3 cup at a time.) Process into a crumbly mass and transfer to your working surface or a bowl. Gather the dough together and form a disk. (The hazelnut butter I used is rather runny. If yours is smooth and the dough doesn’t come together, add some non-dairy milk by the teaspoon until it does.) Wrap in plastic and refridgerate over night.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out the dough about 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick. Use a 5 cm (2.5 inch) cookie cutter to cut out 26 disks. Transfer to baking sheets and bake one sheet at a time for 7-8 minutes or until the cookies aregolden brown. Let cool for two minutes before ransferring to a rack.
For the filling:
50 g (half a 3.5 oz bar) dark chocolate, melted
60 ml (1/4 cup) Kahlúa
60 g(1/4 cup) hazelnut butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 generous pinch ground tonka bean (or 1/8 teaspoon ground vanilla)
50 g (half a 3.5 oz bar) dark chocolate, melted
1 T canola oil, optional
Combine Kahlúa, hazelnut butter, sugar, and tonka bean in a small bowl. Stir well. Pour in chocolate and stir until everything is well combined. The hazelnut butter I use is rather runny. If your nut butter is more of the solid kind, add the optional oil. Refridgerate for one hour, or until set. To assemble the cookies spread a grape or small walnut sized amount of chocolate spread onto one cookie and top with another one.
Die Kekse sehen fantastisch aus und ich würde sie sehr gerne nachmachen. Vorab noch eine Frage: Was ist der Unterschied zwischen Hasenussbutter und Haselnussmus? Danke und liebe Grüße, Brigitte
Hallo Brigitte, da gibt es keinen. Ich habe einfach nur das falsche Wort benutzt. Auf Englisch heißt es ja immer Butter. Sorry!
Yum! These look absolutely delicious. However, I don’t know of anywhere I can get hazelnut butter where I live… do you think almond butter would taste good too? Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
I did need more milk in my cookie dough, and then it was all good. I also made Brazil nut butter, as I had no hazelnuts. I don’t think it mattered too much. All put together they are so pretty and incredibly delicious. Perfectly crisp cookie and intensely flavored middle! You just need to sure you let the filling get soft enough to spread so you don’t risk breaking the cookie.
I have never made Brazil nut butter. But I can imagine that they are a perfect match for the cookies and the filling. Thanks for trying these, Andrea!
Ultimately, although others read it, what we write is almost always for ourselves. But I enjoyed reading your thoughts. And while there are TONS of vegan blogs, yours is a real standout. AND, anytime you make vegan cooking more appealing, or prompt someone to make something vegan, you have done a good thing. An important thing.
Philosophizing done. I can’t wait to make the cookies, they look awesome.
PS I made the sunflower cream sauce tonight to top a quinoa asparagus dish. It was fabulous!
Thanks for your perseverance and your postings, I look forward to trying some of your recipes as I try to develop my baking hand.
I’ve done a lot of reading about the science behind baking, but I always have trouble figuring out the ratios, and throwing the whole vegan thang into the mix, makes it that much harder. I’m impressed that you’ve been able to crack the code, so to speak, and even if there are hundreds of recipe out there already, knowing that you created it from scratch is that much more satisfying.
These cookies look great! The next time I make chocolate hazelnut spread, I’m so throwing some Kahlua in there.
Oh my — these look fantastic! There is nothing like the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts. Yum. Your picture of these cookies is also quite lovely!
Oh how I love hazelnut! It is one of my very favorite things! These not only LOOK amazing and perfectly delicious, but I know I would love them!
You are totally speaking my language with these… The bitter hazelnuts and dark chocolate, sweet cookies, and a pinch of salt; sounds like perfect flavor harmony! I think I have the opposite problem with cookie recipes though… I have to stop myself from making nothing but cookies, since they’re so easy and quick to whip up. Everyone has their own unique comfort zone when it comes to cooking, huh?
They sound so yummy!!!
Well said! I agree, devising recipes for baked goods such as cookies and cakes can be particularly difficult and frustrating. It’s worth it, though, certainly for the reasons you mentioned. The time and effort you put into cooking and all of the beautiful, delicious creations you share on this blog are truly admirable and inspiring. :) This cookie recipe looks to be no exception. Hazelnut, kahlua, AND chocolate all in one bite is sounds far too good to resist.
Thank you, Tiffany!
New baking creations from scratch is incredibly intimidating! Perhaps I just haven’t developed the patience or focus for it yet, except fo playing with scones a few times. One of these days I’ll follow your lead!
These cookies sound wonderful! I recently fell for chocolate hazelnut spread and will have to give your recipe a whirl!
Hello Cassie, nice to hear from you!
I tend to still mostly do adaptations of other recipes. I fear that me short attention span/easily distracted self might end up with many disasters, but one of these days perhaps I will follow your lead and do more in that area. The proportions in baking can be quite intimidating. When throwing things in the skillet I can easily add a little more of this and that with few worries ;)
These cookies sound wonderful! I recently fell for chocolate hazelnut spread and must try yours!
I think you did a fine job with these cookies, despite your fear of cookie baking! I have the same apprehensions, by the way. I like that your ingredients are simple, letting the flavors speak for themselves. I’m book marking this recipe!
Thank you! Good to know I am not alone.
I love the combination of chocolate and hazelnut! These cookies look delicious and elegant enough to serve at some sophisticated party. Thanks for including a “pin it” button so I can easily save and bake these some day.
Thank you! I also think they could be served at a party. Especially because of the filling. And they make a great gift, too.
So true! When I was developing the desserts section of my cookbook, I had soooo many baking disasters trying to develop my own cake and cookie recipes. I do agree that cookies are harder to perfect. Once you get a good cake formula, you can add flavors and such. But every cookie is so different! These look awesome!
I agree! I often use a basic cake recipe. But when I do that with cookies – just not working out.
I love cookies.. And I also love to veganize them! These looks so delicious, and the filling complete the recipe!
Hi Donatella! Your blog is really, really awesome! I wish I would speak Italian.
we are foodblogger for real passion.. so understand every language that talk about sugar, chocolate, broccoli, pasta, bread and much more!!! italian or english: it’s the same in front of good food & photos!!!
This looks very tasty.
Once again, you are my hero! These look great..I know you’ve written about tonka beans before and I was intrigued but now I am definitely motivated to track them down.
I’d say I send you some. But that would probably not work out and I don’t want to end up as a drug dealer.