I love chocolate and hazelnuts together, it's one of my all time favorite combos. But for some reason up until just the other day I had never thought to actually go out and buy a bag of hazelnuts. Can you believe that?
I'm not sure why, but I had hazelnuts stored in the part of my brain labeled "want/cannot have/weak". Until one day I had an epiphany. Now, I remember this clearly because all of the things I was doing were so out of character.
I was sitting in front of the computer (this is where you gasp). Eating a hazelnut/chocolate bar (now you should clutch your pearls and emit a more startled gasp). And reading food blogs (you may now place the back of your hand on your forehead and faint from shock). When someone mentioned a bag of hazelnuts they had in their pantry.
And I said, "You can buy bags of hazelnuts!? $@#%!".
I'm not sure why I was surprised, but there it is. Heh. So I went out and got some. Then I needed something to make.
I remembered reading this post over at Yes, We Cook! and thought some hazelnut chocolate cookies were in order. Then I remembered some brownie cookies my mom made once when I was a kid. They were wicked good, a perfect combination of chewy/gooey/awesome. They were spectacular. I loved them. I wanted to make them, with hazelnuts. The only problem is that after that first time my mom made them she lost the recipe and we never found it again. It's like some kind of Greek tragedy. Sort of. But fortunately the internet was there for me. I punched "brownie cookie" in and got a metric web-load of recipes.
The one I finally decided on was from Brown Eyed Baker and the only change I made was to add the chopped hazelnuts (I know you can't see them, but I assure you they're in there). The dough was quite thin when I first finished mixing it, but letting it rest for fifteen minutes or so made it thicker and easier to work with. I did make a batch with it right away (I only have one functional sheet pan right now) and it came out fine. But I liked it better after it had rested a bit. The cookies came out a bit taller too.
The bottom line, though, is this: the recipe is awesome, it's now my default chocolate cookie. It's also the closest to recreating those cookies my mom made that I've gotten so far. And frankly, I have a feeling those cookies have been flavored by nostalgia at this point and nothing will ever live up to them. Heh.