A spin on my signature chocolate chip cookie.
Cramming these full of salted pretzels & candied hazelnuts perfectly complements the bitterness of the dark chocolate & amplifies the nuttiness from the brown butter.

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salted pretzel hazelnut chocolate cookies

A Spin On My Signature Cookie

These cookies are based on my brown butter & rye chocolate chip cookie recipe. Which can be found here. As well as using dark chocolate, we’re adding a good amount of salted pretzel pieces & homemade candied hazelnuts.

Candied Hazelnuts

To make candied hazelnuts, we first roast the nuts then coat them in a caramel made from brown sugar, golden syrup, butter & salt. Once set, we chop the nuts up roughly & mix them into our cookie dough.

Be careful when shaping the cookie dough as candied nuts can be quite sharp!

Brown Butter

The secret to making bakery style chocolate chip cookies that are full of flavour. Browning butter takes less than 5 minutes to do & gives cookies a deep, nutty flavour. To increase the brown butter flavour, we’re stirring a teaspoon of toasted milk powder into the butter once it has been cooked.

Espresso Powder

The espresso powder in this recipe is entirely optional but helps enhance the flavour from the dark & milk chocolates. If you’ve got some espresso grounds kicking about, it’s easy to make at home. My recipe can be found here.

The Chocolate

For these cookies, we’re using dark chocolate. A bar of good quality 72% cocoa dark chocolate works best! If you want to use milk chocolate instead, feel free. They’ll be just as good.

Salt On Cookies?

A classic combo, a small amount of Maldon sea salt sprinkled onto the top of each cookies really brings out the flavour of the chocolate. The pretzels we’re using for these cookies have salt on them which why we’ve reduced the amount of salt in the cookie dough.

Pan Banging

If you’ve ever searched for a cookie recipe on Google, chances are you’ve come across the pan banging technique by Sarah Kieffer from The Vanilla Bean Blog. This technique involves banging the tray of cookies onto your oven rack towards the end of the cooking process. This causes the cookies to deflate, spreading the chocolate out & giving the cookies crinkly edges.

Refrigerating

This recipe calls for an overnight chill in the fridge. The reason behind this is so that the cookies don’t spread out too much. If your short on time, an hour or two will do the trick but don’t skip the chilling step!

The Cookie Scoot

A technique used to shape cookies into a perfect circle as soon as they come out of the oven. To do this, take a large circular cutter & use it to move (or scoot) the cookies into a circle. This is the secret to making a batch of uniform cookies.

Equipment Used

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Salted Pretzel, Candied Hazelnut & Dark Chocolate Cookies

A spin on my signature chocolate chip cookie. Cramming these full of salted pretzels & candied hazelnuts perfectly complements the bitterness of the dark chocolate & amplifies the nuttiness from the brown butter.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time42 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 People

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • 3 Large Baking Trays

Ingredients

Candied Hazelnuts

  • 50 g Hazelnuts
  • 25 g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 25 g Golden Syrup
  • 10 g Unsalted Butter
  • Pinch Maldon Salt

Cookie Dough

  • 200 g Unsalted Butter
  • 145 g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 130 g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 250 g Plain Flour
  • 50 g Light Rye Flour
  • 1 tsp Espresso Powder
  • 1 tsp Toasted Milk Powder
  • ¼ tsp Maldon Salt Plus Extra For Finishing
  • ¾ tsp Baking Powder
  • ¾ tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
  • 220 g Dark Chocolate
  • 30 g Salted Pretzels
  • Candied Hazelnuts See Above

Instructions

  • To make the candied hazelnuts, start by preheating an oven to 200°c/180°c fan.
    Roast the hazelnuts on a baking tray for 5 minutes or until a deep golden brown, leave to cool slightly then peel (if the skins have been left on).
    Set aside whilst you make the caramel.
  • Next, place the brown sugar, golden syrup, butter & salt into a saucepan & set over a medium heat. Cook until the sugar has dissolved then add in the roasted hazelnuts. Keep cooking, stirring constantly until the caramel has thickened slightly & the nuts are completely coated.
    Transfer to a lined baking tray & leave to cool completely.
  • Next, brown 120g of the butter & leave to cool to room temperature, this should take around an hour to cool. Weigh your butter once browned, there should be 100g.
    Once cool, place in the fridge until firm, 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  • Whilst your brown butter is cooling, chop the remaining 80g of butter into even pieces & leave to soften at room temperature.
  • Add both of the butters & the sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached. Beat until combined & just turning pale, 1-2 minutes.
    Don’t overmix, we don’t want to add in air to the cookie dough as this will affect the baked cookie.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg, yolks & vanilla essence together. Add to the butter & sugar mix then beat together until combined.
  • In another bowl, whisk together both the flours, espresso powder, toasted milk powder, salt, baking powder & bicarbonate of soda.
    Add to the butter mix & beat on a low speed to combine.
  • Next, roughly chop 120g of the dark chocolate, the pretzels & the candied hazelnuts. Add these to the cookie dough & stir in.
    Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  • Whilst the dough is chilling, chop the remaining 100g of dark chocolate into 15 equally sized chunks.
  • Once the dough has firmed up, scoop into 70g portions & roll into balls with your hands. Making sure that there’s plenty of chocolate in each portion.
    Press a dark chocolate chunk into the top of each ball.
  • Place the portioned cookie dough on a baking tray or into a large container then leave in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day, preheat an oven to 180°c.
  • Line 3 large baking trays with baking parchment & place 5 cookies on each tray, making sure there’s plenty of room between them.
    For best results, bake the cookies one tray at a time.
  • Bake the cookies for 8 minutes then open your oven door, lift up the baking tray inside the oven by a few inches then let it drop down against the oven rack. Use enough force so that the cookie starts to deflate. (This is the “Pan Banging” method.)
    Bake for a further 2 minutes then repeat the pan banging process.
    Bake for another 2 minutes (bringing the total bake time to 12 minutes) then remove from the oven.
  • Using a large, round cookie cutter, scoot each cookie into a perfect round shape (this step is optional but makes the cookies more uniform).
    Sprinkle each cookie lightly with Maldon salt, leave to cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Repeat the cooking process with the remaining cookies.

Notes

To Cook In An Aga.

Place the tray of cookies on the grid shelf which is placed on the bottom set of runners in the baking oven.
Kept in an an airtight container, these cookies will last for several days.
The cookie dough requires an overnight chill in the fridge before being baked. Don’t be tempted to skip this step otherwise the cookies will spread out too much when baked.
Espresso powder & toasted milk powder is used to enhance the chocolate flavour in these cookies. Don’t worry if you haven’t got any, they’ll still taste great! 
The way we bake these cookies, is by using a technique called “Pan Banging”. This was created by Sarah Kieffer (The Vanilla Bean Blog) & is used in this recipe to create pools of melted chocolate & to give the cookies a crinkled texture.
When making cookies, it’s best to use bars of chocolate that have been roughly chopped as appose to chocolate chips. Chocolate chips won’t melt properly & you won’t get the molten pools of chocolate that can be achieved with chopped chocolate.
Be careful when shaping the dough into balls – the candied hazelnuts & chopped pretzels can be sharp!

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