When I was young, Mom had two killer recipes—banana bread and peanut butter cookies. These two baked recipes were perfect just the way they were written in The Joy of Cooking, her standard cookbook. For years, I never altered either recipe; both offered just the right amount of sugar, not too cloying like most bakery versions.
Unlike all the other recipes I continually tinkered with, I carefully measured ingredients and mixed them exactly as the recipe dictated year after year—until this year.
I toyed with substituting hazelnut butter for peanut butter for weeks before I finally got some at the market. This recipe was going local with Holmquist Orchards’ Hazelnut Butter, Golden Glen Creamery Butter and an egg from the Bad Bunny Farm on Vashon. I suppose I could have struggled to find local flour too, but I'm not really a die hard locavore who sources every ingredient locally, and I was in a hurry to test out my cookie idea. Here’s the recipe, I adapted from The Joy of Cooking with my substitutions:
Hazelnut Butter Cookies
(Makes 50 to 60 cookies)
These cookies are seriously addictive with their compelling sweet nutty flavor. Holmquist Orchards sells their tasty hazelnut butter at many Seattle farmers’ markets during summer months. Check Pike Place Market or Holmquist Orchards website for winter months.
1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
1 cup hazelnut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and baking soda together in a small mixing bowl. In another bowl blend white and brown sugar and butter, mashing together until creamy.
2. Stir beaten egg into the butter-sugar mixture. Then mix in hazelnut butter and vanilla. Blend the wet and dry ingredients together.
3. Scoop a small amount of dough into your hand and roll into a ball. Place on the baking sheet. Fill the baking sheet with these cookie dough balls. When done, dip a fork into water and flatten the cookies with the fork tines in a criss-cross fashion. When cookies are all flattened, bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned on tops and bottoms.
Finn as usual, struggles to be good. I’m sure he’d take a lump of coal any day in exchange for this plate of cookies.