I don’t think I need to tell you how well chocolate and hazelnut go together. I’ve never been able to resist the siren song of a jar of Nutella. Now, I know better than to even keep it around. My brother and I could go through a jar of that addictive stuff in days when we were little, stealing horrifyingly large spoonfuls from the kitchen cabinet every chance we got.

This simple chocolate cookie dough reminds me of those days, and bakes up light and crisp. An immodest dose of toasted hazelnuts provides the necessary nutty flavor and extra crunch. Plus, slice-and-bake cookies make portion control a breeze, if that’s your thing, because you can keep the dough in the freezer and cut off just as many as you need!

Photo: Joanna Wohlmuth

 Chocolate Hazelnut Slice-and-Bake Cookies

1½ cups flour
½ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tbsp butter, at room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup hazelnuts

Heat oven to 350° F. Spread hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and toast until lightly browned, 5-10 minutes. Once cooled, chop them roughly (so most are about halved). Set aside to cool completely.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour, stirring until just incorporated. Stir in the hazelnuts.

Form the dough into a 1½ inch-thick log. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Store any dough you aren’t using in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for a month.

Slice the dough into ¼-inch thick slices and arrange on a parchment-lined (or lightly buttered) baking sheet, leaving ½ inch between the cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes on the sheet and then cool completely on a rack.

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