Healthier Nutella Cookies + Chunky Spread

Nutella CookiesI am not sure where this idea came from but I suddenly thought: What about a healthier Nutella in cookie form? An adult version without the milkiness, but with the combination of hazelnuts and chocolate? And how about adding some crunch from the hazelnuts?

I like to use as few ingredients as possible in my cooking and baking, the ultimate achievement being my one ingredient wonders. In this recipe, I use only 3 ingredients: Hazelnuts, cacao powder and a sweetener. No flour or eggs needed to hold the cookies together.

While experimenting with this recipe, I came across a discovery: The sweetener I used affected how liquid the result was and I could use this to my advantage! So here are two variations to this recipe: The healthier Nutella in a cookie recipe using maple syrup and a chunky spread using coconut sweetener that is even simpler to make than my original Healthtella recipe. The sweeteners cannot be used interchangeably as they are what changes the texture. 

Are you ready to whip up some amazingly wholesome and delicious Nutella-inspired treats? Here are the ingredients you will need:

IMG_6166Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are a good source of Vitamin E as well as iron, zinc, calcium and potassium. And because they are made up of 60 – 70% oil, when you whizz them in a food processor for just a minute or two, they quickly turn into a beautiful, creamy spread which is the base for both recipes.

Sweetener: maple syrup (cookies) OR coconut sweetener (chunky spread) 

My two favourite healthier sweeteners are coconut sweetener and maple syrup. Coconut sweetener is a low-glycemic, lower fructose alternative to sugar that can be replaced 1:1 in a recipe, making it very easy to use when you need a non-liquid sweetener. It is also full of minerals and sustainably harvested from the coconut palm tree. I use Saganà Coconut Sweetener as it is 100% natural while supporting sustainable rural community livelihoods in the Philippines. You can buy it here if you are in Switzerland.

As a liquid sweetener, I use high quality, organic maple syrup.

Cacao

The quality of the cacao is very important: Make sure you use full-fat, unsweetened cacao – preferably organic.

IMG_6176Method for the Cookies:

Heat your oven to 140 degrees Celsius.

Measure 2 cups or 300g hazelnuts and place on a tray in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they are evenly roasted. Remove from the oven and rub the hazelnuts between your hands to remove any loose skins.

Once they are completely cool, place them in a food processor. Now this is where you have to be careful! To start with, only pulse the hazelnuts a few times so that they are ground but not too finely. They will probably not be even so you will have some bigger pieces of hazelnuts than others which is fine. Take out about 120 grams and place in a bowl.

Grind the rest of the hazelnuts until they are liquid. This should take about 1-2 minutes and you may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.

Add 3 tbsp maple syrup, 3 tbsp cacao and a pinch of salt. The maple syrup will cause the hazelnut butter to ‘curdle’ and become solid – this is what we want! Blend to combine then pour the mixture in the bowl with the chunky hazelnuts. Combine well with your hands then form cookies and place on a tray with a baking sheet. Bake at 140 degrees for about 15 minutes. Take them out and leave them to cool on the tray before removing them.

IMG_6178

Method for the Chunky Spread:

Roast the hazelnuts as described above. Place them in a food processor and pulse only  a few times so you have bigger pieces. Remove a few tablespoons of these hazelnuts and place aside.

Continue grinding the hazelnuts until they become liquid, then add 3 tbsp coconut sweetener, 3 tbsp cacao and a pinch of salt.

The texture of the coconut sweetener will allow the spread to stay liquid so no need to add anything else! Stir in the hazelnut pieces so your spread is chunky. Store in a jar in the fridge.

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2 Comments

  • Nesrin on Apr 27, 2015 Reply

    Hiba! These are the most delicious cookies ever! I can’t believe how simple they are to make and how good they taste. What I love most is how healthy they are! Hurrah! Thank you!

    Nesrin

    • Hiba on May 01, 2015 Reply

      Thanks Nesrin! Glad you liked them :)

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