I had a terrible idea. Really, really terrible.
I decided I must make buttery, soft cookies stuffed with hazelnuts. No wait, that wasn’t the terrible part. I then decided to take two of them, spread a big scoop of rich, dark chocolate ice-cream with brownie pieces on one, mush them together and keep them in my freezer where they are miraculously always soft enough to eat.
I don’t know what the most terrible part of it was. The fact that the hazelnuts were spread far and wide in the cookies, the fact that I could bite into crunchy bits of them, the fact that everything was unimaginably buttery, the fact that hazelnuts and dark chocolate were meant to be, or the fact that the chocolate ice-cream impossibly got so much better, even though it was pretty much already the best I’ve ever had.
Really, I should be sued.
You may recall this mammoth cookie I made a while ago, falling in love with whole wheat flour as a base. I took that, swapped out a bit of flour for ground hazelnuts and then did the aforementioned terrible things.
Word of caution: I experimented a lot lot lot with these sandwiches. It turns out that hazelnuts actually require a lot more flour than I used to absorb the moisture in them. The dough therefore does not chill very well and does spread more than a cookie that you don’t plan to freeze should. They spread out thin with crispy edges that I chopped off to make square cookies, because I’m a fan of square bread, boring like that. As a base for ice-cream sandwiches, they work just perfectly. However, do not try these for regular cookies if like me, you like thick puffy perfection.
Ok let’s talk ice-cream. Anything and everything is ok here. Whatever rocks your boat. Whatever you binge on when the world has turned on you. Whatever you sit with a tub of in front of FRIENDS reruns.
I chose Hokey Pokey’s Double Chocolate Therapy because there has been no flavour of ice-cream more aptly named. I discovered it a while ago and then actually went hunting for it and yelled with delight in Food Hall when I saw it. Just about the richest, darkest, most terrible ice-cream there ever was. It will take away all your troubles and make you believe in a world of rainbows and puppies.
Indulge, please, because no good story ever began with “So I had this giant scoop of vanilla…..”
I don’t need to tell you twice that my experimental cookies and this therapeutic ice-cream made just about the best combination in the UNIVERSE. Perfectly balanced, perfectly awesome. Soft, chewy, chocolatey, nutty and cold as they come.
Excuse me while I stick my head in the freezer.
These proportions make 8 large hazelnut cookies.
What you’ll need:
1/2 whole wheat flour (regular flour is better if you want a stronger colour contrast between cookie and ice-cream)
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts (grind them slowly so you don’t wind up with hazelnut butter (YUM!))
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup room temp butter (if using unsalted, add 1/4 tsp salt to the flour)
1/4 cup brown sugar (the cookies need to be under-sweetened to balance the sugar in the ice-cream)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Handful of chopped hazelnuts
Ice-cream of your choice
What to do:
1. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt if using. Set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugars till creamy and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.
3. Fold in the flour mixture. Add the ground hazelnuts. You will have a soft, sticky dough. Toss in the chopped hazelnuts and fold. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 190 C and lightly grease a baking sheet.
5. Make same-sized cookie dough balls. I got 8 on the baking sheet. Space them out at least 2 inches. Chill this tray with the cookie dough balls for another 15 minutes while the oven pre-heats.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies have spread, and the edges are browning. Remove the from the oven and allow to cool COMPLETELY.
7. Make pairs of the cookies and lay one on a piece of clingfilm. Top with a generous scoop of ice-cream, cover with the second cookie and press down lightly. Wrap the cookie sandwich in clingfilm and freeze at least overnight.
Serve frozen 😀