It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and by that, of course we mean cookie season. While I love cookies all year round, they’re especially delicious this time of year, and I always love coming up with a new treat to add to my cookie boxes for friends and neighbors. As much as I was obsessed with my slice and bake cookies from last year, I was really looking forward to making a chocolate-forward cookie that would satisfy my cocoa-craving sweet tooth. Enter the chocolate hazelnut cookies baked in a muffin tin. Yes, you read that right!
As usual, I started testing recipes and along the way, I experimented with different ratios and combinations. While the chocolate flavor was good, it was only when I baked these cookies in a muffin tin, that the texture really set them apart. So, let me be real with y’all, I’m taking some liberties here in what my definition of a cookie really is. These little chocolate treats live somewhere between a brownie and a cookie. They have that nice chewy exterior I love from any really good chocolate cookie with a fudgey and slightly cakey inside that feels very brownie-like.
The chocolate frosting on the top had my dad asking if I was making cupcakes which added a whole extra layer of conversation to my cookie box addition. After much deliberation, here’s what I’ll say: these are really good. You won’t be able to eat just one, and your holiday cookie box recipients will thank you.
If you’ve never baked cookies in a muffin tin, then let me enlighten you. A lot of you will remember the cookie-cup craze of baking chocolate chip cookies and filling them with milk, I didn’t necessarily want to go the cup route this time. But if you really wanted to, you could. While it might seem strange, using a muffin tin allows for more heat to batter contact than just baking them on a sheet tray. This also means extra chewy edges which is always my favorite part of any cookie. You bet I’ll be looking to bake all my future cookie recipes in muffin tins from now on.
Now let’s talk flavor. These are chocolate personified. Super rich in chocolatey flavor and enhanced by the hazelnut on top. My inspiration? The delicious hazelnut chocolate, Ferrero Rocher that’s commonly gifted this time of year. It’s such an iconic flavor combination that it only felt right to bake a cookie in honor of the holiday classic.
To keep things from getting too sweet, I added extra salt to the fudgey, silky salted frosting. You need a little savory to tone down the saccharine, and it really brings out the chocolate flavor. If you want to be a little extra, add a Ferrero Rocher chocolate on top of the cookies.
These cookies are incredibly easy, super chocolatey, and the most delicious addition to your holiday cookie baking to share with friends this season. They are just the right amount of indulgent and special enough to bake for all things holiday. Happy baking!
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of espresso powder (optional)
- to top: chopped hazelnuts and ferrero rocher chocolates
for the frosting:
- 1 stick of butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup of chocolate, melted
- 3 tbsp of cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 tsp of salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the room temperature butter and sugar. Beat until light in color and fluffy in texture with the paddle attachment, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl about halfway through to ensure even mixing.
- Add the vanilla and eggs and beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add the chocolate and beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl again.
- Sift together the dry ingredients, and add 1/2 to the bowl. Beat on low until just combined. Add the second half of the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined, finishing mixing with a spatula to avoid over mixing. This batter is pretty thick, and will remain so after chilling.
- Place batter in a smaller bowl and cover with a plate (or plastic wrap!) and keep in fridge for at least two hours. I kept mine overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using either a mini cupcake tin or a 12 count muffin tin, fill batter. For the mini cupcake tins, use about 1 tbsp of batter. For the 12 count muffin tin, use about 2 tbsp of batter. You want to make sure you have a good nonstick muffin tin. Flatten the tops and place in oven to bake. For the mini muffin tin, bake for about 12 minutes, for the regular size muffin tin, bake for about 14 minutes. You don't want to overbake as this will result in a more cakey texture.
- Once finished baking, cool in pan for about 5-8 minutes, or until the cookie is completely set. Remove from tray and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make the frosting. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 - 5 minutes.
- Add the melted chocolate. You want to make sure the melted chocolate has cooled to room temperature so it doesn't melt the butter. Beat until combined, scraping down the bowl.
- Add the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt. Beat until combined, smooth, and fluffy. Taste and adjust salt as needed. I like the frosting to be slightly salty for a savory contrast to the cookie.
- To assemble, spread frosting on cookie, and top with chopped hazelnuts and ferrero rocher chocolates. Enjoy!
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