Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Bites


I've got a soft spot in my heart for first cookbooks.  It's not because my own first book  is coming out later this year, ok -not just because of that- but I love the earnest and unabashed enthusiasm that every writer put into their first project.  Cookbooks that come later in their career may perhaps be more polished, or even altogether far better, but they are often missing that je ne sais quoi that first books possess.

If you're a regular reader of Chez Pim, I'm sure you're a fan of my dear friend David Lebovitz's as well – you might even like him better, which is, of course, totally cool with me, just don't tell me!  And if you're a fan of his, you must also know that he's not only an über-blogger, but a prolific cookbook writer, with many successful books under his proverbial belt.  But the one that had my heart, and still does, is his first, Room for Dessert.  A number of recipes in that book have made their ways into my baking repertoire, and the book has coffee, butter, and molasses stains to prove that too.

The cookies I made last week is one of those recipes from this book.  He calls it Black and White Cookies, made with ground almond and bittersweet chocolate, rolled in powdered sugar.  These cookies are cute as buttons, and just about the same size too, absolutely the perfect size for just a bite or two of something bittersweet with your coffee.  I must also admit that I don't quite know how to leave a good recipe well enough alone, so I made mine with hazelnut instead of almond.  The effect was really quite lovely, sort of like Nutella cookies for grown-ups.

Dark chocolate hazelnut bites
(adapted from David Lebovitz's Black and White cookies, originally published in Room for Dessert)

8oz bittersweet chocolate (I used half 72% Valrhona Araguani and half 99% Scharffen Burger for super dark chocolate effect.)

3 Tablespoon (1.5oz or 45g) butter

1 1/2 T rum or whatever

2 eggs at room temp

1/3 cup granulate sugar 

1 (heaping) cup hazelnut (toasted in 350F oven for about 10-12 minutes, until fragrant, and then let stand until cool.)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

a pinch of fleur de sel

more granulate sugar and powdered sugar for coating the cookies (I used about half a cup to one cup of each)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Chop the chocolates into small pieces.  Melt the chocolate and butter together (with the liquor too if using.)  You can do this in a bain-marie, that's to say in a bowl rest over a pot of simmering water.  I just nuke it in the microwave. 

In a mixer, whip the eggs and sugar together until they turn pale and form a ribbon, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the melted chocolate.

In a food processor, pulverize the nuts with the flour, then add the baking powder.  Add a pinch of fleur de sel, a big pinch if you're me.  Stir the ground nut mixture into the chocolate batter. 

Chill the batter in the fridge until firm, 1-2 hours.

Take two small bowls, fill one about 2/3 way up with powdered sugar, and do the same with the other but this time using granulate sugar.

Roll the chocolate cookie batter into 1 inch balls.  Roll each ball first in the granulate sugar, then the powdered sugar.  Set the cookies on two parchment-lined baking sheets, making sure they are at least 1 inch apart. 

Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, swapping the top and bottom baking sheets about half way through the baking.  These cookies are done when they are slighty firm at the edges but still soft in the center.  Don't overbake them.  Once they have cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container.

(For this batch, I forgot to roll my cookies in the sugar before they went into the oven.  Not a problem really, I just did if after they're done baking.  They were perhaps not quite as pretty, but no less delicious.)

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45 Responses to “Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Bites

  • cherie said:
    February 10th, 2009 at 9:16am

    Ohhhhh, my daily latte is crying out for one of these exquisite cookies.
    You and David are equaly good:) Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise:)

  • Laura said:
    February 10th, 2009 at 9:19am

    These look so fabulous! And comparatively light on the butter…so I classify them as health food. David is phenomenal, as, of course are you. You pad thai is simply unrivaled.

  • Mark Scarbrough said:
    February 10th, 2009 at 2:25pm

    I wouldn’t be able to restrain myself. They look so crunchy and perfect. And just enough batter to hold the chocolate in suspension. Now that’s my kind of baking!

  • katie said:
    February 10th, 2009 at 5:17pm

    These cookies look so decadent. I have been munching on odd imported marie lue cookies all day and they leave much to be desired. And now I am reading this post, drooling.
    So good. Do you think that I could substitute some other nuts into the mix as you have done?
    pistachio and amaretto (in lieu of “rum or whatever”)?

  • David said:
    February 11th, 2009 at 1:36am

    Glad you like the book (and me!)
    It’s celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year : )

  • Pigpigscorner said:
    February 11th, 2009 at 3:55am

    Ahhh…my kind of cookies! I love choc with hazelnuts.

  • Heather said:
    February 11th, 2009 at 2:14pm

    MY GOD. Those look utterly amazing. Of course, I would like to try the recipe myself, but that adorable little labeled jar prompts me to ask if you’ve ever considered mail order. Or perhaps an Etsy shop with limited amounts of treats for those out of town?

  • Parior said:
    February 12th, 2009 at 1:01am

    I have to tell you that I’m a not so good cooker, but it looks so appetizing that I have to try to make it. Surely my son will enjoy the taste as well as the ‘job’ to make it.

  • Club Femina said:
    February 12th, 2009 at 1:17am

    My friend will appreciate this cookie recipe. He loves chocolate very much 🙂

  • Gastroanthropologist said:
    February 12th, 2009 at 10:14am

    What will your cookbook be called? When is it coming out? Where can I get it? Your little wooden tongs and cookie jar is so perfect. I’ll have to steal that idea for party favors when I host dinner parties!

  • Lick My Spoon said:
    February 12th, 2009 at 2:45pm

    I love the two tone display in the jar. The contrast makes them look that much more appetizing. These dainty little treats may be my next baking venture to try out. Yum!

  • GoFoodster said:
    February 12th, 2009 at 5:16pm

    These cookies and a glass of cold milk, excellent.

  • Fernando said:
    February 13th, 2009 at 8:38am

    Soy de Argentina y me parece muy exqusito todo lo que se puede ver en el blog

  • mysterycreature said:
    February 15th, 2009 at 9:20am

    They look great! I can just imagine being served them in a tiny back street italian coffee shop… beautiful!

  • Clyde said:
    February 15th, 2009 at 11:16am

    My mouth is watering and my eyes are blurry just thinking about this. I can taste the morsels and the coffee and the scene that comes to mind is a quiet early morning on an uncrowded, stone paved narrow street. I’m sitting on a first floor outdoor cafe and the air is filled with the smells of early morning and coffee. The air is clear and the sun has risen gently. There is a slight dew in the air and I’m sitting here, by myself, enjoying the fresh taste and clear air………..ZAP!! Back to reality. I’ve gotta have me some o’ these!!

  • Pim said:
    February 15th, 2009 at 1:48pm

    Why thank you!

  • Pim said:
    February 15th, 2009 at 1:49pm

    Thank you too!
    My readers are so goof for my ego. (Not that it needed help, mind you.)

  • Pim said:
    February 15th, 2009 at 1:50pm

    Pistachio and Amaretto sound divine. Show me some pictures when you make it.

  • Pim said:
    February 15th, 2009 at 1:50pm

    Always and for ever, darling.

  • Pim said:
    February 15th, 2009 at 1:51pm

    You’re not the first to suggest an Etsy shop, which sounds like a great idea. Except for one little snag, I couldn’t think of a worse hell than a line at the post office! 🙁

  • Pim said:
    February 15th, 2009 at 1:52pm

    It’s very easy. I’m sure you could do it and your son will love you for it too (even more).

  • Pim said:
    February 15th, 2009 at 1:53pm

    The book is called The Foodie Handbook. You’ll be able to buy it in the UK in June, and in the US later in the Fall.

  • rini said:
    February 16th, 2009 at 4:01pm

    hi pim.. question ..what’s 3 T means?
    is it tablespoon?
    thank you

  • Diane said:
    February 16th, 2009 at 11:13pm

    I’m with rini. Well, not exactly – I know the T is a tablespoon but I struggle with the concept of a tablespoon of butter.
    Anyone got an easy conversion chart for us poor Brits (that would inc. the half cup of sugar – my cups range from espresso to big-enough-to-bath-the-cat-in – and I’m not sure which one I’d use a half of!

  • Pim said:
    February 17th, 2009 at 9:56am

    Yes, T is tablespoon. It’s one of those shortcuts that often require a longer explanation later. I really should stop doing it! lol

  • Pim said:
    February 17th, 2009 at 10:02am

    Tablespoon is a convenient measurement here in the US because each stick of butter has tablespoon marks on the wrapping. One table spoon is 0.5oz or just a little over 14gr.

  • Diane said:
    February 17th, 2009 at 11:02am


  • Bea said:
    February 18th, 2009 at 5:24am

    Okay I’m totally making that in my shop tomorrow, and see how they go—we had a similar shaped cookie, called a honey walnut wedding cookie and that went well–but I think the chocolate is going to really take it over the top!

  • Ania said:
    February 18th, 2009 at 10:24am

    I made these a few days ago, and they are truly delicious! I used blanched toasted almonds and Callebaut bittersweet, as that’s what I had on hand.
    One question… do these bake at 350 degrees? That’s what I did, but it doesn’t specify…
    Thanks much for this recipe!

  • Aubrey said:
    February 24th, 2009 at 9:06am

    I just made these a few days ago and think they might be the best cookies I’ve ever made. And I’ve made a lot of cookies. I love the chocolate-hazelnut combination. Thanks for posting such a great recipe!

  • Jane L said:
    February 24th, 2009 at 11:10am

    This is such an adorable picture. I too love David’s Room for dessert book, and you prompted me to try this recipe. Thanks for the inspiration. I am looking forward to get your book

  • Specialty Foods said:
    February 25th, 2009 at 12:21pm

    i bet those are amazing! this specialty foods site has chocolates, nuts, candies, toffees, and tons more gourmet food: http://www.foodsoftheweb.com

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:42am

    Yes it is. Oops. Added to the recipe now. Thanks!

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:42am

    You’re welcome.

  • Pim said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:43am

    Thank you! And yes, and please buy one for everyone you know. 😉

  • Jess said:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 4:16pm

    Oh, Pim, the combination of hazelnut and chocolate is one of my favorites. I can’t wait to give this recipe a shot. This is my first time visiting your delectable site, and I assure you that I’ll be back!

  • yumyum said:
    March 3rd, 2009 at 6:10pm

    excellent cookies! i made mine with pecans and rum, and then instead of granulated and then powdered sugar, i used granulated sugar flavored with vanilla bean, mixed with a little sea salt, chipotle pepper and ancho pepper. i like the sweet/salt/spicy, and i like that the sugar doesn’t come off as much.

  • Morgan said:
    March 4th, 2009 at 8:02am

    I love this article. It is always refreshing to see new ideas when it comes to baking. I also love when I learn about new pairings, such as which wine with which dish and esp chocolate. On the site, luxury.affluence.org, there is a related article.

  • Michael Menard said:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 2:27am

    Oh man oh man oh man! Sometimes things just hit me- inspiration strikes- the obvious makes itself known: If I need delicious presents for people, I’m talking to YOU. 🙂

  • Candy said:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 10:55am

    mmm to dark chocolate and hazelnuts! A deadly pair. Thanks for the ‘how to’. My family will appreciate it:)

  • Jess said:
    March 24th, 2009 at 2:14pm

    I forgot to ask: Where did you get that sweet little cannister to hold the cookies?

  • Nurit - 1 family. friednly.food said:
    April 16th, 2009 at 12:56pm

    First batch out of the oven. Excellent! This made me very happy today.

  • Al said:
    May 21st, 2009 at 2:35pm

    how about a old fashion Chocolate cake http://www.droparecipe.com/recipes/view/chocolate-cake when we are at chocolate

  • Ashley said:
    August 3rd, 2009 at 8:20pm

    These look beyond amazing! And the chocolaty center is just calling my name…

  • couture dresses said:
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:31am

    Thanks for this recipe. I tried it the other day and it was perfect. Everyone loved it.

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