My previous post involved caramelised chestnuts, and I mentioned that I’d blitzed some of them up until smooth to give a bowl of luxurious purée. I ate a couple of spoonfuls of the stuff straight, but I’m not a sugar monster, and needed something to tone it down. I decided to experiment with baking it in to a batch of cookies, tempering the sweetness by adding a good measure of cocoa powder and a handful or two of roughly chopped hazelnuts. I’m not usually a fan of sugar coating, whether in the figurative or literal sense (although there’s always a place for tact, and now and again, a freshly made sugared donut.) But the frosty looking, crunchy crust on these that came into being on a last minute whim ate like a revelation. It turns out, I do like sugar coating after all!
200g chestnut purée
60g good quality cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
30g sugar, plus extra for rolling
Splash of milk
50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, then combine these dry ingredients with a fork.
Throw in the chestnut purée and the egg. Still using the fork, mix until just combined (you may need to add a splash of milk.) Add the chopped nuts and stir through, then use your hands to bring together into a ball.
Break off small pieces of the dough and roll between your palms until approximating golf ball size. Roll each in a good coating of sugar, then place on a lined baking tray (mine made sixteen small cookies.)
Bake in the middle of the oven for about 6 minutes, until cracked and crisp on the outside but still a little soft in the centre. Lovely warm, but mine were even tastier on the second day. Great with a strong cup of coffee!