Replicating Favourites: Chocolate and hazelnuts biscuits with sea salt

After eating three of the Penny Four’s chocolate and hazelnut biscuit last week, I decided that I really ought to work out how to make them myself. There were many recipes that involved a white batter with milk/dark choc chips, brown batter with white choc tips, but none satisfied.

This is what I was trying to replicate:

Penny Four's chocolate hazelnut log

Actually just looking at that makes me salivate.

You can see that there are a lot of hazelnuts in the biscuit, but also that it appears that a square of almost melted chocolate has been pushed into the biscuit with a fork. This was present in all of the biscuits that I have consumed thus far. It also appears that the biscuit dough was formed into a “log” shape, and then sliced – accounting for the regular “cut” appearance of the hazelnuts.

The closest recipe I found appeared to be from two peas and their pod:

There is an interesting mix of white sugar, and the moister more water absorbing brown sugar. Sea salt is an interesting touch, bringing out the sweetness in something that already contains two cups of sugar.

I have only replicated the recipe here in order to convert it to metric. What annoys me about the measurement “cup of butter”, is that it implies that you need to melt the butter in order to measure a cup. However, when you cream butter and sugar, the last thing you want is melted butter.

Ingredients:

Two mixing bowls

320 grams plain flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
90 grams Dutch processed cocoa*
200grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
200grams white sugar
220grams light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped hazelnuts
Sea salt, for sprinkling on cookies
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Line a baking sheet with beking paper. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cocoa. Set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Next, add in vanilla extract and mix until combined.

4. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts. Scoop the dough into rounded tablespoons and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt.

5. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are set, but still soft in the center. Don’t overbake. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 3 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely

Here is my hand-churned “butter and sugar mixture”:

Butter and sugar

Here is the dry ingredients mixture:

Cocoa and Flour

* I actually found that I had difficulty combining the last of the dry mixture with the wet mixture – in fact I didn’t use the last 100 grams. I believe that this is down to the difference in measuring cup sizes between the USA (240mL) and Australia/UK (250mL).

I used ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste.

I actually combined the mixture until the measuring spoon could stand upright in the mixture without any support.

Pretty stiff mixture:
Chocolate biscuit mixture

For chocolate I used a block of milk cooking chocolate (125g), cut into rough chunks with a knife.

The mixture was very thick and sticky. Instead of mixing the nuts and chocolate into the mixture, where the distribution may become uneven, I pushed the nuts and chocolate into each individual dollop on the baking tray.

Chocolate and hazelnut biscuit

Verdict:

Yum. Not quite the biscuit that I was looking for, but mighty close.

I’m glad I used milk chocolate chunks in the biscuit, so the biscuit was less rich than it could’ve been.

It made a LOT of biscuit, so perhaps if you’re only after small amounts, you could mix the nuts and chocolate in and then freeze it into a log, and slice off when required.

I would definitely use a scale to measure the amount of flour/cocoa mixture, so you’re not left holding a leftover pot of dry mixture.

This took me about three hours to make from start to clean up.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ema Jones on September 25, 2014 at 07:29

    Can I add in some grated coconut?

    Reply

    • Hi Ema, I’m sure that you could add in some grated coconut if you like. That taste/texture wasn’t in the original biscuit that I was trying to replicate.

      Reply

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