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Gluten-free Chewy Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

More and more people are going wheat and gluten-free these days, increasing the demand for great baking without the all-purpose flour we tend to fall back on. These dense, chewy cookies are fantastic, and although the ingredients looks similar, they’re not at all like your average meringue. They are similar to a cookie we buy out on the west coast, at a popular restaurant in Tofino. Big, chewy, nutty and totally addictive, I decided I had to figure out how to make them myself. And they’re worth sharing.

These are also dairy free, not containing any butter. Don’t let the quantity of sugar scare you – because it’s powdered, 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar is equal to 1 cup of regular sugar.

Gluten-free Chewy Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

adapted from 101 Cookbooks

3 cups hazelnuts
4 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
4 large egg whites
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spread the hazelnuts out onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes, or until they’re fragrant and their skins begin to peel off. Pour them onto a clean tea towel and rub off their skins. If you like, chop them roughly, otherwise leave them whole.

In a large bowl, stir together the icing sugar, cocoa and salt. Add the hazelnuts, then stir in the egg whites and vanilla. Stir until well combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and drop the batter in large mounds (about 2 Tbsp. each I used a heaped soup spoon) spacing them well away from each other no more than 6 cookies per sheet.

Bake for 13-15 minutes they will spread, puff, crack on top, get glossy and then turn matte. Slide the cookies on the parchment off the sheet onto a cooling rack and let them cool.

Makes a dozen large cookies.

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