One of the local coffee shops that I frequent has the most amazing toffee hazelnut cookies. So delicious! I crave these puppies. So I decided it was high time that I took a stab at making them myself. The first time I decided to try my hand at it. It was an unsuccessful mission. I headed off to the grocery store for toffee and hazelnuts. Hazelnuts: no problem. Have I mentioned my recent food-love affair with hazelnuts? How did God manage to pack such a rich and full flavor in a tiny little nut?!
Locating toffee however proved to be a problem.
The little secret that most major American chocolate companies prefer we all turn a blind eye to is their use of child labor and child trafficking in cocoa harvesting. If you want to learn more about this check out the expose done by a BBC reporter. No child should be deprived of the opportunity for an education, childhood, and family. Likewise, no child should be required to perform long hours of dangerous and painstaking work. As a result, I choose be a discerning and conscious consumer. Our purchasing decisions increase the demand of products. I don’t want my craving for cookies to be to the detriment of children or anyone. This made my hunt for toffee challenging. The baking section of the traditional grocery store only had the crushed up Heath bar kind. And the toffee in a Heath bar is covered by – all together now – chocolate. Hershey’s Chocolate. Ugh! Maybe if they had the toffee bits only without the chocolate I could make an exception, but alas, they didn’t carry that kind.
Undeterred, I crossed the street to our Whole-Foods-esque but better (because its local!) store: PCC. They are always on top of socially (and environmentally) responsible options for just about everything, right? Apparently that “everything” excludes toffee of any kind. No candy bars to crush up. No toffee bits. None period. Seattle grocery stores, why do you crush my cookie dreams?
This is definitely a great example of a “first-world problem.” I did eventually track down toffee bits from whole foods. But how many people are really going to go to the hassle of locating fair-trade toffee bits? If more ethically sourced and traded items were demanded by consumers, more would be offered and thus it would be easier for consumers to make the responsible choices.
Here is my plea to grocery stores everywhere: please, offer more items that are made by companies with a conscience. Just to name a few: I don’t appreciate the tastes of child trafficking in my chocolate, deforestation in my chocolate-hazelnut spread, and the endangerment of multiple species in my coconut oil. Just to name a few.
Alas, I digress. Be prepared for toffee hazelnutty cookie deliciousness. Get your glass of milk ready, ya’ll. First of all, why has it taken me so long to learn to add cornstarch to the dough for extra tenderness? As far as I am concerned, it is the best cookie related discovery since the chocolate chip.
Toffee Hazelnut Cookies
- 2 cups plus 2 tbl. Flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cup toffee bits
- ½ cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cornstarch together in a bowl.
With a stand mixer, combine butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix just until combined.
Add flour mixture in three additions. Don’t over mix at this stage. Then mix in hazelnuts and toffee.
Preheat oven to 325 and stick dough in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
After a while in the fridge, prep your cookie sheets and roll the dough into 1.5” balls. Leave about 3 inches of space between each dough ball. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Enjoy the yumminess with a cold glass of milk. Mmmmmmmmmmm….