Chewy Hazelnut Bars – A soft and chewy cookie bar with plenty of crunchy nuts and a simple chocolate topping.
While making toasting the nuts for these hazelnut bars, I was thinking that hazelnuts may be my favorite nut. That is of course until I smell fresh roasted cashews or pecans or walnuts or…well, maybe I love all nuts! This recipe was an attempt to interpret a nut cake as a cookie bar. These could just be served plain without the melted chocolate on top but it does add just enough of a finishing touch without interfering with the crunchy toasted hazelnuts which are still the star of the show here.
These cookie bars froze beautifully and I keep pulling one from the freezer almost every day as an afternoon treat. At this rate there won’t be any left for the Holidays. Sometimes the simplest and most uncomplicated recipes are the best and this is a great example; I’m sure the nut lovers will agree.
- 1 cup butter
- 1½ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 2 cups flour
- 1½ cups toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1¼ cups chocolate chips
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
- Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, folding to combine well.
- Fold in the chopped toasted hazelnuts. (Hazelnuts can be toasted in a single layer on a cookie sheet for 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees F. Roll them on a clean tea towel to remove the skins. Roughly chop with a sharp knife.)
- Spread the cookie dough in a parchment lined or greased 9 inch square baking pan and bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees F. (325 for glass bake ware) A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. (This recipe is too large for an 8x8 pan. If you do not have a 9x9 pan you can multiply the entire recipe by 1½ and use a 9x13 pan instead if you have one of those.)
- Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the surface of the baked squares. Let stand for 10 minutes until the chocolate chips melt and then spread the melted chocolate evenly over the surface of the cookies. Sprinkle with additional chopped toasted hazelnuts if you like.
- Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares or bars. Store or freeze in airtight containers