Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies (NOTella cookies!) – Low Carb and Gluten Free


So there’s this low carb cookie recipe that is all over the internet. I mean ALL over. I’ve seen it now in at least twenty different places, and it’s the same recipe in each place. Type in “low carb cookies” and I guarantee that you will see this recipe at least three or four times. It’s quick and easy, with few ingredients, and it yields pretty decent results. I don’t wonder that it’s everywhere at every turn. It consists simply of peanut butter, sugar substitute and an egg. Mix up, roll into balls, flatten (or don’t, if you don’t wanna) and bake. I have a visual image of this recipe actually spreading like wildfire over the net, jumping from this site to that site, sparks showering and flaring up, fanned by the wind of the low-carb sweet tooth.

What’s funny to me is that I have been making a full-sugar version of this exact recipe for ages. A dear friend turned me onto these flourless peanut butter cookies at least five years ago, and it was my go-to, quick and dirty cookie recipe when I was jonesing for something sweet. These cookies are so good that I believe her husband refers to them as “sex cookies”. In other words, these cookies are as good as sex. Or perhaps it’s because they are so easy to make, they are like the “quickie” of the cookie world! Sadly, these cookies are no longer my friend. With a half cup of sugar and a copious amount of chocolate chips (my one addition to the sex cookies), my pancreas simply can’t keep up. So of course, it wasn’t long before I began to wonder if you could make them with sugar substitutes. Obviously, from the rave reviews online, you can.

My blood sugar issues also seem to have kindled (to trot out the fire metaphor again) a newfound creativity in my baking. I eat a lot of nuts these days, in various forms, so I began to wonder if you could make the cookies with other nut butters. I tried them with almond butter and some flaked coconut, and they were delicious. I never managed to get a picture, so I haven’t posted that recipe here. But the other day, in the middle of toasting hazelnuts to make some homemade nutella, this recipe popped into my head. Of COURSE! It seems like a perfect fit.

The results I love, love, love these cookies! The hazelnut/chocolate combo is just right, they are cripsy and soft at the same time and they really satisfy my urge for chocolate. No need to add any chocolate chips! And the best part is that they have less than 4g of carbs per cookie.

I am sure these would be just as good, possibly better, with real sugar. I can’t speak for using real Nutella as the base. I rather suspect that it’s a little too gooey and soft and it might make one helluva mess on your cookie sheet. If you decide to give it a go, however, be sure to let me know how it turns out!

For the record, I wish I could take credit for the phrase “NOTella”. I saw it on some website or blog, and if I could remember where, I would credit them. Alas, my brain is not what it used to be so I apologize for the plagiarism.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

1 cup hazelnuts
2-3 tbsp canola or nut oil
1/2 cup granulated erythritol (or other sugar sub)
3 tbsp cocoa
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400F.

Spread hazelnuts on cookie sheet and roast in oven for 8-10 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then rub hulls off.

Reduce oven temperature to 325F.

Grind hazelnuts in food processor until very fine. Add 2 tbsp oil and continue to process until it becomes like peanut butter in consistency. Only add the remaining tablespoon of oil if needed.

Place hazelnut butter in medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix until it comes together.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll into one inch balls of dough between palms and place on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly (with a fork if you want a criss-cross pattern).

Bake 10 minutes. Cool in pan. Makes 20 cookies.

4g total carbs per cookie. 1.4g if you don’t count the sugar alcohol (erythritol).

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  1. Claire says

    Yum!! but do tell me what to do with almond butter and coconut poke poke poke….I have both in stock right now. You know exactly how I feel about chocolate and peanut butter (peanut butter is NOT a dessert item :))

    but almond and coconut sounds delicious to me so please oh wise cook of the east enlighten me.

  2. Carolyn says

    1 cup almond butter (I make my own at home)
    3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    1/2 cup sugar substitute (I used erythritol, but Splenda would work too)
    1 egg

    Feel free to use sugar in place of the erythritol!

  3. Amanda says

    Do you make almond butter the same way you do the hazelnuts? And your last post got me thinking about picking up some almond meal – do you think I need to go somewhere like Whole Foods to get that?

  4. Carolyn says

    Yep, just roast the almonds on a cookie sheet (400F oven, less than 10 minutes, watch carefully). Grind in food processor until fine, adding a bit of oil as you go until you get the desired consistency. A dash of salt too.
    For almond meal, you could get it at WF but I bet it's expensive. To make your own, just grind raw almonds in food processor until very fine, but stopping short of having them release their oils and become butter.

  5. Donna says

    This is inspired! Hazelnuts are my favorite nut, but I never thought to use them instead of peanut butter. It's all I can do to keep myself from running into the kitchen at this late hour! :)

  6. Catherine H. says

    I must admit I did not enjoy these cookies. I did change the ratio of sweeteners slightly–I added a little xylitol, since I was running low on erythritol, and upped the stevia just a tad. I think I ended up with 18 instead of 20. I took them out when I was hoping they would be just a tad underbaked, but they still ended up dry and crumbly, with the tell-tale erythritol "cooling" sensation. The hazelnut flavor was almost too mild to enjoy. Oh well–out of your dozens of fabulous recipes, an unappealing one here or there is negligible.

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