Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

My nephew, Kian, will be celebrating his 7th birthday tomorrow in San Diego.  Coincidentally, he was born on the same day Peyman and I got together.  It’ll be Kian’s 8th birthday and my 8th anniversary with the man I now call my husband.  I wanted to make something sweet to bring to Kian’s birthday gathering, and I wanted to also serve whatever I make to Peyman for dessert this evening.
Peyman’s a lucky man.  Growing up and to this day, whenever he’s home, he’s used to having dessert after a meal.  An hour after a meal at his mom’s, she serves freshly baked soft chocolate chip cookies or Persian desserts to enjoy with our Earl Grey tea.  He loves her cookies.
After dinner tonight, I wanted to make him MY version of his mom’s cookies.  She uses an interesting ingredient, vanilla pudding, which makes it fluffier and softer.  But instead of making her normal chocolate chip cookie, I added a flair of flavor with toasted chopped hazelnuts and toffee bits.
I hope both Peyman and Kian enjoy their cookies!
1/2 C Unsalted Butter, room temp
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 Egg
1/4 C Vanilla Instant Pudding
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 C All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/2 C Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 C hazelnuts (also called filberts), toasted, husked and chopped
1/4 C English toffee candy (recommended: Heath or Skor bar)
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
3.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, instant pudding, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture just until blended.  Depending on how large your egg is, you may need to use more flour to give the cookie more structure.  In case egg is very large and dough is loose, add one or two more tablespoons of flour. You don’t want runny dough because it will spread.
4.  Stir in chocolate chips, hazelnuts, and toffee.
5.  Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges, not longer than 10 minutes.  The tops will not brown.
6.  Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. (The cookies can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

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