Wholemeal Chocolate Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies at The Lakes

21 Feb

Wholemeal cookies taste really good and they are healthier. Don’t kid yourself though there’s still butter and sugar in there but chocolate is an antioxidant so that makes up for it – sort of!!  These were part of a picnic we took the lakes at El Chorro yesterday.

 Half an hour away at  Malaga Airport, millions of tourists arrive every year and get on a coach to Marbella or Fuengirola to spend a week or two on the Costa del Sol and fly home again completely unaware that this exists. Whether this is a great oversight by the Andalucian Tourist Board or whether they are purposefully keeping it a secret I don’t know. I wouldn’t blame them. At this time of year it is all but deserted except at the weekends when a few Malaguenos bring a picnic or some meat to barbeque.

It does get busier in the summer when we all escape the heat of the city or towns to swim in these freshwater lakes. There are campsites, picnic areas, public barbeques, canoeing, pedalos, and fantastic walks. It is great for kids and adults alike there’s something for everyone. Whether you like to do a lot or very little,  you can find your perfect spot here……

The colours are amazing. The bright turquoise of the lakes contrasting with the dusky pink terracotta soil and green patchwork landscape take your breath away every time you come. You never quite believe it’s real. 

The geology is stunning too. The Washer Up tells me this is sandstone (he studied Geology at university). Is it just me or does this (above) remind you of the Gaudi buildings in Barcelona? You know the curved balconies?

The thing is they are not actually lakes. They are man-made reservoirs. Franco flooded the whole area, including some villages, to create the water reservoirs for Malaga. How something so beautiful can be man-made doesn’t make sense to me. Especially made by that man. It must have been the best thing he ever did…..

Anyway we found our picnic table with a view (above) and sat down to make our egg salad sandwiches…

If you want to know how to make a perfectly soft-boiled egg see my instructions here…..

Then we shared a cookie before going for walk around the lake and finding a sheltered sunny spot to read the paper. Does a Sunday get any better than that? I don’t think so, the cookies are pretty near perfect too….

Wholemeal Chocolate Chunk & Hazelnut Cookies

makes 18 – 24, vegetarian.  Adapted from a Culinate recipe

  • 380 gr wholemeal flour (I used self-raising because that was all I had and 1 tsp baking powder)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 225 gr cold unsalted butter, chopped
  • 140 gr brown sugar
  • 200 gr caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125 gr plain chocolate (70%) roughly chopped into 1 cm chunks
  • 100 gr hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 175 C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sieve the flour, baking powders and salt into a large bowl. In another large bowl or food processor on low whisk/mix together the butter & sugars until blended, about 2 minutes. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl to get it all combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each one is combined. Mix in the vanilla, then slowly add the flour mixture until just combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides again.

Add 3/4 of the chopped chocolate & hazelnuts to the mix saving the rest for the tops. Mix until evenly distributed.  Take a heaped tablespoon of the batter and put it onto the lined baking sheet, pressing it down slightly. Leave about a 3 inch gap between each cookie, they spread like mad. You should only have about 6 cookies per sheet or they will all blend into each other. Sprinkle a little of the leftover chocolate & hazelnuts on top of each cookie and press in lightly. Put one sheet in the top third of the oven and the other in the bottom third. Bake for 10 minutes then swap the baking sheets around (top to bottom etc) and cook for another 10 minutes or until the cookies are a deep golden brown colour. Remove from the oven & leave to cool on a rack on the baking paper. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

These cookies are deliciously special enough to serve as a dessert, warm and chewy, straight out of the oven with a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream melting on top. Or leave to cool, store in an airtight container and they will firm up to a more crunchy everyday cookie.

Share them with friends or do like the Andalucian Tourist Board and make them your best kept secret……

Buen Provecho!

20 Responses to “Wholemeal Chocolate Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies at The Lakes”

  1. Josh February 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    AMAZING pictures! The cookies look great, the soft boiled eggs look delicious, and the scenery is breath taking! I agree, that sounds like a perfect way to spend a Sunday!

  2. Roxan February 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Wow, what beautiful views! I’d love to visit there sometime. It looks so quiet and peaceful, perfect for a weekend getaway.
    I also like whole grain cookies… I find them to be earthier (in a good way) and nuttier. Heartier… These cookies look great, I love hazelnut!

  3. Hester aka The Chef Doc February 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Buen provecho, indeed! What gorgeous pictures! The cookies look so scrumptious, too! I LOVE HAZELNUTS! My favorite nut ever.

  4. In Katrina's Kitchen February 21, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    Okay – so your photos look like paintings. Simply beautiful there! And I wouldn’t mind sitting down with a few of your cookies either!🙂 – Katrina

  5. Kita February 22, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    What a beautiful view! I would love to see that in person (and not with a million other tourists).
    These cookies sound delicious too! Hazelnut, mmm.

  6. fooddreamer February 22, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    The scenery is just breathtaking! And the cookies look pretty fabulous too!

  7. happywhennothungry February 22, 2011 at 3:11 am #

    These cookies look delicious! Your photos are amazing as well!

  8. tony ward February 22, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    What fabulous views,as you say each time you visit it just blows you away.Que memorias !!
    Love the look of your cookies, all additions to my waistline all greatfully received !! xx

  9. Medeja February 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Hazelnut cookies look good.. and sound very good.. but those views in your pictures are even more amazing🙂

  10. denise @ bread expectations February 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    What a perfect day! And those soft boiled eggs are a very close second🙂 I have to start making some healthier wholemeal treats and these cookies look like a great place to start!

  11. tiffany February 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    These look amazing! And so does the lake. Amazingly beautiful!

  12. Christina February 23, 2011 at 5:57 am #

    Wonderful pictures! I wish I was siting at that lake enjoying these delicious cookies! Mmmm…🙂

  13. Rita February 23, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    I wish I were with you to enjoy that beautiful landscape and cookies… I don’t know if I love the lake or the cookies more: maybe a combination of the two of them!😛

  14. Lindsey February 27, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    I’m glad it’s not pine needle In the arse season. Although maybe you deserve a small one, just for enjoying those views! Exatley how much china do you have now? Pics always look amazing, now I have to check out the egg details too. Lx

    • foodblogandthedog February 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

      I do have slight obsession with plates & bowls! Zara Home sale is great for the individual cute plates. What do you mean- are you cutting out eggs now too? x

      • Lindsey February 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

        Nooo darling, just can’t ever get them just right. You know, too much snot, or hard yoke. Most dissapointing! X

      • foodblogandthedog February 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

        Oh okay. Extra large or large eggs, boiling water, turn down slightly, cook 7 minutes. Rinse under cold water, peel!

  15. Laura March 4, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    I’ll be one of those tourists this year-only we are headed to Morocco. And now I want to make about a bazillion stops in Spain first. The cookies look fabulous.

  16. Serena July 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Love your recipe! I’m always on the look-out for really good vegetarian picnic recipes because we go out to the country quite a bit too, and I can never think of anything more imaginative than cold cuts and cheese!

    Also we’ll have to get out to El Chorro one day, the last time we started towards it we got distracted by a lovely river in the Montes de Malaga and never made it to the lake! (We had great fun playing in the river though!)

    • foodblogandthedog July 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

      It is the most beautiful place. Don’t go at the weekend though, if you can help it. Too many people!!

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