Gluten-Free Chocolate-Hazelnut Bars

These flavorful, gluten-free, chocolate and hazelnut bar cookies got rave reviews from all of my testers. Loaded with hazelnuts, they are surprisingly tender, light and chewy, with a moist crumb. Your gluten-free friends will appreciate this fancy, nut-flour treat that transports them to chocolate-hazelnut heaven. From my new book, Ancient Heritage Cookies.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Bars

Makes 16 bars

3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, finely ground (86 grams)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (85 grams)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter (85 grams)

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (110 grams)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (58 grams)

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (82 grams)

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Line an 8- x 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposite edges. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom. Lightly oil the parchment and the sides of the pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together ground hazelnuts and baking powder. Set aside.

In the top of a double-boiler, over simmering water, melt unsweetened chocolate and butter. Stir constantly until chocolate and butter are fully combined and mixture is smooth. Set aside and cool about 5 minutes.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, with speed set to high, beat eggs 2 to 3 minutes, until foamy. Add the sugars, vanilla, and salt. Beat 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the melted chocolate mixture. Mix until combined. Add the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Stir in chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into prepared baking pan. Smooth the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is firm to touch, the cookie is pulling away from the sides of the pan, and top begins to crack. Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack, and cool completely in the pan. When ready to serve, using the foil overhang, lift uncut bars from pan. Cut into 16 servings.

Store cookies in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days.