Chewy hazelnut and choc chip cookies with butternut squash

I recently bought Kate Hackworthy’s Veggie Desserts + Cakes, because though most of her recipes aren’t gluten or lactose free, there is so much inspiration to be got from her creativity. Today I made a first attempt at baking her hazelnut and butternut squash cookies. I adapted the recipe so it’s gluten and lactose free, and low in sugar, and the cookies turned out beautiful. My 6 year old nephew/godson helped me and it worked very well, so it’s a lovely recipe to try with kids. So here is my recipe, adapted from Kate’s – the cake is gluten free, vegan if you use vegan butter (otherwise lactose free), low in sugar (sugar-free if you use sugar-free chocolate), and high in protein:


125g butternut squash (you can replace it with sweet potato or parsnip)

115g unsalted lactosefree (or vegan) butter, melted and cooled

150g xylitol or erythritol (this makes it virtually sugar free)

1 tsp vanilla extract

125g rice flour

62g starch (tapioca, potato, or mais all work)

62g protein-rich flour (I used lupin, but I’m sure teff would work too)

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt (I used pink Himalayan salt)

50g finely chopped dark chocolate (I used chocolate with coconut sugar which doesn’t raise the blood sugar level as much as regular sugar – this is the only sugar present in the cookies)

50g finely chopped hazelnuts (I used those from my mum’s garden which I’d just roasted last night)


Preheat the oven to 200C.

Cut the butternut squash into chunks and put in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft but not burned, then lower the oven temperature to 180C. Puree the butternut squash until smooth.

Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla together (in a standing mixer or with a handheld one) until combined, then add the butternut squash puree and the other ingredients. Add the chopped chocolate and hazelnuts at the end and combine well. The dough will still be a bit sticky but should hold together well.

Make little balls out of the dough and press them into thick circle shapes on a baking sheet with parchment. Bake for 17 minutes covered with a baking sheet or aluminium sheet to stop them turning too brown.

Once you take them out of the oven, leave them to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes. It’ll be very tempting to eat them quickly, but resist the temptation đŸ™‚ They’ll remain chewy in the middle with gooey chocolate chunks. Enjoy!!


Hazelnut & choc chip cookies with butternut squash - Nutrition Label


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