Hazelnut Orange Cookies | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Welcome to my new look blog. I have been planning this move for several months, and with anything new, it took longer than initially anticipated to launch. This is a place to share a more personalised and visual version of cooking for my family. A place to share stories from my kitchen and garden. And experiment more with photography as I have often worked with professional photographers to photograph my food. And you can now leave comments… and please do! I love to hear from others out there reading and cooking my recipes. To to be notified by email when I write a new post ‘subscribe’ on the sidebar. I promise no spam and your email address will not be shared.

So to celebrate my new blog I baked some cookies. Something I rarely find time for these days with a 9 month old and 2 1/2 year old in tow. My day tends to revolve around sleeps, play dates, shopping, and preparing a wholesome dinner… sound familiar? When we do bake it tends to be necessities such as bread or muesli bars for lunch boxes.

Hazelnut & Orange Cookies

This recipe is an adaptation of my Almond & Jam Cookies from my Feeding Little Tummies cookbook. They can also be made gluten-free see variation in the recipe.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 100 g soft butter or coconut oil for a dairy-free version
  • 1/3 cup unrefined golden sugar
  • 1 free-range egg room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • zest of 1 orange
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour [GF: use 3/4 cup rice flour + 1/4 cup tapioca/ corn flour]
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder


  • Preheat oven 150C. Place the hazelnuts in an oven tray and dry-toast in the oven until golden, about 20 minutes. Cool. Then tip onto a tea towel and rub to remove the skins. Grind until fine in a food processor/ grinder.
  • Cream the soft butter and sugar in a food processor. Add the egg and vanilla and process again until smooth and creamy. [A tip from my Nana - always use room temperature eggs when baking or the mixture may split at this stage]. Add the ground hazelnuts, orange zest, salt, flours and baking powder and pulse until the mixture comes together, scraping down the sides and pulsing again. [If making gluten-free cookies - at this stage put the food processor bowl with the cookie dough into the fridge and chill for 20-30 minutes. I find the gluten-free flours need to settle a bit before rolling or the dough will be too soft.]
  • Preheat the oven 180C. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and arrange evenly spaced on a lined baking tray. Press with your fingers or a fork to shape into cookie rounds. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Cool on a cake rack.


Variation: If you are feeling ultra indulgent, half dip the cookies in melted dark chocolate.

Reducing Sugar in Recipes

When I bake I like to keep the sugar content low and boost up the protein with extra eggs, ground nuts or yogurt. If I bake a recipe which is not my own (as I rarely use more than 1/3 cup of sugar in my sweet recipes), I reduce the amount of sugar to 1/3 cup. If I am baking a cake or muffin recipe I will replace the rest of the total sugar quantity with a liquid – yogurt, apple sauce, mashed banana, extra egg, milk of choice. It needs to be a liquid as sugar dissolves when it is mixed with oist ingredients. For example, if I was baking a carrot cake with 1 cup sugar in the original recipe I would use 1/3 cup sugar and add 2/3 cup yogurt. For cookies I just reduce the sugar to 1/3 cup sugar and hope for the best… and they usually work out just fine and sweet enough even with the lower sugar content.




Join the Conversation

  1. I like that you reduce the sugar, I do that a lot in my sweet treats these days and I an trying to use more ancient grains too. I must submit my biccies to Sweet NZ.

    1. Thanks Alli. It is my first time submitting to Sweet NZ. I have been waiting to get my blog moved over to the new wordpress site.

  2. Hi Nicola – I just discovered your blog – it’s lovely and I look forward to following it regularly. Love the look of these cookies – they remind me of some orange cookies that we used to get at the local ice cream parlour when I was a kid. Don’t think they were gluten-free back then though – back in the 60s don’t think anyone even thought of things like that. So glad you’ve joined in with Sweet NZ.
    Sue 🙂

    1. Hi Sue! thanks and nice to hear from you. I thought I recognised you on your blog profile. I have been meaning to write a blog with my website but with having 2 littlies within 2 years there wasn’t much spare time. So here I am and loving learning about blogs. Thanks again and see you round!

  3. Hi Nicola – well done on the new food blog – it’s looking great! These cookies sound delicious, and have inspired us to plant 3 hazelnut trees….keen to try homegrown hazelnuts in the watercress pesto recipe too!
    Looking forward to more awesome inspiration from you…and great giveaways 🙂

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Thanks rachel, it has been a lot of work but very happy with the design and feel of the blog. Yes these cookies are delicious. I like the sound of your homegrown hazelnuts with the watercress pesto. So nice to be able to harvest and cook straight from the garden! x

  4. I would not be able to choose a favorite as I love to try all your recipes and get so excited and inspired when you post a new one. Well done, the Blog looks fantastic and am sure it will have a lot of followers. Well done.

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Thanks donna! I know I would also struggle to choose a favourite recipe. Nice to hear from you and I will add your name into the draw.

  5. I love your almond & jam cookies so will definitely try these. That is really interesting about increasing the amount of liquid when you reduce sugar for cakes & muffins. I often reduce sugar but with mixed results so will try this out… It’s amazing how quickly your taste buds adapt once you start cutting down, especially with children.

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Hi Nicky, thanks for stopping by my new blog 🙂 Good luck with the baking, I hope this tip helps. And I will add your name to the book draw.

  6. Will definitely be trying these for family members who are gluten free. Yummy!

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Hi Kathryn. They are delicious I hope you enjoy them 🙂

  7. Hi Nicola, I make these cookies regularly as they are a BIG hit in our house. I have just bought some ground hazelnuts today, so am wondering how much I should use in the recipe…? Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Christine, these are very yummy. Use the same quantity initially and it may need a little more if the mixture seems wet. You will know the consistency from making it previously. Enjoy 🙂

  8. This recipe sounds delicious ~ I am looking forward to giving it a try! Just wondering if I could substitute the 1/3c sugar with 1/3 cup honey? Thanks, Julia

    1. Hi Julia, thanks for your message. Yes you can substitute honey, however, use 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) instead of 1/3 cup as honey is sweeter and heavier than sugar. Enjoy!

  9. Thanks Nicola for your prompt reply! I have already made these and just wanted to let you know that they work super well with honey. I only used 2 tablespoons as I don’t like it that sweet. The texture is great. Thank you for this wholesome recipe!

    1. That sounds perfect, I like my cookies not too sweet too 🙂 Enjoy!

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