October 4th, 2022


Diving right in today as I am currently head-down preparing for my new cookbook release next Monday (10th October). If you have pre-ordered a copy of The Homemade Table (thank you, you are my heroes), books will be signed, packed and on the courier by the end of the week. It is not too late to grab a signed pre-order HERE – the cut-off is Friday 7th October to get them on the courier in time. Then from Monday 10th October they will be available from bookstores around New Zealand.

+ Nelson Book Launch – Monday 10th October – 4 – 6 pm

Local foodies, you are invited to my book launch/signing event in the Rata Room restaurant NMIT (T block, entrance of Nile Steet). There will be food tastings from The Homemade Table, and I will have a large pot of sourdough starter to share – bring a small jar to take some home with your new cookbook.⁠ Everyone is welcome, it will be a casual affair, assisted by my wonderful whānau and friends. Drop in anytime between 4-6 pm, Spread the word, and I hope to see some of you there.

If you live out of Nelson you can order books HERE + for Australia and some other countries, this is currently the best place to order copies HERE (for much cheaper postage than I can send them for).

Exciting times! I can’t wait for you all to see my new cookbook and start cooking from it. Now to these delicious cookies…

Hazelnut, Orange & Chocolate Cookies

Besides the chocolate (which is optional) these cookies are truly a backyard affair. With oranges and the last of our homegrown hazelnuts, cracked and lightly roasted. A task that takes time but is enjoyable all the same and the smell of the roasting hazelnuts through the house brings warmth after days of rain. 
Servings 12 cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Hazelnut cooking time 20 minutes


  • ½ cup (75g) roasted hazelnuts (see recipe for directions) - can also use almonds or walnuts
  • cup (70g) sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 100 g butter at room temperature
  • 1 free-range egg at room temperature - see tip below
  • ¾ cup (110g) plain flour (can use spelt or gluten-free flour mix), divided
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 60 g dark chocolate, chopped (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 160ºC (fan 140ºC).
  • To roast the hazelnuts, scatter them on an oven tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Give the tray a shake and cook for a further 10 minutes until the skins crack and the nuts are lightly golden. Immediately tip onto a tea towel, wrap up and rub vigorously to remove the skins. Some skins may stay put, that is fine. Transfer the roasted hazelnuts to a plate to cool.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 180ºC (fan 160ºC).
  • Once the hazelnuts are cool, grind them in a food processor with a tablespoon of the flour until finely ground. Tip into a bowl.
  • Wipe out the processor bowl then add the sugar and orange zest and process briefly to rub the zest into the sugar. Add the butter and blend until creamy. Followed by the egg and process again until smooth and aerated.
  • Add the ground hazelnuts, along with the remaining flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse the processor 6-8 times until the mixture comes together. Scrape down the sides, add the chopped chocolate and pulse briefly until combined. At this stage, I recommend putting the processor bowl into the fridge for 20-30 minutes for easier rolling - particularly important if using gluten-free flour.
  • After this time, scoop tablespoon amounts of the dough and roll into walnut-sized balls. Arrange evenly spaced on a lined baking tray - they will spread during cooking so allow 3-4cm between each cookie. Press each lightly with your fingers or a fork. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Cool on the tray.
  • Store in a cookie tin in the pantry and eat within 5 days.


A tip from my Nana - Always use room temperature eggs when baking or the mixture can split when adding them to the creamed butter and sugar. I always keep eggs at room temperature as we go through them quickly (I also date each one as we bring them in from the hens each day). If you prefer to keep eggs in the fridge then remove the required amount 3-4 hours before baking in preparation. In a pinch, if you haven’t planned ahead and have the baking urge, place eggs in a bowl of hot tap water for 15-20 minutes to take the fridge chill away. 

*Recipe first published 3rd September on Stuff.co.nz 

Join the Conversation

  1. I am wondering if your new cookbook will at some point be made available to amazon for those of us who live a continent or two away from you?

    1. Hi Diane, it may be but unfortunately I don’t organise the distribution myself. It is listed on Book Depository – currently unavailable, you could register your interest to be notified when it is:
      If I come across other options for international postage I will share the links on the cookbook page here.

  2. These biscuits are divine. I substituted hazelnuts for almonds and orange for Mandarin zest and used half spelt and half white flour. They turned out delicious. Thanks Nicola I’m inspired 🙂

    1. Hi Julie, that is fantastic! I love that you could sub with what you had on hand. Happy cooking!

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