Early in March I went with a group to Max Brenner at 745 Boylston Street in Boston for brunch. If you don’t know Max Brenner, it is an international chain of chocolate bars, some with restaurants. They make really wonderful and inventive chocolates. The restaurant in Boston has a brunch menu that features chocolate with just about every item. Our brunch was absolutely delicious. The walk I took around Boylston and Newbury Streets that afternoon was almost as good as the brunch itself. It was a bright, clear day. The snow was finally starting to melt. The shops in the area had come to life and the streets were full of people (and dogs) eager to take advantage of the first hints of spring. As I walked around, I thought how lucky I was to live near such a great city and wondered why I don’t take advantage of it as often as I should.
A little over a month later, on another gorgeous spring day in Boston, tragedy struck just steps away from Max Brenner. The second bomb in the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013 exploded at 755 Boylston Street. As I write this, a little more than a month has passed since the bombings and all that ensued–including the shooting of Officer Sean Collier at MIT, the lockdown, the manhunt, and the eventual capture of one of the suspects. It has been a difficult time in the Boston area, but also one that has, for many, created a sense of being Boston Strong.
In the wake of these tragedies, I know I will never forget what happened that terrible week in April. I also know that I want to remember the beauty of my visit to Boylston street in March. One way that I have done that is to create a new cookie, the Boylston Beauty. When I left Max Brenner that day, I brought home a few chocolates for my husband. One was a box of Marbles, which are described as “crunchy waffle balls rolled in white chocolate, milk chocolate praline and roasted coconut.” I knew right away that I wanted to find a way to incorporate those flavors in a cookie. After the events, I knew I wanted to do it for a second reason. The cookies are as good as I hoped, and restore a little sweetness to the name Boylston.
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats chopped
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup hazelnuts toasted, peeled, and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and whisk.
- Chop the oats with a chef’s knife (or in a food processor). Stir the oats into the flour mixture.
- Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition.
- Add vanilla and stir.
- Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Stir in the hazelnuts, coconut, and white chocolate chips by hand.
- Drop rounded tablespoons of dough about one inch apart onto parchment- or silpat-lined sheets.
- Bake until the cookies are set and lightly gold at the edges, about 13-15 minutes.
- Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 3 minutes or until set.
- Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Adapted from Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies by Giada De Laurentiis. This helpful post from My Baking Addiction gives tips for peeling hazelnuts: