How have I not posted a recipe containing Nutella yet? I mean, it’s only one of the best indulgences out there. Which is why I try not to buy it too often-because it can quickly be a downward spiral that inevitably ends with me having sticky hands and a Nutella mustache. You see, I can get a little out of control.
I have to thank my new nursing friends for reintroducing me to my long-lost love. One day, there suddenly appeared a jar of Nutella in the work room…and a box of graham crackers. And that was the end of me. I had to contain myself in an effort not to become a complete Nutella hog, but my resolution was made. During the next trip to the store, I would purchase my own jar of Nutella. And so I did. That night, I laid in bed, watching girly TV, with apple slices and Nutella (and sticky hands and a Nutella mustache).
These cookies are great. They are tiny and cute as a button with a big dollop of Nutella in the middle. I loved the sugar cookie base, and the toasted hazelnuts actually brought a little savoriness to the cookies. And, the Nutella just made it even better.
Hazelnut Nutella Thumbprints
Servings: approximately 18-20 cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, separated***Throw the whites in the fridge-you won’t use them for a while.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup skinned hazelnuts, toasted and chopped finely ** To toast them, place them on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. I used my food processor to quickly pulse the hazelnuts a few times.
1/2 cup Nutella
1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar and cream on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes.
2. With the mixer still running, add the egg yolk and the vanilla.
3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour and salt, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as necessary.
4. Gently form the dough into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
6. In a small bowl, combine the finely chopped hazelnuts and the remaining two tablespoons of sugar.
7. Using your hands, roll the dough into 18 or so round 1-inch balls.
8. Dip the balls in the egg whites, using a fork to cover the balls completely.
9. Dip each ball into the chopped hazelnuts, coating completely.
10. Place the dough balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
11. Using your thumb, or the end of a wooden spoon, gently press the center of each cookie in to form a central well.
12. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes.
13. Remove the cookies from the oven and gently press down the centers of the cookies again (I also re-shaped them slightly if they cracked at all).
14. Return the cookies to the oven and continue to bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
15. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack.
16. Using a piping bag or a small melon baller, scoop Nutella into the centers of each cookie. **You may not use all of the Nutella. So enjoy the leftovers.
Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies.