Nutella-Hazelnut Cookies

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed it or not, but there is a serious lack of recipes that include Nutella on this site. Maybe it’s never something you thought about, or maybe you’ve been asking yourself why in the world I don’t have any Nutella recipes. Well, it almost shames my foodie heart to tell you that up until very recently (read: last week) I really wasn’t sure I even liked Nutella. I felt very ambivalent about it. I could take it or leave it, and honestly couldn’t understand what all the hubbub was about. Sure, I had tried it once or twice, and it was okay, but I guess I just didn’t get it. Heck, even my 91-year-old Grandma was on the Nutella train last year. It was a staple of her diet – every morning, on a piece of toast, with a layer of peanut butter underneath. She was clearly more hip than her food blogger granddaughter. These cookies, however, may be a game-changer for me. As in, I could have eaten the entire batch in one sitting without looking back. They have a fudge-like texture and the flavor is the most amazing combination of chocolate and nutty. Throw in some sugar, espresso powder and more chopped nuts, and you have Nutella cookie nirvana.

It’s a good thing that my Chief Culinary Consultant’s dad’s birthday rolled around or I might still be mucking it up in “I don’t think I like Nutella” land. He looooooves hazelnuts and is a big fan of Nutella, so when I ran across these cookies in a magazine a couple of months ago I doggy-eared the page with a note to make them for his birthday. Last week I made them happen in my kitchen and after packing up a box of them to ship down to Florida for his birthday, I took my first bite of one of the leftovers. And I was in heaven. The remaining leftovers were polished off before bedtime. Now I know why my Chief Culinary Consultant was enamored with the Nutella and strawberry/banana crepes when we’d order from Crepes-a-Go-Go.

I was so wrapped up in Super Bowl prep last week that I didn’t even realize World Nutella Day was this past Sunday. Perhaps it was divine intervention that I had my eyes opened to Nutella just a few days before. In celebration of the holiday and of my new-found affinity for it, tell me – do you love Nutella? Are you indifferent? If you do, what’s your favorite way to eat it?

One year ago: Sausage Dip
Two years ago: Cappuccino Cinnamon Squares
Four years ago: Black and White Chocolate Cake

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Nutella-Hazelnut Cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1¼ cups Nutella

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1-1/3 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1/3 cup milk

2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped

1 cup powdered sugar


Directions:

1. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the Nutella, butter, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and espresso powder and mix until incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and alternate additions of flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour, and mixing until just combined after each addition. Fold in ½ cup of the hazelnuts. Refrigerate the dough until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.


2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the remaining hazelnuts and the powdered sugar in two separate bowls. Using a medium cookie scoop (or about 2 tablespoonfuls), roll the dough into balls, roll in the hazelnuts, then roll in the powdered sugar. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until the edges are set and the middle still looks a tad soft, about 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.


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(Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Holiday Cookies)


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