Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nutella Cookies and other Holiday Favorites

This recipe caught my eye because of two ingredients...Nutella and hazelnuts. Growing up in Germany, Nutella was a staple. We had it for breakfast, for lunch and sometimes even for dinner. That's how good it was.

I couldn't wait to try these cookies. So glad I did...they are delicious and are very easy to make! How can they not be with 1 cup of Nutella in the batter plus more for the frosting? Just stick the dough in your refrigerator overnight, and slice and bake in the morning. 

What are some other holiday favorite cookies I will be making? Check out the links here:

Coconut Macaroons I skip the wafer part. The cookies are delicious!

Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Some of my favorites, especially if you have leftover pumpkin puree!

Cowboy/Cowgirl Cookies I made up a bunch of these jars this year to give to people.

Black and Tan Clusters If you are short on time and $, try these clusters. There are only three ingredients, and minimal work.

**This recipe is from the Vegetarian Times Magazine, December 2011 issue.

Cookies Recipe
Serves: 36 Prep: 2 hrs - overnight minutes  Cooking Time: 9 minutes
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Nutella, plus at least 1/2 cup more for frosting
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp hazelnut extract, optional (I didn't use this)
36 whole blanched hazelnuts, for garnish (see how to here)

1. Sift together flour through salt in a medium size bowl.
2. Beat Nutella and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in sugar. Then egg and extract if using. Carefully beat in flour mixture on low speed until dough forms.
3. Transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape dough in to a 2-inch diameter log with plastic wrap. Wrap tightly, and store in fridge for at least 2 hrs or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 350*F. Slice dough log into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Transfer slices to parchment paper lined baking sheets. If you don't have parchment paper, just make sure your baking sheets have been greased. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Take out of oven and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Frost each cookie with 1/2 tsp Nutella and a hazelnut. Enjoy!
Who likes to change it up?

~Try half whole-wheat pastry flour, half all-purpose flour.
~Try half espresso powder, half cocoa powder.
~Add 1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon into the dry ingredients.


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