These are the best cookies I have ever made. They are the result of months of effort. Unveiling them is a very proud moment for me. I think I might get a little misty eyed.
The dough has crushed hazelnuts in it, so some of the pieces are so small that its like using ground hazelnut flour, giving a gorgeously intense flavour, and some of the pieces are big enough give an enticing little crunch. Baked on its own, this dough makes my favourite cookie.
But hold on a second. Cookies can be stuffed. The Nutella takes these into a whole new dimension of deliciousness. They have grown up into melty-middled perfection.
Stuffing them is a little time consuming, but quite fun if you, like me, enjoy making stuff out of dough. Freezing the Nutella means it is more easily scooped out in a single ball, and it doesn’t ooze out while you are shaping the cookie. It takes four simple steps:
I made these for two friends birthdays. Sometimes I wish I knew enough people to do birthday baking every week…
Nutella Stuffed Hazelnut Cookies
200 grams Nutella or other hazelnut-chocolate spread
100 grams hazelnuts
100 grams caster sugar
120 grams light brown soft sugar
120 grams unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
175 grams plain flour
pinch of salt
Put the Nutella in the freezer before you start baking.
Preheat oven to 180°C
Roast the hazelnuts for 10-15 minutes in a baking tray, stirring a few times, until fragrant but be careful not to let them burn. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Turn down the oven to 160°C.
Prepare 3-4 baking sheets by lining them with greaseproof paper.
Beat the butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy. Then mix in the egg until combined. Sift in the baking soda, flour and salt and mix well.
Peel the cooled roasted hazelnuts by rubbing handfuls between your hands. Transfer the nuts to a zip-lock bag and smash into small, crumb-like pieces with a rolling pin (you can use a food processor for this, but be careful not to let the crumbs become a paste). Stir the smashed hazelnuts into the dough.
Spoon out a tablespoon of dough and flatten in into an oval using your hand. Place just under teaspoon of the cold Nutella onto the middle of one half of the oval. Fold the other half of the oval over the Nutella and seal the edges gently with your fingers. Carefully reshape the cookie into a ball and place on lined baking sheets. Repeat until all the cookie dough is used. Space the cookies apart to allow for spreading.
Bake for 12-14 minutes until a light golden brown in colour. They will still be a little soft to the touch. Take them out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.