Hazelnut chewies

chewies5Last year when I was looking for a cookie to make for the Christmas cookie party, I decided that I wanted to make something new, something that I’d never had before. I poured over my collection of cookie recipes (okay it’s mainly just two versions of America’s Test Kitchen’s holiday cookies edition) and decided on these hazelnut, Nutella-filled cookies.

chewies1chewies6Of all the foods in the world, I think that Nutella may be the one thing that everyone unanimously loves. I’ve never heard of anyone who dislikes Nutella, and I’ve never heard anyone ever turn down an offered spoonful. It’s basically the universal food of happiness. There’s really no way to go wrong with this recipe since it contains a lot of Nutella.

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These cookies are chewy, sweet, nutty and chocolaty. That’s a lot of characterization for one simple cookie, so be to more to the point, these are great. They’re a solid choice to add to your collection of cookie recipes, and although they aren’t as cute as those adorable gingerbread teddies, they’re a crowd pleaser as well.

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Hazelnut chewies
from America’s Test Kitchen Holiday Cookies, Holiday 2010
makes about 50 2-inch diameter cookies
five-stars

Note: ATK uses 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder. I don’t have that, and I’m not going to buy it. These cookies are great as I’ve written it.

1 ¾ cups hazelnut
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
1 ¼ cups Nutella
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

 

1. Toast the hazelnuts: Spread the hazelnuts in an even layer on a sheet pan. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, until fragrant, shaking the baking sheet every few minutes. Once toasted, cool to room temperature and chop finely (easiest if you stick the nuts in a mini-chopper and pulse it a few times).

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Cream together Nutella, butter and sugar with a hand or stand mixer until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs and vanilla to the bowl, and mix until combined.

4. Reduce speed to low and add in milk and flour mixture, alternating and mixing until just combined, ending with the flour mixture.  Mix in 3/4 cup of hazelnuts by hand. Divide dough in half and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.

5. Place remaining hazelnut pieces and the confectioners’ sugar in two separate bowls. Working with one of the halves of dough, roll 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in hazelnut pieces and then in confectioners’ sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on two parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 375 until set, about 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. Let cool for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining dough.

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