Nutella, a hazelnut spread, seems to be gaining lots of popularity in the United States. Lately I've noticed a variety of recipes that call for Nutella in cooking magazines and on the Internet. It is popular spread on toast in European countries. The spread is a unique blend of roasted hazelnuts, sugar, skim milk with a hint of cocoa. It can be found in the aisle near the peanut butter.
Nutella was created in the 1940's by a baker from northern Italy, Pietro Ferrero. His company developed Nutella because at that time chocolate was in short supply with rations during World War II. Ferrero developed a product that used hazelnuts which were and still are plentiful in the Piedmont region to extend the chocolate supply. It was originally sold as solid block but in 1951 a creamier version was introduced. Nutella made its first appearance in the US in 1963.
Cook's notes:If you like brownies than this cookie recipe is for you. It is slightly crunchy on the outside with a chewy fudge center. The recipe comes from Cuisine at home magazine December 2011 issue. The recipe makes a soft dough so it is important to make sure dough is thoroughly chilled for at least 4 hours or place in freezer for about an hour. I was out of hazelnuts so I used a combination equal parts almonds and walnuts finely ground in the Cuisinart as substitution.
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. each baking soda and salt
- 1 stick of softened butter
- 1-1/2 cups of sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup Nutella
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- finely ground hazelnuts or almonds
- In a bowl whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt-set aside
- Beat butter and sugar on medium spped 5 minutes
- Add eggs one at a time
- Add Nutella and vanilla beat until combined
- Add flour mixture and mix only till combined
- Chill dough at least 4 hours or overnight covered (I did put in freezer for an hour and that worked fine)
- Preheat oven 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper
- Scoop dough out (about 3 TB. I used asmall ice cream scoop) and then roll ball in nuts be sure to press nuts into the dough
- Place dough ball on cookie sheet and bake 9 at a time until edges are set about 15 minutes
- Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack for final cooling
As you can see from the photo the 9 cookies are large and the recipe makes about 20. Roll the dough balls smaller if want a different size cookie but decrease baking time to 12 minutes.