I first discovered Nutella on a high school band trip to Europe (yay, chocolate sandwiches for breakfast!) and was thrilled to find it popping up on shelves in my area a few years later. For those of you who aren't familiar, Nutella is a chocolate hazelnut spread that tastes surprisingly more like really rich, milky chocolate than it does hazelnuts. (Unless it starts to get close to its best-by date. Then it tastes only of burnt hazelnuts. Never fear, my dear co-workers, I bought a fresh jar.)
I would eat Nutella on bread. I would eat Nutella on a spoon. I would eat Nutella here or there. I would eat Nutella anywhere.
And now, I eat Nutella in my cookies.
These cookies are based on a recipe for Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti by Giada de Laurentiis. I made just a few modifications with the amounts of flour and hazelnuts, and also added some milk chocolate chips.
A note about the hazelnuts (also found under their less-appealing pseudonym of filberts): toasting them can be kind of a time-consuming pain. Also, some people just don't like nuts in everything (this means you, JP). If you don't have the time or the inclination, the Nutella dough is exceptional on its own, and you could probably throw in some milk chips and maybe some toffee bits, and have an equally wonderful little creation.
Makes about 2 dozen
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. Nutella
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 2/3 c. flour
1/2 c. hazelnuts, toasted and chopped*
1 c. milk chocolate chips
*You can use either your oven or stovetop to toast the hazelnuts. I prefer to put them in a small skillet over medium to medium-high heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until the outsides start to turn a darker brown. (You'll smell it if they start burning.)
You can rub most of the peels off after the nuts toasted, and then chop the nuts with a knife, chopper, or food processor.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a mixer bowl, combine the butter, Nutella, and sugars until thoroughly combined. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until the mixture is smooth.
3. Combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour, and add to the mixer bowl. Stir until combined.
4. Add the hazelnuts and chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
5. Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to drop rounded tablespoons of dough on ungreased cookie sheets. Shape and flatten lightly with your hands.