As a Jew, Christmas has always seemed magical to me: the tree, the lights, the presents, and of course…the cookies! With the explosion of social media posts around the holidays, it seemed like everyone was getting in the Christmas spirit (minus Mother Nature…70 degrees on Christmas Eve? Seriously?). While I didn’t go all in and buy my own Christmas tree (I’ll admit I was kinda tempted because they smell so good!) I did decide to make my own Christmas, or holiday, cookies.
Last weekend I attended an awesome ugly sweater holiday party and the hostess made the most delicious cookies: Nutella cookies! I am pretty sure I have confessed my love for Nutella before but I really really really really love Nutella!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After obtaining the recipe from the hostess I decided to make my own version of traditional Peanut Butter Blossoms (the peanut butter cookies with a hershey kiss in the middle) but with the Nutella cookies.
One key fact I learned while making these cookies: While Nutella is amazing, skinning hazelnuts is not. You can buy them already skinned if you are lucky enough to locate them but I, unfortunately, was not that lucky. There are 2 methods to skinning hazelnuts. Both have their pluses and minuses and both are kinda a pain. I chose the blanching method with good results and to be honest, these cookies are worth the pain.
To all my loyal readers, happy and delicious holidays!
Nutella Blossom Cookies (Recipe adapted slightly from Cook’s Country via food.com)
Makes about 54 cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1⁄4cups nutella, spread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1⁄3cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 large eggs
1⁄3 cup milk
1⁄2 cup hazelnuts, skinned, toasted and chopped fine
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
54 hershey kisses
Adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 375°F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
With electric mixer on medium high speed, beat Nutella, butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, espresso powder and eggs and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and milk, and mix until just combined. Fold in 1/2 cup of hazelnuts and refrigerate dough until firm about 1 hour.
Place confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. One at a time roll dough into 1 inch balls and then roll in confectioners’ sugar.
Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Press one hershey kiss into the center of each cookie.
Bake until set, about 8 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Cool 5 minutes on sheets, and transfer to wire rack and cool completely.