Thursday, September 23, 2010

Double Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies – so much nicer than ‘Porridge a la Nutella’

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Double choc means one is never enough
Throughout her ‘terrible twos’ (and threes) my littlest niece has done battle at the dinner table to defend her right to reject among many other items: carrots (too orange), peas (too green), onions (just yucky). I wondered what on earth to feed her on a recent sleep over at my house – Porridge a la Nutella being the fall-back position, and one of her favourite meals.
Before dinner, I gave her the very important role of Blackberry-Picking Bucket Holder, a duty she carried out with due diligence for about an hour before declaring herself “absolutely exhausted and starving”. I tentatively fed her spaghetti and meatballs – which she promptly buried under an inch of parmesan, purely for the novelty of sprinkling spoonfuls of the cheese ‘snow’ and watching it fall and melt into the tomato sauce. I waited for the “I-don’t-like-this” refrain, but she tucked in, devoured her meal, then licked the plate clean. A break-through? I don’t think so - she rejected the fresh honey apple scones and homemade bramble jelly I made for breakfast in favour of her porridge/Nutella combo.
Still, since then she makes a point of telling me how much she enjoyed the spaghetti and meatballs, and asks when can she come stay at my “restaurant” again. Cute!
Her Nutella addiction is the inspiration behind these gorgeous chewy chocolate-y cookies – so much nicer than ‘Porridge a la Nutella’.

Such simple ingredients just waiting ...

For 18 chewy cookies you will need: 
... to pre-heat the oven to 160°C
Cookie dough

50g softened butter
110g (4oz) sugar
50g (2oz) Nutella
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g (6oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) cocoa powder, sifted
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Secret centre
50g (2oz) icing sugar, sieved
50g (2oz) Nutella

Chocolate topping
50g dark/milk chocolate, melted
50g white chocolate, melted

1    Make the cookie dough: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and Nutella until the mixture comes together in a smooth paste. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, mixing until combined. Combine together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda and add to the butter mixture. Mix together to form a smooth dough. Take spoonfuls of the mixture and quickly roll between the palms of your hands to shape into 18 ping-pong-sized balls. Leave to one side covered with cling-film.
2    Make the secret centres: put the Nutella into a medium mixing bowl and add the icing sugar bit by bit, mixing it into the Nutella with a wooden spoon. When combined, divide the Nutella mixture into 18 small balls, one for each cookie dough ball.
3    With your thumb, make a dip in the centre of each cookie dough ball and place a Nutella ball into each one. Close the chocolate dough over to conceal the Nutella centre and reshape the cookie into a ball.
4    Divide the dough balls between two baking sheet, leaving a gap of about 4cm between cookies so that they have room to expand. Flatten each cookie slightly – the base of a water glass is perfect - before putting into the pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the surface begins to pull apart slightly. When cooked, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
5    When cooled, drizzle with melted dark or milk chocolate and melted white chocolate.

... to become magical cookies


Instead of making the Nutella centre, push a square of soft fudge into the centre of the chocolate cookie dough and seal it well.

To make an easy chocolate piping bag, pop the chocolate in a small freezer bag and dangle it in hot water. When the chocolate has melted, dry the bag and snip off a tiny corner to allow the chocolate to be squeezed out in a thin drizzle.

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  1. Those look scrumptious and I love the white chocolate drizzle on top!

  2. These cookies look scrumptious. Just to think that little jar of Nutella, originated in Italy, is a World favorite! I would like to follow you on your blog, but you don't have the Google friend connect set up for the FOLLOW! I'm certain you would have a quite a following.

  3. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe! I've always had a taste for hazelnut.

  4. What a cute storie about your niece. I'm sure you have the best "restaurant" in town, and it will take her a few years to appreciate the other great flavors.

  5. I just tried these cookies. It really only takes 8 minutes to bake them. Amazing!


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