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Hazelnut Nutella Cookies with a hint of espresso, and a rich chocolate drizzle.
These delicious sandwich cookies combine some of my favorite flavors into one delicious bite. Hazelnuts (filberts) are toasted and ground to a fine texture and added to the simple, not-too-sweet cookie dough. A single teaspoon of espresso powder is blended into the mix, elevating the cookie’s nutty flavor to something exceptional. And finally, rich and luscious Nutella is slathered between two cookie rounds sealing the deal on this perfect treat!
When I first started to develop this Nutella cookie recipe I created a not-too-sweet shortbread cookie base. Since Nutella is fairly sweet on it’s own, I didn’t want the cookies to be overly sweet so I reduced the amount of sugar to compensate for the sweeter filling. However, with less sugar and no eggs, I found the shortbread cookie to be lacking in flavor. It was edible, but not memorable.
In the next iteration, I started with our almond Linzer cookie recipe and then, among other tweaks, added some espresso powder. Bingo! That flavor combination is the winner! The base cookie for this recipe should be good enough to eat without the filling or chocolate drizzle, and they are!
Are Hazelnuts and Filberts the same thing?
It depends on who you ask. There are many opinions about whether or not filberts and hazelnuts (or hazels) are in fact the same nut. Hazelnuts are a popular nut known around the world with most grown in Turkey, Italy and Spain. Many believe it’s because the Catholic feast day celebrating St. Philbert, a French saint, is held in late August, around the time of the hazelnut harvest. The two events were blended together and the name stuck.
Our local grocery store sells filberts in the bulk bin nut section, but not by the name hazelnuts. If you can’t find hazelnuts, look for filberts!
Hazelnut Nutella Cookies smell like a fresh-brewed, full-bodied cup of Hazelnut coffee.
While baking, these hazelnut cookies simply smell terrific. If you love the aroma of a great cup of fresh brewed coffee, you’ll recognize the espresso wafting out of the oven from the fresh baked cookies.
We all know chocolate and hazelnuts are made for each other: think Ferrero Rocher fine chocolates. You may also know that chocolate covered espresso beans are deliciously addicting. These cookies bring those flavor combos together in a fine, indulgent, easy-to-make treat.
Any brand of hazelnut spread, or a chocolate ganache, can be used to fill Nutella cookies.
Don’t feel like you have to use the Nutella brand hazelnut spread in these cookies. Our local store carries a few different chocolate hazelnut spreads, and one organic brand. Any would work well in these cookies.
If you aren’t ‘nuts’ about hazelnut spread, try using a simple ganache made with semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips and heavy cream. Chocolate hazelnut spreads are often adored by chocolate lovers everywhere and are so popular they can even be found in a new seasonal M&M.
What else can you do with a jar of Nutella?
My favorite way to enjoy Nutella is with a spoon. I’m powerless to stay out of an open jar of this velvety, chocolate creamy deliciousness. If you happen to have any leftover after making these Nutella cookies, smear some on a graham cracker for an afternoon treat. Nutella is also great on waffles, pancakes, toast or even muffins.
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Hazelnut Nutella Cookies
For the cookie dough:
- 1 cup hazelnuts, or filberts (5-ounces or 142g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (112g)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (290g)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226g or 8-ounces)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (102g)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 large egg, plus one egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
For the filing:
- 2 cups Nutella hazelnut spread or chocolate ganache
For the topping:
- 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (6 ounces or 170g)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Toast the hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan until fragrant and skins begin to loosen, about 10 minutes. Vigorously rub the nuts in a clean, dry kitchen towel to remove any loose skins (some skins may not come off - that’s okay.) Cool to room temperature.
- In a food processor pulse the skinned, toasted hazelnuts with ½ cup of granulated sugar, until finely ground. Add the baking powder, salt and flour. Pulse a few times to combine.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat until blended. Add the vanilla, egg, egg yolk, and espresso powder. Beat on medium speed until combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture. Beat until combined and no dry flour remains. The dough will be a little sticky. Divide dough in half and form each into an 8-inch round disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Dough may be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days. If well chilled, allow the dough to come to room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling out.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Heavily flour a large piece of parchment paper. Using a well floured rolling pin, roll out one disk of dough to ⅛ or ⅙-inch thick. Cut the dough into rounds using a 2 ½-inch cookie cutter. Using a small thin spatula, carefully transfer the cookie rounds to the prepared baking sheet spacing them 1-inch apart. Gather any dough scraps into a small disk and refrigerate.
- Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness, or until the cookies are light brown around the edges. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, the transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining chilled disk of dough.
- Spread a scant tablespoon of Nutella on the bottoms of half the cooled cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, bottom side down facing the filling.
- Microwave the chocolate chips in a bowl at 50% power, stirring at 30-second intervals until melted. Scoop the melted chocolate into a small zipper bag. Cut off a tiny corner of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the tops of the cookies. Allow the chocolate drizzle to set, about 30 minutes.
- Store the cookies at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If refrigerated, allow the cookies to come to room temperature for 30-minutes before serving.
- Makes 32 to 36 sandwich cookies
Finally, here are a few more hazelnut recipes you might enjoy: