Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nutella Frosting

I know, I know. I haven't posted in a while. Life has been crazy busy and I've been slacking, but I'm back with some good old-fashioned chocolaty goodness!

It's only fitting that on the heels of a post about peanut butter comes a post about Nutella, another favorite of mine. Nutella is a creamy chocolate hazelnut spread that originated in Italy during World War II. It's wildly popular in Europe, where it's often eaten on toast or pastries for breakfast. While studying abroad in Florence, Nutella was part of my daily morning meal, and I always had to resist the temptation to grab a spoon and eat it directly from the jar. Let me just say, it's incredibly addictive.

This, along with the recipe on the Quaker oatmeal box, is my go-to cookie recipe. It's simple and it's delicious. I have always used Nutella, but, this time I changed it up a little and decided to use Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. Firstly, because I was at Whole Foods and couldn't find Nutella, and, secondly, I knew it would give me the chance to rave about my obsession with the Justin's products.

Justin's also makes peanut and almond butters in lots of different flavors

Justin's is a line of premium quality, organic nut butters. They make peanut, almond and hazelnut butters in a variety of flavors, including original, honey, chocolate and maple. Their maple almond butter...I have no words. So delicious! It's the one product I can't live without right now. The best part about these nut butters is that in addition to the traditional jar form, they also come in single serving squeeze packets, which are great for people on-the-go, as well as 90-calorie snack packets. I have yet to find the snack packs in stores, so you have to order them online, here. Anyway, back to the cookies.

These cookies are not normally frosted, but I wanted to spice them up a little, so I whipped up some frosting using a creamier chocolate hazelnut spread I found at Whole Foods, Rapunzel. I wouldn't recommend using Justin's for the frosting because it's not smooth enough. And if you're not a fan of decadent things, skip the frosting. It definitely makes cookies extra rich.

The recipe is pretty straight forward, but do make sure not to overcook the cookies. They will get super crumbly, and no one likes a cookie that crumbles in their hands.

Bon appetit!

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nutella Frosting
Makes about 3 dozen
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread, I used Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, but Nutella works well too
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 of a 12-oz. package of semisweet chocolate chips, mini or regular sized

1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread, Nutella works well
3 cups powdered sugar
10 tbsp heavy cream
(This will probably make too much frosting, you can also halve the recipe and leave a few cookies uniced.)

Sift the first four ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside. Cream butter, hazelnut spread and both sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat well. Add the flour mixture in two additions and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours. Can be made up to a day ahead of time. Soften slightly after removing from the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Form dough into equal-sized balls and flatten on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Place cookies one inch apart on the sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

While cookies are baking, whip up the frosting. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

A creamy chocolate hazelnut spread, such as Nutella, makes for a tasty frosting

Remove cookies from the oven and allow to sit on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before icing. Ice and store in an airtight container. Uniced, these cookies are great for about 5 days. Iced, I would recommend eating them within two days. 

Source: adapted from Bon Appetit December 2003 via Epicurious
Part of Sweet as Sugar Cookie's link-up project, Sweets for a Saturday. Check it out!

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like one awesome frosting. They must have really taken your cookies up a notch. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd be delighted if you'd stop by and link your cookies up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/03/sweets-for-saturday-8.html