Does the thought of Nutella make you swoon? It does me. I love the stuff, but I tend to forget about it hiding there in the back of the cupboard. Then when I see the jar it’s like meeting up with an old friend, picking up just where we left off. You might say we have an “on and off” relationship.
I had that same reaction when I saw George Clooney recently in the movie, The Descendants. He was so good in that role. I had forgotten how much I like him, until I saw him again. The same for Rosemary Clooney, she is one of my all-time favorite singers. There is nobody who can make you feel a song like she could, and I love to dance to her music. It’s so romantic, dreamy, jazzy, and cool. Isn’t it odd that I have such strong feelings for the two of them? They both make me swoon. You could say that I get swooney for Clooney. Did you know that Rosemary was George’s aunt? Yes, his father’s sister. Such a talented family.
Likewise, just a taste of Nutella is all it takes to make me swoon for it and want to create something sinfully delicious. I think this recipe for Nutella Crackles has what it takes on all counts: crispy sugary exterior, crunchy with nuts; a surprisingly chewy interior, the perfect blend of hazelnuts and chocolate. Try them, you might get “swooney”, too.
YIELD: about 4 dozen cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 – 1/4 cup Nutella spread
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 – 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant expresso powder
- 2 large eggs,
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 – 1/2 cups hazelnuts, chopped fine
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
2. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat Nutella, butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, expresso powder, and eggs and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture and milk, and mix until just combined. Fold in 2/3 cup hazelnuts. Refrigerate dough until firm, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375*F. Line baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
4. Place remaining hazelnuts in a shallow bowl. Place confectioners’ sugar in another shallow bowl. One at a time, roll dough into 1-inch balls, roll in nuts, then in confectioners’ sugar. Place balls 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate the first sheet while preparing the next sheet. Bake the first sheet and all others for approximately 8 minutes. As each sheet is baking, chill one while you make up the next.
5. Transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely. Repeat with all dough.
SOURCE: Taste of Home Baking