Friday, November 11, 2011

Nutella Butter Cookies-Pinwheel and Stuffed Paradise!

This is one of the few times when I really really wish a photograph could bring you the real taste, aroma, and texture of the food I blog about. These cookies are the absolute best of any cookie I've baked so far, and I've tried quite a few recipes over the years-everything from magazines, blogs, to the cookie recipe on the back of the Wilton cookie cutter set-but this one beats them all hands down! Its from one of my favorite bloggers, Shaheen of The Purple Foodie (see original recipe here). I also used some tips from another blogger I like, Magpie, who had baked these and blogged about it here. After a long weekend break, getting back to work also required making a fresh batch of sweet and savory snacks for my son to take to school and this was something I knew would be just right for him. But don't fool yourself into thinking this is just for kids (even though I'm adding it to my Toddler Treats section). Everybody who loves butter and Nutella will find this irresistible! You'll find the original recipe below, with my modifications in brackets, and further tips below that.
  1. 125 g butter, softened (I used only 100 g-personally, I like it unsalted)
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1 egg yolk
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  5. 1 heaped cup all purpose flour (maida), sifted once
  6. 1/4 cup Nutella (I did not measure-used it generously to spread on the cookies-just make sure its not too much or it will ooze out)
  7. 2-3 tablespoons toasted and chopped hazelnuts (I omitted this).
  • Preheat oven to 175 C.
  • With an electric beater, combine the butter and sugar until creamy.
  • Add the vanilla essence and egg yolk and beat again until well combined.
  • Now stir in the flour with a spoon, just enough to bring everything together into a loose dough.
  • Refrigerate for half an hour.
  • Take out and place the dough on a rolling board and roll it out into a rectangle shape, about 1/4 inch thick.
To make pinwheel shaped cookies:
  • Now this is where Magpie comes in-this dough is very very buttery and soft, which is what makes it so easy to gobble down but also so difficult to roll! So Magpie's tip was to store the dough in a Ziplock bag in the fridge, then take it out and cut out the sides of the bag, and roll out the dough when it is inside the bag itself. Lift up the top cover and spread the Nutella on top of the flattened dough. Make sure there is some empty space on all 4 sides or else the Nutella will ooze out when baking. Holding the edge of the bottom Ziplock sheet, lift up and roll the dough sheet back on itself, like a Swiss roll.
  • Keep the roll covered in the Ziplock bag and refrigerate for another 15 minutes.
  • Now cut the roll into slices, either with a knife or if you want a more neater cut, use a firm wire (Shaheen's tip) or a toothpick(Magpie's tip).
  • Place the slices on a nonstick baking sheet (or line a baking tray with butter paper or grease it with some butter).
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown at the edges (this depends on your oven-mine got to this point within 10 minutes, maybe because the temperature was too high in my oven).
To make stuffed cookies (like Magpie's)
  • Reserve a little bit of the dough, pinch out lemon-sized balls and divide each into two parts. Flatten a small ball on your palm, place a dollop of Nutella on it, then flatten another small ball and place it on top of that.
  • Pinch the sides to seal, then just flatten both together to make a disc shape.
  • Place on baking tray and bake 10 to 15 minutes.
I strongly urge you to try this recipe out-it's just tooo goood, so good in fact that I'm adding it to my recipe file as my "Go-To Recipe For Basic Cookies"!. I think with a dough like this, your imagination is really the limit-you can use different types of spreads and fillings, garnish and sprinkle it with your favorite toppings, or just have it plain-it's that delicious!

On another note, I'm happy to say that my recipe for Citrusy Fresh Orange Cake was featured and selected as the Sweet Recipe of the Week at Haley's popular blog event Recipes I Can't Wait To Try #53. Do you need any other excuses to bake it now?!
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