Peanut butter cookies are my favorites, and I especially like them when they have Hershey's Kisses put on top just after they come out of the oven. I had been wondering how Nutella would work in cookies -- it pretty much has the same consistency as peanut butter, and I would thought that the combination of chocolate and hazelnut would make an excellent cookie similar to peanut butter but with a delicious and unique twist. I Googled Nutella cookie recipes but could not find anything all-Nutella that seemed to be the style I was going for. The closest I found was this one posted on Visual Recipes by chizad, which is half peanut butter and half Nutella. (I figured out later that it was an adaptation of an Alton Brown recipe for peanut butter cookies in I'm Just Here For More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking -- not that chizad hid that or anything; I just can't read.) I decided to take chizad's recipe and add more Nutella in place of the peanut butter for an all-Nutella cookie. Here's the recipe that I ended up following:
340g/1.5 cup unsalted butter, softened
284g/1.5 cup granulated sugar
284g/1.75 cup dark brown sugar
78g/0.5 cup canola oil
568g/2 cup Nutella
0.5 cup chopped hazelnuts
3 large beaten eggs
9g/2 tsp vanilla extract
510g/3.75 cup all purpose flour
6g/3 tsp baking soda
9g/1.5 tsp salt
6 dozen Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
Some extra granulated sugar for sprinkling on tops of cookies.
Cream the butter with the granulated and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then oil and Nutella. To this mixture, add the whisked-together mixture of flour, salt, and baking soda in three increments, incorporating each increment before adding the next. Chill the resulting dough. Dish out the chilled dough in golf-ball-sized balls onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet, then press down with a fork dipped in flour (to prevent sticking). Sprinkle granulated sugar on the tops of the cookies. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 15 minutes. Place one Hershey's Kiss in the center of each cookie immediately after removing from the oven. Let cookies set up on cookie sheet for three or four minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
I actually made these over two days. Yesterday was largely a disaster. I didn't chill the dough enough, my portion control was bad, and the cookie sheets I was using were not allowing for even heating of the cookies. So, I left the remaining dough in the refrigerator overnight and bought new (and bigger) cookie sheets and an ice cream scooper to do the portioning. Today's results were better and more consistent. The flavor was good (although I wish that the Nutella had been a bit more overt), and I ate entirely too many of them as they were cooling. The problem, though, was that finished cookies weren't poofy enough for my taste. They were pretty much flat. Mamacita thinks that this is due to the lack of partially-hydrogenated fats in the dough and suggests that I try using shortening instead of butter. I was thinking that maybe more flour and some baking powder would help. Anybody have any other ideas?