03 April 2013

Mocha Cappuccino Hazelnut Cookies

First question:
    Who loves Nutella?

Second question:
     Who loves mocha or cappuccino?

If you are anything like me you not only have your hand up, but you are waving it around like a maniac because you love these things with a passion typically reserved for your children, spouse, significant other, or occasionally your pets.  If you are on my team, then these cookies are for you.

I found a jar of this JIF Mocha Cappuccino flavored hazelnut spread at the grocery store last week and I just couldn't walk away.  It sat on my counter fora few days while I contemplated the best way to tackle the beast.  I wanted something simple, but not brownies since I just made some of those.  I made more than a few pies in the recent past, so I didn't want to go that route.  It's sweeter than Nutella, so I needed to temper that a little, which meant no using it straight as icing or filling.  Finally I came up with the idea of making cookies with it.  My husband is always begging me for cookies since he loves any cookie more than pretty much all desserts combined.  I swear he can eat his weight in cookies in a sitting.  These cookies are sneaky little buggers, too.  The first one you eat you think, "These are okay."  The second one -- "Hmmm, not bad, maybe I need one more."  The third one, you are lucky if you walk away from the plate without cookies four, five, and six.  They are strangely addictive and also completely delicious.  They have an complexity with the chocolate, hazelnut, coffee, and slightly salty flavor roaming around.  You don't notice all those things until the last bite of the first cookie and it's all downhill from there.....

Go the the trusty mixer and cream together the butter and sugars until they're good and fluffy.  Then beat in the eggs, too.

 Plop in more of the hazelnut spread than you think is really necessary.  Believe me, you want all of it in there, though.

 Beat it all in, followed by the flour and other dry ingredients until you have a lovely dough. 

 Get a little ice cream scoop or a teaspoon and scoop onto a baking sheet in lovely little mounds.

Press down with the tines of a fork in one direction and then in the other, just like peanut butter cookies.

 Your cookies will look like this before you slide them into the oven.

Let 'em cool for a minute before you start eating them.  As soon as you don't burn the devil out of you mouth, dig in.

Mocha Cappuccino Hazelnut Cookies
makes about 4 dozen cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup JIF mocha cappuccino hazelnut spread

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it lightly with nonstick spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.  Cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs until combined and fluffy, another 2 minutes.  Add the hazelnut spread and beat on medium another minute, or until the mixture is well combined and is a consistent color.  Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined.

Using a small ice cream scoop or a teaspoon, scoop out the dough 2" apart onto the prepared baking sheet. Using the tines of a fork, flatten and make a crosshatch pattern on top of each cookie.  Bake 15 minutes, or until the cookies are dry and a little crackled on top.  Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat until you have used all your dough.  Store in an airtight container up to a week.

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