Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies filled with Nutella and Chewy Salted Caramel



I wiped my kitchen whiteboard calendar clean the other night so I could bring September into our lives. The school bell rang for us here over a month ago and we have been slowly getting back to some degree of normal. Last Saturday I took my daughter dress shopping for the homecoming dance and we picked up two adorable dresses because she like me has a problem choosing between two good things.

Both dresses had their merits and depending on her mood for the evening I could see both being absolutely perfect. I let her get both and told her we could take back the one she doesn't use. I also know her well enough to know that I just bought her two dresses. Now that they have a home together in her closet they aren't going anywhere.

When she was little I would have sworn she was a carbon copy of her dad, but now that she has gotten a little older I am starting to see nuances that remind me so much of myself. Take for example the cookies I wanted to make the other day, they had pretty much everything one could want in a cookie Hazelnuts + Nutella = Draw a little heart around the whole thing. But no, I stuck with my more is more mantra. If those are going to be a dream come true I couldn't help but believe that pushing them over the edge with the addition of Chewy Salted Caramel could only make them double hearty.



Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies filled with Nutella and Chewy Salted Caramel

Hazelnut Shortbread:
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and ground
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg

Also need: Small amount of Nutella about 1/2 of a cup.

Toast hazelnuts on a sheet pan in a 350 degree F oven for 5 minutes. Let cool.

Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes, add flour, salt, egg, and ground hazelnuts. Mix until combined.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll dough until 1/4” thick.

Cut cookies into rounds with a fluted circle or any cookie cutter of your choice. Gather scraps and roll again and use the rest of the dough.

Place cookies onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper an inch apart.

Bake for 8-10 minutes in 350 degree F oven.

Let cool. I got about 24 cookies.

Chewy Salted Caramel
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream (measured with a dry measuring cup instead of a liquid measuring cup)
Pinch flake sea salt

Combine sugar and water in a small heavy skillet and heat on medium high until the sugar in the pan is turning amber in color. Add the cream and whisk until combined, sprinkle a pinch of the salt over the top and let caramel cool.

Smear the bottom side of half of the cookies with a healthy amount of Nutella and smear the bottom half of the remainder of the cookies with an ample amount of caramel and combine them for a wild romp in cookie heaven. 

Don't say I didn't warn you though, once you go Nutella and Salted Caramel your psyche will be forever altered - forever (say that aloud in slow motion so you get the full effect).

Enjoy,

Gina

15 comments:

  1. Shortbread....come to me! Hazelnuts too? I'm in love. Finally, caramel? Ooooh, baby. Need I say more? :)

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  2. Gina - you have brought a simple shortbread cookie to the ultimate level - nutella and caramel - DELISH! Hope your week is going great and you have some fun plans for the long holiday weekend!

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  3. I love the idea of adding Nutella to these cookies. They are kind of like Alfajores on steroids. I love sweet and salty combinations so I know these are definitely winners.

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  4. As if the shortbread itself wasn't delicious enough, you even topped each with nutella and caramel!!! This is DECADENT!

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  5. WOA - Nutella and salted caramel - My tastebuds are dancing right now...imagination is a powerful thing! :)

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  6. I adore sandwich cookies, these look like pure heaven - now I'm dreaming of Nutella + caramel!

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  7. Shortbread with all the bells and whistles Gina....very creative and delicious ;). I'll take 2 dozen for the weekend ;)
    Enjoy your long weekend;)

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  8. I can almost taste this from my screen, absolutely salivating at this flavour combo :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  10. I'd eat shoe leather if it had caramel drizzled over it! These cookies are divine!!!

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  11. Gosh! I'm not sure I'm ready to have my psyche forever altered. Forever! OK, I'm easy - I'll go for it! These look sensational. Thanks.

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  12. Yes please. I will take 2 dozen, each!

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  13. Heavenly divine, and droolworthy yummy cookies...nutella, and caramel drizzle...need I say more? Shortbread cookies are everyone's favorite and you totally stepped it up several 'notches! xo

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  14. Oh Gina, these cookies look awesome, I like the idea of the sweet with the salty caramel...and chewy...yum!
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a fun week :D

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  15. I love buttery shortbread cookies (really love that texture!) and how yummy to eat with Nutella and salted caramel. I know I cannot stop eating these!

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