Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nuts for Nutella

People can be pretty passionate about which foods they like—or don't. Just ask any card-carrying mayonnaise hater. On the happy end of the spectrum are the Nutella-holics. Trust me, I think the combo of hazelnut and chocolate is brilliant but I don't feel the need to slather it on everything from bread to my face like some of the freaks fans.

Sometimes I have an instant food association with someone. Mushroom risotto is Wendy. Ribs are my nephew Will. Salted caramel is Drea. And Nutella is the Yummy Mummy. Marina is an amazing cook and photographer and has her own book out filled with dozens of delicious dishes. So Marina, this one is for you in case you've run out of ways to get Nutella into your blood stream. 

I was drawn to this recipe because I like cookies, particularly oatmeal cookies. But I'd rather put chocolate chips in them instead of raisins, so this combination of an oatmeal cookie and a chocolate hazelnut cookie seemed pretty genius. When you think about it, is anyone really going to complain about a cookie infused with the Italian hazelnut sensation? The answer is no. I know this because I gave them to all my new neighbors and now they love me—inviting me over for drinks, bringing in my mail, etc. 

So if you have a Nutella freak in your life or simply need something for a bribe, this could be your ticket. 

And if you happen to be in San Francisco this week and are a Nutella lover, come join your brethren and celebrate the brand's 50th anniversary! It sounds like a Nutella love fest with a food truck making all things Nutella, t-shirts, stickers, and even free jars of the stuff. Check this out for the details. 

Oatella Cookies
from Food and Wine

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated shortening
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 13-oz jar Nutella
2 cups rolled oats

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the shortening with both sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
2. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl. Add the Nutella and beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then beat in the oats. 
3. Scoop 1-Tbsp mounds of dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are lightly browned and the cooked are just set; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Don't overcook. They'll turn out pretty hard (even if you like crunchy cookies). 
4. Immediately transfer the cookies from the pan to the racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough. 


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