If there ever was a day worth celebrating, it'd be today: Not only is it World Nutella Day, but it's also the day my twin daughters turn 18. How time flies!
Rather than bake a cake, I'm commemorating this most happy day with a plate of heart-shaped Nutella sugar cookies. I drizzled pink and white icing on top in a zigzag pattern to make them extra special, but you also could simply ice them. Happy birthday, Olivia and Catherine!
For the cookies
1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
3/4 cup Nutella (hazelnut and chocolate spread)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons cream or milk
Red food coloring
Whisk together flour, salt and baking soda. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together cubed butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar, then beat in egg, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in Nutella, then vanilla, and finally, gradually beat in flour mixture, until just moistened.
Separate dough into 2 balls, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours, or as long as overnight. Otherwise, the dough will be too soft to cut out.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly flour a work surface, and roll out 1 ball of dough at a time to about ¼ to ½ inch thick, depending on how big you want your cookies to be. Cut them out into desired shapes, and place on parchment-lined baking trays.
Bake for 10 or 11 minutes, or until mostly set (they may still be a bit soft-looking in the middle, but that's OK because you want these to be a bit chewy). Allow the cookies to cool completely before icing.
When they are cool, make icing by whisking together powdered sugar and cream. If you need the icing to be a bit more fluid, add a few more drops of water at a time (not cream, as the icing won't set if you use too much) and whisk until it is the desired consistency. (You can also add more powdered sugar if it needs to be thicker.)
Separate the white icing into two bowls, then color one pink with the food coloring. Place icing in a plastic baggie, cut off the tip, and drizzle the icing over the cookies in a zig-zag pattern. Allow the cookies to sit out for a few hours to harden completely, then place in a sealable container, separated by sheets of parchment, and keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
-- "Nutella: 100 Recipes" by T. L. Sheppeard (Darkling Thrush; Jan. 15, 2014; $2.99 on Kindle)
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