I have wanted to participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap for a couple of years now, but for one reason or another never signed up in time. This year I was determined to do it. The Cookie Swap is something that was started by Lindsay from Love & Olive Oil and Julie from The Little Kitchen. It’s a pretty simple concept. Eligible food bloggers receive addresses for three other bloggers. You send out a dozen cookies to each blogger and in return you receive three different boxes of cookies to enjoy. They ask for a $4 donation of which 100% goes to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. They also have very generous brand partners (OXO, California Olive Ranch, Brownie Brittle, and Dixie Crystals) who are each matching the donations received. I had so much fun participating - baking is always fun. The best part, however, was getting three separate boxes of delicious cookies in the mail, and I did get some good ones. The first box was from Kelsey at tastefortrouble.wordpress.com who made melt-in-your-mouth Candied Cranberry Cookies. The second were Pecan Caramel Chocolate Cookies from Mary at siftingfocus.com. With my love for all things chocolate, those did not last long. The last to arrive were from Robin at ashaggydoughstory.com - White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti, which were perfect for dipping in my tea. Needless to say, we are not lacking for baked goods at my house. If you are interested in the cookies I sent out you can scroll down for the recipe... Nutella Hazelnut Blossoms!
Choosing which cookie to send through the mail can be complicated. You want it to taste good, but you also want it to look good. This means something more stable than the Caramel Shortbread Squares I made last week. I found this recipe for Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies over on CHOW and decided to modify it for Nutella. It took a couple of tries to get it right, but the final results were pretty amazing.
Nutella Hazelnut Blossoms
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons Nutella
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Mix together the flour, ground hazelnuts, baking soda, and salt until well-blended.
Combine the butter and sugars, mixing on high speed for 3-4 minutes. Add the Nutella, egg, and vanilla and mix on medium speed for about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mix , mixing just until the dough comes together.
Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop the dough onto the cookie sheets. Bake both sheets on center rack for approximately 12-13 minutes.
Remove the sheets to wire racks. Use the back of a teaspoon to press down in the center of each cookie. Let them cool completely before adding the filling.
Set aside the chocolate and Nutella in a heatproof bowl.
Place the cream in a small pan and heat to a simmer. Pour it over the Nutella and chocolate and let it stand until the chocolate softens. Mix until thoroughly blended.
Place about 1 teaspoon of the chocolate filling in the indentation. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Let them sit until the chocolate is set.