The big reveal. That very special, yet little-known holiday I mentioned yesterday is one exceedingly close to my heart. And stomach. World Nutella Day! Welcome all.
A week ago, I didn’t even know Nutella had a holiday, following my own brand of logic that something I celebrate daily requires no formal lauding. Luckily, not everyone is so cavalier about their love of this miraculous chocolate-hazelnut spread as I. Thanks to a couple of American expat bloggers in Italy, it’s official: on February 5, the world celebrates Nutella. I know I won’t have to push any of you into buying a jar and polishing it off by midnight. You can split it with someone if you must, but please know that I consider this chickening out. I
used to eat it by the spoonful. When I was living in Paris during study abroad, my roommate and I would make late-night trips to the Turkish market three blocks away for a baguette and a 14oz jar of the stuff. When the bread was gone, we went in with spoons. (Sharing, yes, but not chickening out when you consider we’d just finished an entire baguette.) Point being, don’t chicken out on me now!
My friend Claire told me about this event about a week ago, via a facebook message that read, in part: “I hope that you and your blog are prepared and excited for this great day.” We are prepared. We are excited. We have cookies to share with you. (We also have the legally necessary caveat that Nutella is not, in fact, health food, as one California mother was “shocked to learn” and is suing Nutella’s parent company over. I know the jars carry the helpful caption, “An example of a tasty yet balanced breakfast: a glass of skim milk, orange juice, and Nutella on whole wheat bread,” but know what? Iz a joke! To wit: neither cookies nor Nutella are a health food. Moving on.)
There are a whole bunch of recipes that a “Nutella cookie” search generates, and this is one of those search results, a fabulous one at that. The cookies puff up in the oven and fall back down while cooling, leaving little mountains of chocolate chips. The surface looks a little scorched and earthquake-level cracked, it’s true, but the Nutella keeps them from getting brittle or crispy. They’re thin but chewy and soft. A real home run, in my book.
But of course, the real question remains, Is the cookie version better than straight Nutella? Does the baking improve upon perfection? You can’t sweep your spoon around the side of the jar and collect a heaping scoop of the fudgy, rich, sweet spread, and there are few greater pleasures in life than that. It won’t slide over a crusty baguette nub or shmear over a banana. But on the plus side, practically speaking, putting the jar towards cookies also prevents you from downing it, unadorned and by the spoonful, in one sitting — which is not to be underestimated. And it’s hard to imagine what isn’t improved by the addition of butter, eggs, vanilla, and chocolate chips. So make the cookies and decide for yourself . . . or, you know, make a Nutella/Nutella cookie sandwich. (These also make great ice cream sandwich cookies!) Up to you.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur; vanilla is also fine
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft, about one minute. Add the two sugars and beat together until soft and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the egg and Frangelico/vanilla, then the Nutella. Combine thoroughly.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. (True confessions: or just stir ‘em together with a fork. Like me.) With the mixer on low speed, add dry to wet and beat until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop by the rounded teaspoon full onto prepared cookie sheet. (I actually measured them out, then rolled them further into little orbs. Just my thing.) Bake about 8 minutes and enjoy!
Ps. Not what you had in mind? Check out the Nutella Cake I made a year ago.