Monday, August 15, 2011

N is for Nutella

Never in my life have I had a bite of Nutella.
Until now of course.

Not only do I have a new ingredient in the kitchen, I have a new island!! I cannot express to you how much I needed and wanted this. My kitchen is large in square footage, but the counter space is lacking.  I had to stack pans and plates on top of each other. There was nowhere to put nothin'. But with the island, my counter space is tripled.

This weekend, me and The Mrs. traveled to my uncle's house in West Alabama to pick up this masterpiece. Uncle Bill made the island in his spare time. It has a butcher-block top made out if red oak, yellow oak and accents of mahogany. The base is yellow oak, and it has casters so I can cart this around anywhere in the kitchen. And the best part - it is tall! Since I am 6'5", Uncle Bill wanted to make it at a comfortable working height for me. I Love It!

While we were there he gave us some of his homegrown goodies. Habanero peppers, a watermelon, and a jar of his homemade pickles were packed up in the truck and are just waiting to be devoured. 

Now, the food - Nutella. For those of you that like me until recently have never had Nutella, let me explain. Nutella is a chocolate-hazelnut spread almost the consistency of creamy peanut butter. It is made with no artificial preservatives, and has less grams of fat than peanut butter per serving size. For those of you that have had Nutella, back me up, it is delicious. On February 5th, you should all celebrate National Nutella Day with me by making these cookies.

Nutella Thumbprint Cookies
**Note you can use a premade cookie dough or follow the recipe below.
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4t baking powder
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1lb butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup for topping
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1t milk
  • 1/2t vanilla

  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together for ~2 minutes. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla. Turn the mixer down to a lower speed and slowly add the flour mixture. Stop the mixer once a dough ball forms. Scrap down the mixer and split the dough half. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the Nutella and mascarpone cheese in a small bowl.

Roll out the dough to 3/4" thick and cut out cookies. Press you thumb in the center of the cookie and dip the cookie in sugar. This will rim the edges of your cookies in sugar, making them sparkle and shine.

Fill the center of the cookie with the Nutella mixture, and bake for 7-8 minutes. As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven sprinkle them with chopped toasted almonds.
 As always ALPHAbiteICAL readers, N-joy! I'm off to outline a plan for O.


1 comment:

  1. Looks great Jim! Wish I had an uncle who could make me things or give me spicy treats ;)