This is a nutty twist on a classic Christmas cookie! The cookie itself is very delicate and tender and the Nutella tops it off perfectly.
These next few posts are inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction. Sally does a series of cookie posts every year before Christmas called “Sally’s Baking Addiction Christmas Cookie Palooza.” I wait for these posts obsessively because I love cookies. Cookies are a baker’s blank slate: you can throw lots of things at cookies, like caramels or cranberries or nuts or sprinkles or whatever else you found in your cupboard and they’ll still probably taste amazing. Besides, nothing is more Christmas-y to me than a fresh batch of cookies. (Even more Christmas-y than Nativity scenes and Santa…Just kidding!) Because I like Sally’s idea so much, I wanted to do a series of pre-Christmas cookies myself. So, before you continue reading my riveting prose, go check out the first of her series: Frosted Cut Out Sugar Cookies.
This first cookie in my series is a twist on the classic Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie. As much as I love raspberry jam, hazelnuts are one of the most popular Christmas ingredients. (Hazelnuts roasting on an open fire…Or something like that.) So, these are a fun and unique way to enjoy thumbprint cookies!
The cookie itself is extremely delicate, soft but not chewy and delicious. The secret weapons are shortening and powered sugar. Shortening has a lower melting point than butter and it also tends to hold in air better than butter, so cookies made with shortening don’t spread as much, hold their shape better and are slightly more fluffy. The powdered sugar gives these cookies that delicate texture.
The final, and perhaps most important step, is the addition of the Nutella. You have a few options for Nutella application: You can apply the Nutella with a spoon right when the cookies come out of the oven so it melts a bit and pools into the well. Or, you can wait until the cookies cool and pipe the Nutella on with a small, fine-tipped piping tool. I did the second of the two options, but if you don’t have a piping kit, the first option would be just as great!
My usual tips for successful cookie making:
- Leave the butter out so it softens; it’s ready when you apply a little pressure and you can leave a finger print in the butter
- Take out the eggs the night before! Surprisingly, eggs don’t rot/explode/dissolve when they’re at room temperature. So, leave them out before you bake and they’ll incorporate much better and you’ll have nice, smooth, even cookie dough.
- These cookies do not require chilling. (Unlike most of my cookies.) You can simply make the dough and bake them.
- To make the well, I used my finger and then shaped it a little deeper.
- I highly recommend using a Silpat or Parchment paper. Both will help your cookies spread more evenly!
Then serve and enjoy!
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Set aside.
- In your mixing bowl cream together butter and both sugars until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar and salt.
- Add slowly to the wet ingredients. Mix until incorporated.
- Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon drop dough onto lined baking sheet.
- With your thumb, make a small circle.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges just start to golden.
- Allow to cool for 3 minutes on baking sheet and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
- Place a dollop of Nutella into the well.