Nutella. It is the food of the gods. Well, it is to me! If you have never experienced Nutella let me clue you in – chocolate and hazelnut, blended together in a lovely, creamy, silky spread. Swoon. If you see it in your local grocery store you really need to buy it. Not only is it a miracle in desserts, but toast up some thick Italian bread and spread this on it for breakfast with a homemade cafe latte. I guarantee you’ll have a blissful breakfast.
Over the weekend the Dude and I were in Lowes shopping for house project supplies. While walking by the magazine section, the Dude spied a Better Homes and Gardens magazine – Fall Baking. He looked at me and said, “You should get that.” Okay, I can take a hint.
I got home and started leafing through it and came upon a recipe for Cocoa Hazelnut Macaroons. For as much baking as I’ve done, I’ve never made macaroons. I’ve heard they are difficult to make. But the thought of chocolate and hazelnut pushed me beyond my trepidation! Well, I don’t know what all the fuss was about. They were very easy to make. Maybe my piping execution needs a bit of work, but that will come with practice. (Hey, I’m willing to practice with these babies for as long as it takes!) But overall they turned out great, and besides how can you go wrong with chocolate and hazelnut? I’m already thinking up new combinations of macaroon flavors and fillings. Here’s the recipe taken straight from “Fall Baking” magazine.
- 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup finely ground hazelnuts
- 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup Nutella
Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl stir together powdered sugar, hazelnuts, and cocoa powder; set aside.
In a large bowl combine egg whites, vanilla, and a dash of salt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until soft peaks form. Gently stir in nut/cocoa mixture.
Spoon mixture into a large decorating bag fitted with a large 1/2″ round tip. Pipe 1-1/2″ circles, 1″ apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Let stand 30 minutes before baking.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake for 9-10 minutes until set. Cool on cookie sheets on wire racks. Carefully peel cookies off parchment paper.
Spread Nutella on the bottoms of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, bottom sides down.
Note: If you aren’t going to serve all the cookies at once, you may just want to fill only those that will be eaten so they don’t get soggy. However, if you live in our house you just fill ’em all. They just won’t last that long!
Note #2: The cookies are also great by themselves with no filling. Either way these are so delicious, light and crispy!