I can still remember the first time I tried certain foods. Very vividly. That might seem weird, but some of these foods were life changing and became short term obsessions. I wouldn't have had exposure to some of these foods had it not been for my friends and their parents. Well, that and my desperate need to fit in which often made me do things I normally would have run from. Not drugs, guys. Just eat things which in my own home would have grossed me out.
Pesto is one of those foods for me. I was probably in 6th or 7th when I had it for the first time. One of my best friend's dad coached our basketball team. Sometimes we would have games on Thursday nights which was incredibly inconvenient for the Fitzpatricks because we lived a good distance outside of the city. So often times I would spend the night at one of the other girls' houses so I could actually go to the game and play, but more importantly so I got a decent night's sleep so my pre-pubescent brain could function at school the next day. My friend's dad, my basketball coach, made us lunch to take with us on one of these occasions, and because I didn't want to be the picky eater in front of him I just let him make me whatever Andrea was having. Let me tell you, I almost had a heart attack when I unwrapped my sandwich to see something green peaking through the sourdough bread. Never could my mother get me to eat anything green without the overly dramatic gag. But... try to be cool, Katie... I took a bite of that turkey sandwich and never looked back. Sourdough bread, a smear of delicious pesto, turkey, a little lettuce, some tomato... I was shook (pat on the back for relevant slang use). I definitely made my mom go buy the exact brand of pesto he used so I could make my own version... prob sans tomato because 12 y.o. me said icky.
Not as surprising a change in my diet was the introduction of Nutella. I was a freshman in highschool and one of my new friends came from an Italian family. She introduced me to a different kind of sandwich. One that was much more on par with my delicate tastebuds :::eyeroll::: The most simple wonderful sandwich I ever had... white bread and nutella. I became woke (not sure if that is the correct slang usage, but I will give myself another pat on the back for effort). I, in turn, introduced my sisters to Nutella and we of course begged my mom to spend the small fortune on the jar. I know my Irish and other European readers won't understand this, but Nutella was EXPENSIVE here up until recently. And really it probably is still expensive, but it sits on the shelf next to Justin's peanut butter which will cost you a month's college tuition so...
Today I bring you the cookie version of that white bread and Nutella sandwich. This is a simple unimposing vanilla cookie dough that wraps around discs of the hazelnutty chocolate spread. The globs of the spread a frozen before the dough is wrapped around to make your life easier, but when these babes bake up... oh boy! the gooey center is just too much to take. The dough is also the same as the sprinkle cookie dough from yesterday, so you can be real extra (last slang I will use in this post... pat, pat) and bake up two different kinds of cookies with one batch of dough. Impressive! How does she find the time to make all these cookies?? You're welcome.
The Recipe: Nutella Stuffed Cookies
yields ~ 2 dozen cookies
The Bits and Bobs:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 jar Nutella or other brand hazelnut spread
Line a baking sheet with foil. Drop 20-24 teaspoons of Nutella onto the baking sheet leaving space between each one. Freeze for 3-4 hours or overnight. Then prepare the dough.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until just incorporated
Beat in the dry ingredients until combined. Wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to set up slightly in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Remove from fridge and preheat the oven to 350*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
Roll about a tablespoon of dough at a time into a ball, then flatten into thin discs. Peel a frozen glob of the Nutella off the foil and place in the middle of the dough. Wrap and press the dough around the frozen spread, trying your best to fully cover and not allow any to poke through. Line the baking sheets with the cookies leaving about 2 inches in between each. One the sheet is full, put into the fridge and allow to set up for 15-20 minutes.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until the edges are a nice light golden brown. Allow to cool on the pan for a minute or two then transfer to a cooling rack. Best served slightly warm.