Thursday, 5 February 2015

Hazelnut-Chocolate (Nutella) Thumbprint Cookies - gluten free (with option for dairy free)


Judging from the flurry of activity on Twitter today, it is the day for celebrating our favourite chocolate-hazelnut spread - it's World Nutella Day!


There is nothing that quite matches the chocolatey-hazelnutty stickiness on the roof of your mouth or the creamy melty distinctively flavoured experience that is eating Nutella. Some of us were raised on the stuff...... it has been around a long time....

A little trip through the history of Nutella, tells us that is was first 'discovered' in 1946 as a way to make cocoa go further following World War 2. An Italian pastry maker made a hazelnut paste to which was added to a small amount of rare cocoa to serve with bread.


By 1951, this clever discovery had started to develop into Nutella as we know it (although still without its trade mark name), becoming more creamy and spreadable. By 1964 it was being served up in distinctive jars and spreading rapidly across Europe, developing an ever-growing fan club as it went.

1977 saw it reach Australian shores from where it moved into global success..... by 2009 being available in over 150 countries. It even has its own Face Book page!


Shame on me.... I nearly missed its special day...... Good job I had these delicious Nutella Thumbprint Cookies up my sleeve!

In addition to having a soft, melty dose of Nutella pooled in the middle of each cookie, the famous hazelnut-chocolate flavour combo inspires the whole recipe, which is based in ground hazelnuts and cocoa.

Motivated by the need to use up some egg white that was languishing in the fridge, they are made using a meringue-type mixture, which when baked, is amazingly crisp. The smell when you open the biscuit barrel just exudes Nutella. Once you start munching them, it is impossible to stop at one........


It's definitely worth grinding your own hazelnuts if you can..... they are much fresher, more intense as a result and heaps cheaper than buying them ready ground. Buy a big bag from one of the many health food or seed and nut stores that are around now and grind them by weight as you need them. Just be careful not to over-grind or you will end up with hazelnut butter..... Wonderful though it is, it won't work for these cookies!


If you can't eat Nutella because you have to avoid dairy, just substitute the filling for a spread that you can eat...... they are otherwise completely dairy free.


I am sharing these cookies at Cook Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.


The No Food Waste Challenge with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. Had it not been for the need to use up left-over egg white, these cookies would not have been created.


Credit Crunch Munch, this month being guest hosted by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary on behalf of Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food For All.


And with Emily at A Mummy Too for Recipe of the Week.


Hazelnut-Chocolate (Nutella) Thumbprint Cookies (makes 18)

Ingredients

1 large egg white
100g soft light brown sugar (or golden caster sugar if you prefer)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
150g skinned ground hazelnuts (grind to a coarse grain)
1 tablespoon plain gluten free flour
Approx 3 tablespoons Nutella (or alternative dairy free chocolate spread/jam/curd)
chopped roasted hazelnuts to decorate

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. Whisk the egg white with the sugar until very thick and pale.
  3. Add the cocoa and salt and whisk again.
  4. Fold in the ground hazelnuts and flour so that you have a thick, sticky dough-paste.
  5. Scoop the dough into small, even, rounded piles on the baking sheet, leaving a gap between each, or roll into small even balls with your hands.
  6. Press a good indent into the centre of each using your thumb or fingers.
  7. Fill each indent with a small scoop of Nutella and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
  8. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the outer case is dry and crisp.
  9. Turn off the oven and leave the biscuits in the oven to cool.
  10. When they have cooled enough to feel crisp underneath, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated

24 comments:

  1. These look absolutely delicious, we can't get enough of Nutella in our house! They'd be a great entry to #creditcrunchmunch too:-)

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    1. Thanks Camilla! Yes..... Not sure how I missed that.... I'll link up tomorrow x

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  2. That is just pure evil!!! They look utterly incredible and I want one now! You are very on the ball with your recipes!!!!

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    1. Ha! If evil tastes that good..... I'm going to hell! Thank you for your kind comments Vicki..... Knowing my efforts are understood means a lot coming from you!

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  3. Happy Nutella Day too! Isnt' it great that there is a day dedicated to Nutella? I love the sound of these cookies - I could just eat them off my screen!! x

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    1. Thanks Ros..... maybe every day should be dedicated to Nutella?!

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  4. These look amazing. I've seen this recipe twice today which must mean I too am obliged to make them!! Happy Nutella Day!!

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    1. Definitely an obligation now Dom! Let me know what you think!!!

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  5. I am drooling - send them over this way please!

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    1. Thanks CC. They're 'virtually' on their way!

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  6. This is wonderful! I wish I could pop one in my mouth! Nutella is just so impossible to resist. I really like your treats!

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    1. Thank you Alida. Nutella is way to moreish! I could happily eat it out of the jar (or should I say..... I love eating it happily out of the jar).

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  7. I am completely addicted to Nutella. It is like food crack – I really can't have a jar in the house but I may make an exception for these fantastic cookies... I want one so badly! #CookBlogShare

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    1. 'Food crack' is a good description. If I give into the temptation of spooning straight out of the jar....... then it's a seriously slippery slope..... These cookies were worth the risk!

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  8. Ooh yes Kate, what glorious biscuits. Egg whites always seem to give such good results and I adore hazelnuts. I always grind my own and didn't realise you could buy ready ground ones. They look really cute too.

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    1. Thanks Choclette. Glorious, but sadly now all gone! Ready ground hazelnuts cost a ridiculous amount of money and it is definitely better to grind them yourself. We grind pretty much anything we get our hands on in this house!

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  9. Yum i love hazelnut, these sound delicious. Thanks for sharing.


    Simon

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  10. These look gorgeous - I love nutella but I think I lost a bit of respect for it after I saw how little hazelnuts it actually includes - not that this stops me drooling over all the wonderful nutella recipes on World Nutella Day and bookmarking recipes like yours for moments when I buy Nutella in moments of temptation

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    1. Thanks Johanna. That's why these cookies are so great. The biscuits are made with more hazelnut than chocolate, so you get a double 'Nutella' whammy!

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  11. Yummy! Pass us over a few, will you?! These sound so incredibly moreish! Thank you for sharing with the No Waste Food Challenge and Credit Crunch Munch!

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    1. You're welcome Elizabeth. They were very very moreish..... next time I make them I'll send some on!

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