With a double shot of chocolate and hazelnut flavors, kids and adults will rave over these filled cookies. The espresso powder is optional, but it intensifies the chocolate flavor.
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1/3 cup hazelnut-chocolate spread (such as Nutella)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Stir egg yolks with a whisk, adding espresso, if desired. Add the yolk mixture and vanilla to butter; beat well. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until combined.
Turn dough out onto a sheet of wax paper; knead 6 times or until smooth and shiny. Shape dough into 28 (1-inch) balls. Roll sides of balls in nuts, pressing gently. Arrange balls 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press thumb into center of each cookie, leaving an indentation. Bake, 1 batch at a time, at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks. Spoon a scant 1/2 teaspoon hazelnut-chocolate spread into center of each cookie.
I held out very little hope for these when the "dough" that formed after mixing the wet and dry ingredients was basically slightly pebbly dust. But with a lot of kneading, I was able to form the balls and get them on the cookie sheets. Baking time was 15 minutes in my oven. Next time I will mix some of the chopped hazelnuts into the dough and sprinkle more on the Nutella topping. Rolling those very dry cookie balls in the hazelnuts tended to make the dough flake and crumble. The cookies are very tasty (I didn't use the espresso - may do that next time too) and surprisingly moist considering how dry the dough was.
You have to differentiate between volume and liquid measures. A weight of 4.5 ounces of flour is approximately a one cup volume. I agree the recipe is not clear on this. They should have used one or the other measure, not both in this case to avoid confusion.
My daughter and I have been eyeing this recipe for years, and this past Christmas, we finally got it together to make them. We followed the recipe to the letter (measured the flour and everything), and they were just not good at all. Dry, crumbly, not very chocolate-y, and a weird flavor. Even my husband--who will eat anything--pronounced them inedible, and after repeated tastings, we finally threw the whole batch in the trash. I'll take Fudgy Mocha Brownies over these any day.