My mother brought these to our house last weekend for Christmas and I have become totally addicted. Thank goodness she made such a huge batch because I am pretty sure I am going to have to go straight into making a new batch the moment hers are gone. The best part is that they aren’t really meant for the holidays, they are completely acceptable to make year-round. This means I can serve them up for Valentine’s Day, at summer picnics, and even Halloween!
Nutella and Hazelnut Shortbread Sandwich Cookies
adapted from Ina Garten
1/3 cup ground hazelnuts
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch kosher salt
3/4 cup Nutella
1. In a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar until just combined. Mix the vanilla extract and two teaspoons of water.
2. Sift together the flour and salt and add it to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed. Finally, stir in the ground hazelnuts. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F.
4. Roll the chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface until 1/8″ thick. Use 3/4″ round cookie cutters to cut out the circles. Use smaller cookie cutters to cut shapes into the tops of the cookies. Place the cookies two inches apart on a lined cookie sheet and chill for 15 minutes in the fridge. Then bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they start to brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
5. Once the cookies have cooled spread the nutella between each one and sandwich the top and bottom together.