Peanut butter cookies first showed up when George Washington Carver convinced farmers that peanuts could be a replacement crop for cotton, that was being infested with boll weevils. The cookies were usually rolled and cut into pieces. It wasn't until the 1930s when Pillsbury Flour Company started using a fork to make the recognized criss-cross pattern that we know today is a Peanut Butter cookie. The reasoning behind this technique was because peanut butter cookies are dense and the criss-cross allowed the middle to cook through thoroughly. I like the criss-cross pattern and kept it with my substitution of these beloved cookie.
Nutella Butter Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1-13oz jar of Nutella spread
3 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2/3 cups hazelnut flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and with the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Add the Nutella and vanilla extract and beat again to combine. Add 3 cups of flour, hazelnut flour, baking soda and salt and mix on medium to combine. Remove bowl from the stand and stir in the final 1/2-cup of flour.
Using a 2-Tablespoon scoop, measure out the dough and drop into a bowl of granulated sugar to coat the tops.
Place on the baking sheet. Using a dinner fork, make the tradition criss-cross pattern on the tops.
Bake in the preheated oven for 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes before transferring to a baking rack to cool completely.
Makes 4 to 5 dozen
These cookies, with their familiar look, but unusual taste, go well with a tall glass of milk or on a cool Fall day, a mug of cider or hot cocoa. I love the taste of hazelnuts--so sophisticated, and after taking a bite, I realized these would also make great holiday cookies. I would substitute the criss-cross technique with the "thumb-print" indentation and add a dab of raspberry jam. Now, doesn't that sound yummy?