Unless you guessed homemade Nutella (err….homemade chocolate hazelnut spread. Can I be sued for using the word Nutella here? Let’s keep our collective fingers crossed and hope not 😉 ), at which point you would be right. I have no idea how you managed to crack my diabolically complicated cipher in that headline, but well played dear genius reader. Well played. You should clearly have been hired as a Bletchley Park codebreaker during World War II.
With the weather finally warming up, don’t you just feel like taking some kind of sandwich cookie with you for an afternoon of picnicking and general frolicking in the sun-ness? (sans sunburn of course – skin protection people, it’s no joke. Maybe it’s only me that feels that way, but it only takes one day of trekking across Auckland New Zealand (a region known for their stronger sun and less robust ozone layer) in a tank top, with no sunscreen, and incredibly fair (read: doesn’t know the meaning of the word “tan” and has only 2 settings – Casper white and lobster red) skin to make you realize that cloaking yourself in a body suit made of pain is just not as cool as it sounds. Also, my crying and general shrieks of pain did not evoke the general bad-ass-edness that I was hoping to evoke about Canadians. If any of you go to New Zealand and find yourselves getting called whimpy cry babies, I sincerely apologize, that’s totally my bad 😉 ).
Sorry for that long side tangent (but c’mon, are you even surprised at this point? You knew who I was when you started reading this…unless you didn’t of course, at which point, let me introduce myself. My name is Amber and I’m a closet ranter. And no, that doesn’t mean that I rant about closets, or in closets 😉 (although I make no guarantees that either of those situations has never or will never happen).
Moving on though, seriously people, if you love peanut butter and chocolate-hazelnut spread (and really who doesn’t?), these should be right up your alley.
I made the actual chocolate hazelnut spread a fair bit thicker than what you’re probably used to, but since I was using them as the cookie filling, I just wanted to be doubly sure that they would set up properly and that not even one drop of the delicious filling would end up oozing out all over the plate (or your hand) and inevitably being lost for all time (unless you’re disgusting like me and have zero embarrassment about licking the plate or your hand. No judgement).
One caveat I will throw out to you though is that these peanut butter cookies are super rich (and super super peanut buttery. I ♥ peanut butter. I also don’t ♥ people using the “♥” symbol. Quite the conundrum I now find myself in 😉 ), so be warned that these ain’t your grandma’s delicate tea cookies. If you can’t handle that, I recommend one of two things, 1) Make these cookies, but slice them about half the width that I have them here so the chocolate to peanut butter ratio is a bit more even, or 2) Use your current favourite peanut butter cookie recipe and just make the chocolate-hazelnut spread part and make your own version of peanut butter chocolate hazelnut spread sandwich cookies. Now get out there and enjoy the 5 seconds of summer that we get every year!
Yield: two dozen cookies
Ingredients: Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup pastry flour (or just do a full cup of flour)
- 1/2 cup PB2 or powdered peanut butter/ peanut flour
- 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- pinch of salt
Ingredients: Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 2/3 cup cane sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut milk powder (or soy milk powder, or omit completely, and just add a bit more cocoa and icing sugar to compensate)
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flours, powdered peanut butter, icing sugar and baking powder.
- In a large bowl, place the remaining ingredients (brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and coconut oil and salt), and mix with an electric mixer until fully combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients, blending between each addition.
- Roll dough into a log approximately the diameter of the size of cookie you’d like (keeping in mind they’re sandwich cookies, so you might want to go on the slightly smaller side). Wrap log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm-ish (about and hour or up to overnight).
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and slice into 1/4 inch discs. They don’t really spread out, so feel free to place them fairly close to each other on the baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges just start to brown. The cookies are fairly delicate (read: breakable) when they first come out of the oven, so cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Once cookies are fully cooled, place them in the refrigerator while making the chocolate hazelnut spread.
- In a food processor, combine the toasted hazelnuts and sugar and pulse until combined.
- On medium heat in a medium sized sauce pan, combine the coconut oil, almond milk and chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate chips are fully melted. Stir hazelnut sugar mixture into your chocolate mixture and cook for another minute or two to let the sugar melt.
- Return mixture to your food processor and add in the cocoa, icing sugar and coconut milk powder. Blend for a few minutes until mixture is completely smooth. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before using.
- Remove cookies from the fridge and place as large or small of a dollop of chocolate-hazelnut mixture on one cookie and gently press another cookie on top. Continue until all cookies are delicious looking sandwich cookies.
- Store in the refrigerator.