In honor of these three wonderful things----love, Nutella, and diamonds---I want to share a cookie that is not only made of a surprise bite of Nutella, but also has a meaning behind it. Sounds weird that a cookie has a meaning behind it, I know. But it does. This is a cookie that I first made to surprise my boyfriend with when he was living 6+ hours away from me, back in 2010. It reminds me of how we mastered the long-distance relationship and how excited we both were when we got to visit each other. After a long work week and an 8 hour day on a Friday, I would drive the 6 hours to see him for the weekend and drive back home not even 36 hours later. And he would do the same. I surprised him with my baked goods almost every time I visited, and I especially remember him loving these Nutella cookies.
And this past December, he surprised me...by asking me to marry him and giving me the most beautiful diamond ring in the world. I am ENGAGED! So if that is an excuse for a blogging hiatus, I don't know what is! I've sort of been cheating on blogging with wedding planning and a several-month long mental vacation on cloud nine, but I've missed it immensely and have been contemplating the next recipe to share.
In all seriousness, I decided that this recipe would be the perfect recipe to share while my mind is in wedding mode (and yes, I'm completely allowed to be mushy right now!) because it not only reminds me of conquering the long-distance relationship, but it represents the excitement of a surprise, like my engagement. (Which was MUCH more exciting than Nutella in a cookie, I promise... but Nutella is still pretty awesome).
Like I've mentioned, the Nutella is stuffed inside this "pocket" cookie, so your family & friends won't know its there until they bite into it. They are soft and gooey... and quite dangerous. Dangerous, but worth it. So in the spirit of love and surprises, I suggest you try this recipe out yourself!
Nutella Pocket Cookies
adapted from La Fuji Mama (http://www.lafujimama.com)
1 cup butter, softened
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Nutella
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until smooth, fluffy, and light in color. Add the vanilla extract and the cinnamon. Mix until well combined. Gradually add the flour and mix well. Divide the dough into four portions. Cover and refrigerate until the dough is firm (should be easy to handle at this point).
Preheat the over to 350 degrees F. Remove one portion of the dough from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll out the one portion of dough until 1/4 inch thick. Using a circle cookie/biscuit cutter (approx. three inches in diameter), cut circles our of the dough and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of Nutella on each circle (slightly off-center) and fold them in half so that the edges meet. Lightly press the edges of the dough together to seal the cookie and to insure that the Nutella won't leak out (it's a surprise, remember!?) Repeat this process for each portion of dough.
Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Let cookies sit for 2-3 minutes on cookie sheet and place on wire racks to cool. Then devour!
all photos © Bunhead in the Kitchen, 2013