The inspiration for these cookies goes to a great friend and neighbor whose proper name shall remain undisclosed except for his moniker: The Mayor. Lest you think such a distinguished title sounds self-aggrandizing, I'm here to tell you that given his military service to our country, civic pride and contribution to the community, not to mention his gift for getting any job done, the name is spot-on.
You see, The Mayor LOVES Nutella. I've seen him spread it on English Muffins at an early morning business meeting while the rest of us were just getting into our coffee. And, although I can't prove it, I'll bet cash-money that he tip-toes into the kitchen late at night to scoop a tablespoon or two of the heavenly scented stuff directly from the jar, licking the spoon clean. Waste not, want not.
The beauty of these cookies is that they're so straightforward and easy to make. Unlike many fussy recipes that involve 10 zillion steps, this one gets right to the point and delivers - just like my friend, The Mayor.
Toasted Hazelnut Nutella Cookies (Adapted from the awesome The Pioneer Woman)
2 cups Nutella
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour**
2 whole eggs
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
**If you use the chopped hazelnuts, you may need to sprinkle a little more flour into the dough as the nuts release extra oil. Add just a tablespoon at a time until you get the right consistency.
Preheat oven to 350
Chop hazelnuts and spread on cookie sheet - toast in preheated oven for about 7-8 minutes (watch carefully to avoid scorching)
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, blend all ingredients together well.
Form dough into 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Using the palm of your hand or a flat-bottom glass, press cookies down firmly.
Bake 8-9 minutes, or until set.
Let sit on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Pour yourself a big glass of cold milk or hot cup of tea and prepare to launch.