Nutella Butter Cookies Covered in Powdered Sugar

Baking, Dessert

Nutella Cookies by Tiny Chili Pepper

A conversation with a friend about Christmas season and baking:

Me: “So Lindsay, we always have good conversations about history, tradition, and culture. Question for you. Do you think there’s a traditional connection between Christmas season and baking, cookies especially? Seems like many people get into this intensified baking mode this time of year.”

Lindsay: “I have no idea if the two are traditionally linked, but they were in my family. My mother would often make sugar cookies and almond sugar cookies. Plus, I’ve always lived in a cold climate, so baking gives an excuse to turn on the oven! It’s also a cheerful, indoor activity that can lift your spirits when it gets dark so early. So those are my reasons.”

Fresh from the oven drop cookies

Hmm, makes sense to me. Linked or not linked, holiday or any day, baked treats sound good. But like Lindsay said, these short, cold, winter days do create a perfect and inviting atmosphere for fresh-from-the-oven cookies, or pastries, along with steaming hot coffee or hot chocolate, don’t they? That and for bundling up!

Nutella Cookies

All these talks about baking cookies with Lindsay made me want to do it too! Jeff nodded enthusiastically when I asked if he’d helped last night. I leafed through a cookbook and found a truly very easy cookie recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Drop Cookies. The recipe called for: butter, flour, powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, and Nutella. That’s it! All we had to do: beat butter and some sugar with a mixer, added the flour and vanilla extract, formed the dough into tiny balls, dropped them on baking sheets, baked for 12 minutes, and rolled the cookies (after cooling down for a few minutes) in the rest of the powdered sugar. Not too sweet or chocolaty and perfect with coffee! 

Chocolate Hazelnut Drop Cookies

Click here to see the full recipe

Happy baking and have a nice weekend to all!

Warm thoughts to all of us in winter wonderland.

Grilled Nutella Sandwich Dusted with Powdered Sugar

Dessert, Snack
Nutella sandwich dusted with powdered sugar by Harini

Nutella sandwich dusted with powdered sugar (by Harini)

Years ago, my friends and I frequented Quartino in Chicago. We would go to this Italian tapas restaurant, usually, right after work. Most of us worked, some lived, in downtown Chicago at that time. So Quartino was a good place in a central location  for a bunch of friends to regroup and replenish. We’d sit at the lively bar section, crowded our small table with wine, pizza, cheese, various small plates, and some desserts. Conversations about work, bosses, coworkers, relationships, dating, would swim together with other topics like cultures, politics, and whatever world affairs happening at the time. Time has flown by, people have moved away, but Quartino remains to be a memorable hang out spot for me.

grilled nutella sandwich by Harini

Recently, I had the chance to return to the restaurant with a couple of old friends. One of them had mentioned Quartino earlier that day and our afternoon saunter just happened to take us close to the place. So we took it as a sign to pay a visit.

Far from feeling hungry, we just ordered drinks. But then my friend Farah asked the server, “Do you guys still have Nutella Panino?” The server said yes and took the order. I had forgotten about this simple/cannot-go-wrong dessert. Then I remembered how most of my sweet tooth friends loved this grilled Nutella sandwich. Why wouldn’t they? It’s a sandwich filled with Nutella spread, grilled, cut up, and dusted with powdered sugar!

Back in my apartment, I made my version of the panino for Jeff. I think it may have made him fell in love all over again—either with me or with Nutella 😀

So here’s how I do my version of Nutella Panino.

(Eater discretion is advised)

To serve two, we will need:

  • 4 slices of bread (I am loving these Wholesome Oatmeal bread at the moment)
  • Nutella spread
  • A little bit of butter
  • A little bit of powdered sugar

oatmeal bread

Grill the sandwich and gently press down with a small pan lid

Steps:

  • Heat up a small non-stick pan. Stay on medium heat. (I don’t have a panini press so I grill the sandwich manually)
  • Spread Nutella on one side of a bread and cover with another bread
  • Add a little bit of butter on the hot pan until it is melted
  • Place the sandwich on the pan, grill, and press very gently with a small pan lid until the bread gets that nice golden color
  • Turn and grill the other side
  • Remove and let it cool down
  • Repeat the steps for the other sandwich
  • Cut up the sandwiches
  • Dust with powdered sugar

Great snack to serve with dark, robust coffee.

Hope you like it and thanks for visiting!

Buon Appetito!

cut up Nutella sandwich by Harini

Nutella sandwich by Harini

To my old Chicago pals