Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Nutella Pie Cookies

Like Nutella? Like pie? Like cookies? How about a Nutella pie cookie?  This cookie isn't made from a traditional cookie dough but rather, a buttery and flaky cream cheese pie crust (elevated just a little) formed into a cute little half crescent cookie.  Every bite is flaky and buttery and when paired with the smooth Nutella filling...well...that's just a sublime bite!  An elegant cookie made from very simple ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry. Let's get started...

Put your cream cheese and butter in your mixing bowl. Both should be at room temp. If they aren't at room temp, you'll notice annoying lumps of butter and cream cheese.

Beat together until the butter and cream cheese is evenly incorporated and fluffy.

Add flour...

...and mix until the flour just is incorporated and a dough is formed.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap. I like to flatten it so that rolling it later becomes easier.  Put the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 2-3 days if not making immediately.

Remove your dough and divide in half. I find that working with half of the dough at a time is easier.

Roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness. You will probably need to flour your rolling pin and work surface.
Those yellow rings you see around my rolling pin are "even dough bands". They fit around the rolling pin and come in four pairs with four thickness sizes in a package. There's no guessing if my dough is evenly rolled out. Check it out here.

Cut out the circles with a biscuit cutter or any circular cutter you may have

Gather the excess dough and form it in a ball and roll out again to cut more circles. You will probably still continue to need to flour your work surface and rolling pin.

Sprinkle a heaping 1/8 tsp of sugar, trying not to get sugar on the edges. It will be more difficult to seal if sugar gets on the edge but if it happens, no worries, just keep going.

Put a spoonful of Nutella in the center.  Notice the middle one. Not sure what happened but that is what you are NOT supposed to do. HA!

Dab your finger in the water and moisten half of the circle's edge. You'll see my finger there at the edge.

With the dry side, fold it over to meet the moistened side and put a little pressure with your finger to seal the edges.  If you like, grab a seafood/dessert fork and crimp the edges to make a nice border. Optional but very pretty.

Lay them in your nonstick or parchment lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with more sugar, about 1/8 tsp on each one. You don't have to be exact, just sprinkle!

Half of the dough made 17 pie cookies cut with a 3" cutter. Now they're ready for a 350F oven.

And 21 minutes later, here they are! Nice and golden.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar
Are you impressed that I multipurposed my tea infuser as a powdered sugar duster? 

Here is what it looks like inside. Pretty huh?

There you have it. 
A beautiful and elegant cookie that will add and upscale flair to your next dinner party or potluck.

Warning, if you make these once, you'll be required (and repeatedly asked) to make these again or else I'm afraid you won't be allowed at the next potluck/gathering. It happened to me.

Nutella Pie Cookies
Makes 30-32 Pie Cookies (if cut with a 3" cutter)

1 Cup Butter (2 sticks) -room temp
8 oz cream cheese -room temp (not whipped, just the regular "block")
2 Cups flour + more for dusting your work surface and rolling pin
3/4 Nutella jar (13 oz)
1/4 Cup or so Water
1/2 Cup or so regular white sugar
Powdered Sugar to dust cookies

Special equipment: 
Rolling Pin
Cocktail/seafood fork or any small dessert fork if you want to make a decorative border
3" Biscuit cutter or any circular cutter -you could even use a cup or can

Beat cream cheese and butter until you get a smooth fluffy texture.  

Add flour and slowly mix until the flour is incorporated and a dough forms.  You do not want to over mix.  

Flatten into a disc (makes it easier to roll later) and cover with plastic wrap.  Put it in the fridge for 30 min for dough to rest and for flour to hydrate.  If you will not be making the cookies immediately, you can leave the dough in the fridge for 2-3 days.  Remove half hour before rolling if your dough is left in the fridge overnight.

Preheat your oven to 350 F and now you're ready to roll.

Remove the dough from the fridge and divide in half.  It is easier to work with a smaller piece of dough.  Roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness and cut out circles.  You may find that you'll need some flour to dust over the dough and on your rolling pin if the dough gets a little sticky.  Gather remaining dough (flour as you go along if needed) and roll again to 1/8" thickness and cut out more circles.  Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Over each "circle" that you cut out, sprinkle about a heaping 1/8 tsp of regular white sugar, keeping it in the center as much as possible.  If too much sugar gets along the edges, it will make it difficult to seal.  

Top with a small spoonful of Nutella in the center of the circle.  Dip your finger in the water and lightly moisten half of the perimeter edge of the circle with your finger.  Starting with the dry half of the circle, flip it over to meet the moistened edge and put light pressure with your finger to seal it, essentially creating a crescent or "half moon".  If you want a decorative border, use a small seafood fork or dessert fork and impress it with the tines.  Place your cookies on a nonstick or parchment lined cookie sheet.  Sprinkle the cookies with more white sugar, about a heaping 1/8 tsp on each one.

Bake in a 350 F oven for 18-22 minutes (turning the tray once half way through the cooking time) or until the cookies are a light golden brown.  In my oven, it took 21 minutes.

Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!  You can experiment with other fillings too!  If you want a savory filling, then you would omit the sugar and play around with the salt measurements to suit your taste. You can also make these cookies a little smaller or bigger depending on your preference.  A smaller cutter will yield more cookies.

Recipe Adapted from Food Network.