Layers of salted caramel and whipped hot fudge sandwiched between tender roasted hazelnut cookies.
The kids are back in school! The kids are back in school! The kids are back in school!
Don't get me wrong... I love summer vacation. By the end of the school year, I'm ready to trade our "normal" schedule for the longer, more relaxed days of summer. It's great to not have to worry about bus schedules, school schedules, after school activities and homework for a while. But around the beginning of August, the kids are starting to get a bit bored and I am practically salivating at the thought of a quiet house. It's always good to get back to our normal routines.
Did I mention the quiet house part? Working from home, the chaos of summer gets to be a bit much for me. But as of Wednesday, I now have a blessed 8 hours of silence every single day. Ahhhhh.....
To celebrate the start of another year, I spent a good portion of my day baking cookies.
No one came into the kitchen to ask me to drive them somewhere or make themselves lunch or ask me where their shoes are. I did not even once have to stop what I was doing to break up an argument or find out who was watching what on the upstairs television.
I just baked, blissfully uninterrupted, and then felt like super mom when the kids and their friends crowded into our kitchen later that afternoon to tell me about their day and eat cookies.
These hazelnut sandwich cookies really do make for an awesome after school treat.
But, they are elegant enough to present at any special occasion.
The buttery, tender nuttiness of the hazelnut cookies pairs perfectly with the whipped hot fudge and salted caramel fillings. But let's be honest. What wouldn't be good slathered in hot fudge and salted caramel?
FOR THE HAZELNUT COOKIES:
- 1 ½ cups butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup [=dry roasted hazelnuts
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL FILLING:
- 1 recipe Salted Caramel Sauce, well chilled
FOR THE CHOCOLATE FILLING:
- 1 cup store bought or homemade hot fudge or Nutella
MAKE THE COOKIES:
- Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor until they resemble corn meal. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and both sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, about 2 minutes.
- Put the milk and vanilla in a measuring cup.
- In a small bowl, mix the flour, hazelnuts and salt with a wire whisk just to blend.
- Pour the milk and vanilla into the butter and sugar mixture and beat on low speed just until the milk is incorporated enough to not splash out of the bowl, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the milk is almost completely incorporated into the butter and sugar, about 2 minutes longer.
- Add the flour and hazelnut mixture and beat on low speed just until combined, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place generous tablespoon sized balls of dough at least 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly with your hands, shaping them into circles that are about ½ inch high and as evenly and uniformly as you can.
- Bake the cookies for 12-16 minutes, reversing the cookie sheet in the oven halfway through to encourage even baking, until the cookies are set and the edges are just beginning to brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes before removing the cookies to cool on a wire rack completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
TO ASSEMBLE THE SANDWICH COOKIES:
- If using hot fudge, scoop it into a small bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it thickens and lightens to the color of milk chocolate.
- When the cookies are completely cool, lay them upside down on a work surface. Spread a thin layer of whipped hot fudge or Nutella on half of the cookies and a thin layer of Salted Caramel Sauce on the other half of the cookies. Assemble each chocolate half with a caramel half and refrigerate for about 20 minutes to firm up the fillings before serving. Cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 351Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 300mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 21gProtein: 4g
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