1 hour, 15 minutes
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies
Nutella, a smooth hazelnut and chocolate spread (a take on gianduja, really), is beloved by Italians and is available in supermarkets. In this dessert, by Karen DeMasco, the spread is used to both flavor the oatmeal cookies and as a filling. For more of Karen's delicious desserts look here.
For the cookies:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter plus 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
1 cup rolled oats (preferably Quaker)
3/4 cup Nutella
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature (see Notes below)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup Demerara sugar (see Notes)
For the filling:
Special equipment: parchment paper
For the cookies: Heat oven to 350º. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large skillet, melt 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter over medium heat. Add oats and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly golden, about 5 minutes; transfer oats to a large metal bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine very soft butter, Nutella, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed, frequently scraping down the sides of bowl, until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg and beat to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In two additions, add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing on medium-high speed until well incorporated, then add oats and mix until dough comes together and oats are incorporated.
Lightly flour the palms of your hands. Scoop 1 level tablespoon dough, roll into a ball, place on a prepared baking sheet, then flatten to about 1/8-inch thick. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookies at least 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the cookies are fragrant and lightly golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment paper to wire racks to cool completely. (Cookies can be stored, unfilled, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.)
To fill the cookies: Drop about 1 tablespoon Nutella over the flat sides of half of the cookies. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, gently spread the filling. Sandwich with remaining cookies, flat sides together.
Once filled, cookies are best same day, but can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Notes: Demerara is a natural brown sugar, an English version of turbinado sugar but with a slightly larger crystal size. When sprinkled on cookies and pie crusts, it adds sparkle and crunch. Turbinado is a good substitute while granulated sugar will work in a pinch.
Because some readers were having trouble with the cookie as originally written, we added one egg to the dough to provide more consistent results. Those who loved the recipe as originally written can simply omit the egg.
Recipe by Karen DeMasco
Photo by Nina Choi