Nutella Shortbread Cookies
I'll always pick boots over heels.
I've had an obsession with boots since I was a girl. An obsession with western style, really, which was a conundrum being I lived most of my life in a Southern California beach town. I looked rather silly at times stomping around in leather boots in 80° F weather, but I never cared. Boots made me happy. I wore them as an expression of where I hoped to be, rather than where I was. I knew, someday, I'd be a cowgirl.
Someday is today. It took me 35 years, but I said goodbye to the sandy beaches of San Clemente, CA and moved on to the western town of Jackson, Wyoming. Known as Forever West, the cowboy culture runs deep here. I'm still finding my way around the haystacks, but I'm feeling very much at home. Horses, farms, ranches, and barns are a part of my day to day. I'm breaking in my boots the old fashioned way. Turns out, they look even better when they're dusty.
I'll take any opportunity to express my love of boots, even in my baking. I found the most adorable cowgirl boot cookie cutter, that coincidentally resembles one of my favorite pairs. Red leather Fryes, with belted straps and brass buckles, contrast stitching. So gorgeous. I saved up to buy them and they were worth every penny. I knew I had to create something in tribute to my love of the wild west and the fashion that goes along with it.
These Nutella Shortbread cookies are perfect. I like to call them Cowgirl cookies, of course my boys call them Cowboy cookies. They're a traditional rolled shortbread cookie, perfectly crisp and buttery, with a layer of chocolatey Nutella in between. I mixed some toasted chopped hazelnuts into the shortbread batter to give them a nutty, rustic texture, and enhance the Nutella flavor.
I adore how the Nutella layer, through the cutout, looks like leather. They're almost too cute to eat. These cookies are best enjoyed with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, while wearing your favorite pair of boots.
Nutella Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 30-36 cookies
- 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 1 jar of Nutella
- Cookie cutters in varying shapes and sizes.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar till just combined.
- Add the vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, sift flour and salt.
- On low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Add the chopped hazelnuts. Mix till the dough comes together.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough onto a floured surface, about a 1/4" thick and cut into desired shapes. Half should be whole cutouts and half should have center cutouts.
- Place on cookie sheets and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Bake the cookies for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool completely.
- Spread a generous layer of Nutella on the surface of the whole cookie. Place cookie with center cutout on top, press cookies together gently.