Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nutella Peanut Butter Pillows

Oh yes. These really are just as good as the picture.  But I can't take credit; these wonderful pillows originated from Une Gamine dans la Cuisine.  I only altered it a little. These are so flavorful and incredibly amazing.  The outside is a peanut butter cookie with slightly crisp edges, and the inside is a soft cloud of peanut butter-nutella filling.  They're rolled in a sweet-and-salty pile of peanuts, cinnamon, and sugar.  And it's really fun to roll them...who doesn't love playing with cookie dough? ;) The slight saltiness, especially from the sea salt, makes these little master pieces have loads of flavor.  The almond extract gives it a really fantastic nut taste, as opposed to using vanilla extract.The cookie tastes like a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich only without the boring slice of bread. Imagine that instead of bread, you have a sugar cookie with a sprinkling of sea salt and cinnamon. Grab a tall glass of ice cold milk and prepare to be transported to a Nutella and peanut butter filled heaven.

Cookie Ingredients
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of cake flour (if you don't have cake flour, all-purpose can be substituted, but just use 1/4 a total of 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour)
1/2 tsp. of baking Soda
3/4 tsp. of sea salt
1/2 cup ( 1 stick ) butter. At room temp.
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter (crunchy is fine too, but they're more "pillow-like" with smooth)

Nutella Filling Ingredients
1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup of Nutella
1/4 tsp. of sea salt
1 Tbsp. of cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. of granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. of confectioners sugar

Topping/Rolling Ingredients
1/4 cup of finely ground, roasted (regular peanuts are fine too) peanuts (run through the food processor )
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. of sea salt

In a small bowl, Sift the flours and baking soda together. Whisk in the sea salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, Cream the butter. Add the sugars and beat at medium speed for about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the almond extract and *peanut butter.* Add the flour mixture a little bit at a time. Be careful not to over mix. Stop beating when all the flour streaks are gone. Cover and refrigerate for an hour while you make the filling and topping.
* If you lightly grease and flour the measuring cup it will be much easier to remove the peanut butter. *

To make the Nutella filling, Combine all the ingredients and mix well. You should be able to easily roll the filling into ball forms. If it is too sticky add more confectioners sugar. Set aside until ready to use.

To make the topping, Simply mix all the ingredients into a shallow bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Measure out about 2 level tablespoons of the chilled cookie dough. Roll into a ball and flatten out onto the parchment paper. Roll some of the Nutella dough into a smaller ball and place on top of the cookie dough, Press in slightly. Gently fold the cookie dough over the Nutella so it is completely covered. 
Carefully roll into a ball and roll the ball into the topping so it has a nice coating. Place ball back onto the parchment paper and lightly press down with the bottom of a glass.

Place cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are a light gold.

Makes about 20-28 cookies. *You can adjust the size of your cookies and use as little or as much filling as you want. Just be sure to adjust the baking time accordingly.*

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