While I’m not so much a baker…I am whole-heartedly someone who never comes to a dinner empty handed. My mother was the same way. Even if she just brought flowers or a condiment to go with dinner, I’ve come by my gracious guest complex honestly. We’ve so happily moved into a neighborhood in close proximity to several of our friends and the entertaining and group meals have been bountiful. Some of our dearest friends invited us over for taco night and Caipirinhas on sort of short notice – if I don’t have 48 hours to flip through cookbooks for inspiration and obsess about what to make, it’s short notice.
Our hosts are a gluten-free house…and since I’m always the one that provides the soups and salads…I went out on a limb and made cookies. Gluten free cookies. Oh yeah…and there was Nutella. Being able to provide a delicious sweet treat for our GF friends – for whom its often ice cream or bust with us – is a really special thing and made me extremely happy. Here’s the thing: these cookies are insanely peanut buttery and addictive whether you’re gluten free or not. The crumbly, crunchy texture and pure peanut butter taste of the cookie paired with the silky nutty Nutella is a match made in heaven. As someone who doesn’t eat a lot of chocolate, I always find the sweetness of Nutella to be a little overwhelming so I sprinkled the spread with a teensy bit of sea salt to take the edge off. It’s gorgeous. Everyone at the table had two to finish their meal…pining away not for another cocktail but a cold glass of milk to pair them with.
Flourless Peanut Butter Salted Nutella Thumbprint Cookies – makes 18-20 cookies – adapted from this recipe by Claire Robinson
– Preheat the oven to 350 F & place racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until well combined. Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture about 1 inch apart onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Flatten the mounds into even cookie shaped rounds about 1/2″ thick. Bake until beginning to brown – about 7 minutes. Using the back of a melon baller or small scoop, make slight thumbprint indentations in the dough. Rotate the baking sheet and bake for another 5-7 minutes until set and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool and firm up – these cookies are fragile while warm and can break easily until they cool. Once cooled, drizzle 1/2 tsp. of well stirred Nutella into the thumbprint well of each cookie and top with a tiny sprinkle of sea salt.