Every year I remember World Nutella Day right about the time all of the great Nutella-related posts start popping up everywhere around me. Always just a wee bit too late to join in on the fun… never enough time to get to the store to pick up a jar of Nutella (I can’t keep it in the house without devouring it spoonful by spoonful), come home and create something wonderful with it, and blog about it. It’s rough being me, people.
This year… my friends… I did it! Not only did I remember far enough in advance that I get to play along… I even have a double-whammy for you! Today, I present you with the first whammy — the Hazelnut Rugelach. Decadent, easy little pastries made with a fabulous cream cheese dough, these would be perfect for entertaining (how adorable would they be for a baby shower?!). These are, in a word, amazing.
Check back on Friday (the official World Nutella Day!) for whammy number two! What’s that? You want a hint? Hmmm…. Just remember…. imitation is the best form of flattery!
(adapted from The Barefoot Contessa)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2-pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4-1 cup Nutella or hazelnut spread, heated slightly
1/2 cup skinless, toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
sparkling sugar crystals for sprinkling
Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2-3 tablespoons of Nutella and a sprinkling of the chopped hazelnuts. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 8 equal wedges—cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into halves. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush each cookie with the egg wash and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.