Pretty soon the shape of my tush is going to be grooved in my favorite perching spot to write – way in the back corner of our quaint, but perfect neighborhood coffee shop, Nina’s Cafe. I’ve spent countless hours there scribbling, backspacing, deleting, editing photos, brainstorming………….. all for my book, “Smitten with Squash”. It’s a labor of love, such an exciting project to share with all of you.
When I’m not writing, I’m happily in the kitchen, testing different recipes, different flavor combinations, different techniques.
I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into this writing this book……. And eating more squash than I would have ever imagined.
And admittedly not without a little stress. But “stress baking” has been my escape – hence these Nutella Thumbprint Cookies. I couldn’t help but post them on World Nutella Day. Oh the possibilities…
Since I’m using up a lot of my thoughts and words with the book, I’m thankful that these gluten free thumbprints don’t need a whole lot of explaining besides that they are utterly delicious bite sized treats. I made them for the first time during the holiday season (along with these) and I’ve made three batches since!
Even though the shortbread base is slightly overshadowed by the creamy, chocolatey, hazelnut brilliance of Nutella, I love it equally as much. Buttery, just the right amount of sweet, and a tender crumb.
The edges adorned with crunchy walnuts that toast up in the oven…… I filled a few with raspberry preserves too, for those crazy people who don’t care for chocolate.
Yep, melt in your mouth good. And perfect with a glass of cold milk. Swoon….
- Many people ask what kind of all purpose gluten free flour is the best and through lots of testing, Cup4Cup Flour is hands down the winner. The texture and consistency it gives to baked goods is unmatched by anything else on the market. Yes, it’s a little more expensive, but because I’m not baking all that often, it’s worth it. And no, it isn’t whole grain based, but to me that’s okay because if I’m indulging in a treat, I want it to taste like a treat, gluten free or not.
- Whatever gluten free flour you use (here is a mix that works great too if you want to make your own and what I use when all out of Cup4Cup) it is important to bake by weight, which is why I have the gluten free flour listed by weight. Since all flours have different density, reactions and textures it’s important to make them equals, which can be done if you are using weight for a measurement. You can read more about that in this excellent explanation.
makes 2 dozen cookies
inspired by my dear friend Kelli’s recipe
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs separated (the yolks go in the cookies, then use the egg white to finish)
1 tsp. vanilla
270 grams Cup4Cup gluten free flour (or 270 grams of your favorite ap gluten free flour mix OR 2 cups regular ap flour)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Nutella for filling wells
Cream the butter and sugars on high speed with a stand or hand mixer for about 2 minutes. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks and vanilla extract to the butter mixture. (Place the egg whites in a shallow dish on the side and whisk them until bubbly and frothy – they will be used to keep the nuts on the cookies).
Mix ingredients in bowl on low for 15 seconds until combined, then add in flour and salt. Mix on medium low until just combined. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Dip the balls into the egg whites then roll them into the nuts until covered. Place the balls on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets. Press down with your thumb to make a small well in the center of the cookie. Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes, then take out and make the well a little larger with the back of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon. Bake for an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly firm. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet to firm up before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling. With a small spoon, put a dollop of Nutella into the well and use the back tip of the spoon to smooth it out. Will keep at room temperature stored in a covered container for one week.