It didn’t start out as a hangover-cure-cookie, it just worked out that way. To understand how it came to be said cure, here are the pieces of Friday night: a birthday party… a cookie gift… a campfire… a bottle of wine, may be more, for sure more… a hash-brown casserole eaten directly out of the fridge by one, then two, then three girls wielding forks at 1am… a 2am night-cap… a 3am ‘serious talk’… a 4am bedtime.
Which means, the next piece comes up with the sun… Saturday morning. She was ok when she first woke up… and then it started to spiral… (and no, I am not referring to “she” as code for “me”, actually a friend). Luckily there are heroes that swoop in to rescue Saturdays like these. Heroes that, sometimes, look like these….
What is it about these bad food Batmans that seems to cure the ‘day after’? For me, my caped crusaders are chocolate milk and cheese toast. I did a poll of my girlfriends, and here are their hangover-superheroes: vegetable thins with peanut butter, burger, fries, soup, Kraft Dinner, chestnut mousse, Mr. Noodles, and this cookie all save the day.
Not one of these ladies call on an apple or a cup of cottage cheese in their time of need. It seems at odds with what should be. You have been bad to your body so you should now be good, but no, it wants more unhealthy action. And, you are rewarded for this backward behaviour with a cure: you feel lighter, you feel energized, you feel like crawling out of your hole. It’s a mystery, but thanks to the bad food heroes, we all live to bake / garden / work / camp / dance another day.
Anyway, as I said, I did not start out this little baking expedition to create the Wonder-Woman-hangover-cookie, even though I am glad it hooked a girl up. I started out wanting to make a slight variation on a cookie I baked last week, but wanted to stick with my new balanced baking mantra: “because I use (healthier method), I can add (naughtier ingredient)”. It required a little mental journey to get there, I started at my mocha shortbread sandwiches, but knew I wanted them to be more hazelnut and less mocha. I then played with the ratios and used One Smart Cookie as a guide to lowering the fat and ended up here, with these… Hazelnut Sugar Cookies with Nutella. Victory, the rule holds true: because I cut the butter from 1 cup to 1/4, I can have nutella.
Hazelnut Sugar Cookies
1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
1/3 cup ground hazelnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
With a mixer, beat the butter, oil and sugars until light and a little fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg, beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, hazelnuts, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine (either by hand or on the lowest setting of your stand alone mixer with the paddle attachment). Once it comes together into a soft dough, make it into a disc, wrap in plastic and place in the fridge for 45 min – 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Lightly dust the counter with a flour and sugar mixture and roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2″ fluted (or plain) cookie cutter cut all the dough and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If you wish, remove the centres from half of the cookies with a smaller cookie cutter. Also bake the cut out pieces for pint-sized snacks. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until edges are set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Spread a little nutella on the bottom cookies (the full cookies) and sandwich with the top cookies (the ones missing their middles). They will end up looking like chocolate linzer cookies. Place in the fridge to set. Remove 30 minutes before serving.