When I met Rowena from Apron and Sneakers in Rome last month, she introduced me to one of her favorite Italian chocolates, Venchi Nougatine. It was love at first bite for me – the caramelized ground Piedmont hazelnuts covered in 56% dark chocolate are absolutely divine. Needless to say, I visited Venchi Bologna later in the trip to pick up a few more packages of Nougatine to bring home with me.
For these tender and chewy cookies, I mixed in a handful of coarsely chopped Nougatine and then aged the dough overnight to allow the flavors to blend (stash the dough in the back of your refrigerator so you won’t be tempted to dig in early!). The caramelized hazelnuts add a nice brittle texture to the cookies; these are a must-try for chocolate-hazelnut lovers! Now that my jet lag has subsided, I’m ready to fly back just for Nougatine – place your order in the comments ;).
Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Nougatine Cookies
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
2/3 cup (100 g) Venchi Nougatine, roughly chopped
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until creamy. Add egg and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; beat just until incorporated. Fold in Nougatine. Cover dough and refrigerate 24 hours.
When ready to bake cookies, remove dough from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Form 1 1/4″ balls of dough and place two inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 9 to 10 minutes or until golden. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
Yield – 36 cookies (serving size: 1 cookie)
Calories – 70
Carbs – 8