orange u dreamy — orange nutella sandwich cookies

by hungryrabbit on December 21, 2011

Orange Nutella Sandwich Cookies

The distinct taste and scent of oranges has long claimed a place on my favorites list. As a boy, I couldn’t get enough of Pepperidge Farm’s Orange Milanos. I’d arrive home from school ravenous for a comfort-food fix before sitting down to a round of homework like a good Chinese child. Those orange and chocolate cookies got me through until dinner (well, supplemented by a trip or two into the kitchen to grab something else).

Now that I’m older and bake my cookies much more often than buying commercial ones, I always wanted to recreate a similar cookie that give me the same kind of satisfaction. As I’m heading home to visit my family for the holidays, the fond taste memories of Orange Milanos come back – I’m determined to update the cookie with an adult point of taste.

As I was considering various ingredients and consistencies, I came upon my beloved jar of Nutella, a chocolate hazelnut spread. It had to be a sign.

Starting with its original name Pasta Gianduja, Nutella is an Italian hazelnut and cocoa spread that’s been enjoyed by European families for decades. The name Nutella derives from the words “nut” and “ella,” which means soft ending.

The flavor profile of this cookie is related to Orange Milanos but it has an increased depth with Nutella replacing the chocolate. The crunchy cookie gives way to the creamy hazelnut-cocoa filling, a soft ending that lends a nice contrast and a luxurious feel to the overall experience.

Orange-Nutella Sandwich Cookies

yields: 15-18 cookies

Ingredients

3 tablespoons orange zest, freshly grated
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups (7-1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3/4 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
Nutella Buttercream, recipe to follow

Directions

1. In a small bowl, using finger tips, combine zest with 1 tablespoon sugar; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and remaining sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in reserved zest-sugar mixture. Add egg yolks and vanilla, beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with orange juice, and beat to combine.

3. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out disk to 1/8-inch thick using a lightly floured rolling pin. Using a lightly floured 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out dough and place about 1 inch apart on prepared sheet. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes. Transfer parchment paper and cookies to rack to cool completely.

6. Using an offset spatula, spread 1 tablespoon of buttercream onto flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, keeping flat sides down. Once filled, cookies can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutella Buttercream

Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup Nutella
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and Nutella on medium-high until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium-low, add vanilla, cream, salt and confectioners’ sugar to the mixer bowl and beat until the powdered sugar is incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until the buttercream is smooth, about 1 minute.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

easyfoodsmith December 22, 2011 at 12:04 am

Beautiful post! The cookies look heavenly :-) Thanks for sharing. I am glad I visited your lovely blog!
http://www.easyfoodsmith.blogspot.com/

Tina@flourtrader December 22, 2011 at 8:53 am

You did pull together some amazing flavors for these little gems! While we all are aware of the goodness of orange and chocolate together, the extra hazelnut flavor that the Nutella that you have brought into the equation does sound like a winner. Your description of the taste further proves that. Excellent job on the presentation also-i have saved this recipe!
Have a Merry Christmas, Ken and I look forward to seeing your delicious creations in 2012!

Margaret December 22, 2011 at 10:57 am

I love this flavor combination, and the cookies look gorgeous. Have a wonderful visit with your family. You will be missed while you’re gone, and can’t wait to dine with you more in 2012. xoxo

Angela@ Mind Over Batter December 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm

You have captured my heart with these cookies… I adore this combination and adding Nutella buttercream is mind blowing… I now realize it isn’t so odd when I wonder; “Can I get away with adding some orange zest to these?”

Um… To all cookies… All of them… OK – I’m slightly odd…

Ally December 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Stunning presentation! The Nutella buttercream sounds perfect. Chocolate & orange make a dream team!!
xo
http://allykayler.blogspot.com

Ambika December 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm

The cookies look awesome!!! And such amazing photographs! Love your blog!

Lokness@TheMissingLokness December 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Amazing looking cookies! Nutella and orange sounds like a great combo. I can’t wait to make some! Thanks for the great recipe. Happy Holidays!

Kim Bee December 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm

These are absolutely beautiful. I love your photos. Congrats on top 9!

Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen December 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I was never a big fan of chocolate and orange. I suppose this was due to the bad chocolate-orange candy i had as a kid (instead of the awesome cookie you had)… But, nothing could go wrong when nutella is involved… :)

Elizabeth @Mango_Queen December 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I love how you combined the flavors of Nutella and orange. It’s irresistable! This looks like a winner, Ken! Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays and enjoy the time with your family in HK!

hannah@ Bake five December 24, 2011 at 12:16 am

they look just lovely! (:

Jo December 26, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at foodepix.com.

Me And My Sweets December 27, 2011 at 8:52 am

These cookies look super tasty! And I love the pictures too!

sweetsugarbelle December 29, 2011 at 3:30 am

I love the sound of these flavors!!! Amazing as always!

Jen Laceda December 29, 2011 at 11:09 am

my kids will love these!!! who doesn’t love Nutella anything?

Russell van Kraayenburg December 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Look how cute these guys are. I love the little wrapping on some of them. Does that mean they’re a present for me??

Brian @ A Thought For Food January 2, 2012 at 7:25 am

I totally missed this post! I, too, love(d) orange milanos, but these look even better.

Chilliandmint January 3, 2012 at 5:47 pm

OMG such stunning presentation. They look absolutely divine I am going to have to try making them. Torie

argone January 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Very cute sandwiches !! thank you for the recipe, I will try it, but without Nutella (which contains palm oil) – I’d rather use an organic, palmoil-free alternative. Thank you !

Jamie January 10, 2012 at 7:45 am

Oh, Ken, your photos are more beautiful with each post! And how I love orange and chocolate together – I’ve been exploring this perfect combo in my baking more and more. These pretty cookies would make a huge hit in my home. Perfect!

abby dodge February 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

Gorgeous post ken.. Just delicious and lovely!
xx

nipponnin February 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm

These photos all are very artistic! Orange Milanos cookies are my favorite too. Congratulations on top 9!

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