macadamia shortbread nutella sandwich cookies

I hopped on the Nutella train a little late...but now that I've learned of this delicious creation, I'm never jumping off! This recipe originally called for hazelnuts (which makes more sense because Nutella is a hazelnut spread) but I happened to have macadamia nuts that needed to be used up. The flavor of the shortbread really comes from roasting the nuts so any nutty substitute for hazelnuts would work - almonds or maybe even walnuts.

Shortbread Nutella Sandwhich Cookies

***Recipe adopted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? Cookbook

1/2 Cup Whole Macadamia Nuts (or any other whole nut as a substitute) 
1 and 1/2 Cups (3 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
2 Teaspoons Water
3 and 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
3/4 Cup Nutella 
Powdered Sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

On a pan, place the nuts and roast for 10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool. Place them in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar on low just until they are combined. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, and water. In another bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Add the flour to the butter mixture slowly on low. Once all of the flour is combined, add the nuts and mix until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Once the dough is chilled, split it in half and roll out one half at a time to a 1/4 inch (no thicker). Cut out circles with a medium sized cookie cutter and use a very small cookie cutter to cut out the centers. Place on a cookie sheet and chill the cookies for 15 minutes before baking. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. 

Once the cookies are out of the oven, allow them time to cool. Spread Nutella on to the inside of one cookie and place another on top to make a sandwich. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar. 

Eat up!

<3, The Sweet Petite

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