Yesterday we had a picnic at George Clooney's.
I didn't say we actually shared sandwiches and camembert with him, but we did take a drive to Lake Como, we sat and gazed at the amazing view (not Clooney, for all I know he is not even around right now) from Cernobbio, fed the ducks and swans with our left-over bread and then drove by his
100% paparazzi proof gates villa. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny day, the real first hint of spring we have had this winter.
I baked these sweets for my very own George Clooney, my handsome Italian husband, the only man I have eyes for (although I will admit I frequently eyed the motorcycles riding by our car and craned my neck to see where the basketball court of Laglio is, where George is rumored to play with the locals).
But back to the cookies. For someone who declared not to be much of a cookie baker, I have been on quite a roll lately. It all started because I had a whole, new jar of Nutella sitting in my kitchen that I had bought when I was caught up in the excitement of the Nutella muffins I made a while back.
Now, you must know there is a favorite cookie in Italy called Grisbì that has a lovely soft, Nutella-like center. For some reason I decided I wanted to attempt making them on Friday night, I was set on creating a button of rich, buttery dough that hid a creamy nutty, chocolatey heart. I searched online and found just a few, very approximate recipes. I proceeded to make them quickly, by hand. They turned out rustic and moreish and oh, so good.
Both kids loved them (have I mentioned that my daughter is not a cake/muffin lover and only eats about 10% of what I bake these days?) and my husband F asked me last night if I could pretty please make them again...not bad eh?
150gr softened butter
3 eggs (1 whole, 2 yolks)
cocoa powder (unsweetened)
Nutella (about 200gr)
Mix all of the ingredients together, as if you were making shortcrust. The amount of cocoa powder was not specified and I only used a couple of tablespoons. I will be sure to use more when I make these next time (because there will be a next time for sure) to get a dark brown, intensly coloured cookie. When the dough is ready, form little balls with your hands, about the size of a walnut. Flatten them out by hand, place a little under a teaspoon of Nutella in the center and pinch them closed. Place them on a lined tray, seam side down, in a preheated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. This makes about 20. Next time I may coarsely grind some hazelnuts and mix them into the dough.
If you want a less homey looking cookie, something a little more dainty and refined, you will have to roll out your dough thinner. I didn't have the time (what else is new?) or the patience but let me know how they turn out if you do.