January 15, 2012

Nutella & Oatmeal Cookie-Stuffed Pies

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This week was... not an especially fun week. The company that I kind of/sort of/don't really/actually do work for (I'm employed by the facilities management company, not the company that I actually work for. Confused yet?) picked up a new contract. Which would be good news. Except for the fact that they had just let go of a butt-load of temps. So they picked up the contract last Friday, and they needed to hire 30 more temps. By Wednesday. Yeah. Chaos ensued.

Of course, this meant that I had to work almost double hours this week, which is fine. More moolah for me. Except the desk at its busiest is not fun. Answering phones, greeting visitors, directing interviews to the right spot, and answering e-mails all have to happen at the same time. Then I had a migraine on Wednesday, the lingering kind that medication can't really banish, the other receptionist took off on Thursday (9 and a half hours, alone, with no one but irate callers to keep me company), and Friday we had friggin' Armageddon weather with sleet, rain, snow, wind storms, and random bouts of cheery sunshine. Never have I been so glad to see the end of a week (and this is including finals week in college, so keep that in mind).

I decided that I deserved Nutella after this week. But not just Nutella. Nutella with a soft, comforting oatmeal brownie cookie, enrobed with flaky pie crust. Yeah, it was that kind of week.

I'm trying to learn new photo editing software, so sorry if some things look a bit weird
There's nothing too unusual here. Flour, sugar, butter, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, and quick oats. And a pinch of salt, which wasn't even worth photographing (sneaky ninja ingredient)
 Just like always, mix together the dry ingredients (save for the oats) in a mixing bowl. Oh, one difference this week: you can use a smaller bowl! Exciting.
Beat together the butter and sugar, add the eggs and vanilla, mix in the flour mixture, and then fold in the oats.
And the real stars of the show: flaky pie crust and ooey-gooey Nutella. Yes, I used premade pie crust, and yes, it's even the cheap kind. Pie crust is hard and takes a long time with the chilling and the rolling. Using the ready-made stuff just gets these puppies in the oven faster. You can be fancy and make your own pie crust if you really, really want. I won't stop you.
Thaw the pie crust according to the directions on the package. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a round cookie cutter about 3 1/2 inches in diameter, cut the pie crust into circles, you'll have to reroll the dough a few times, but I generally get a good 22 circles out of 1 package of pie dough. Lay out 11 of the circles on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat. These will be your bottom crust.
Drop the cookie dough by the tablespoonful in the middle of the dough circles. Now comes the messy part: using a finger, press a slight indentation in the cookie dough (you could, I guess, use a spoon, but what fun is that?). Drop the Nutella by the teaspoonful into the indentations.
Cover with the remaining pie dough circles and pinch the edges together. Using a fork dipped in flour, seal the edges together. Brush the tops with a little water, sprinkle with sugar, and use the fork to poke steam holes in each ones.
Bake at 375 degrees until the crust starts to turn a light, golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Now, you will have a lot of extra cookie dough. You can always halve the dough recipe. Or you can make it separately. Your choice. Just bake at 350 degrees until the cookies set, about 7-8 minutes.
These didn't come out quite as I had imagined. The cookies kind of absorbed the Nutella, like little Nutella vampires. Which is totally not a bad thing. Just make sure to serve these with a glass of milk. And probably a scoop of ice cream. Or two.

Nutella & Oatmeal Cookie-Stuffed Pies {Printable Version}
 Yield: 11 pies plus 14 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 pinch salt
¾ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup quick oats
1 package refrigerated pie dough
11 tsp. Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
Water, for brushing

Preheat oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl with electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Fold in the oats.

Thaw the pie dough according to the directions on the package. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into approximately 3 ½ inch circles, rerolling as necessary. Place 11 of the dough circles on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Drop the cookie dough by the tablespoonful into the middle of each circle. Make an indentation in the cookie dough with a finger, and drop 1 teaspoonful of Nutella into the indentation. Place a second circle of pie dough on top and pinch it together with the bottom. Seal by pressing the edges together with a fork dipped in flour. Repeat for all 11. Brush the tops with water, sprinkle with sugar, and use a fork to pierce holes in the top crust to let out the steam. Bake until the pie crust is a light, golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

To make the remaining cookie dough, drop by tablespoonful on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Bake at 350° until cookies set, about 7-8 minutes.

Cookie dough recipe adapted from Hershey’s Homemade. Cookie-stuffed pie recipe by Kim