I first came across these cookies while watching Giada De Laurentiis’ show, Everyday Italian, on the Food Network a few years ago. First, let me say that I have this strange fascination with Giada. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND how someone who cooks Italian food on a regular basis can be as skinny as she is. With all that cheese and pasta and those cream-based desserts, she should have some love handles or something to show for it, right? Right? But I digress.
On this particular episode, she was making treats for a children’s Halloween party, and these cookies were part of the spread. I perked right up when I heard her say the main ingredient was Nutella (a sweet hazelnut-flavored spread registered by the Italian company Ferrero at the end of 1963, in case you were wondering where the “Italian” made its appearance in this recipe). Now, I love me some Nutella, and so does Giada, apparently. But again, where is the evidence of this? Maybe it’s in her thighs, which are always hidden behind the counter? I rarely see her from the waist down.
Anyway, these cookies are super easy to make. The most laborious part of the process is rolling the dough balls in the colored sugar. I used orange and purple sugar with my batch, and they were uber-spooky and delicious. There is something about the slight crunch of the sugar coating that mixes with the chewy chocolatey-ness of the cookie that is utterly divine. The hint of hazelnut from the Nutella makes it so much more than just a plain chocolate cookie. I save the Hershey’s kiss for last, so that when I finish eating the cookie, the extra chocolate treat will comfort me and make me feel not-so-sad that the cookie is gone. And then I eat another anyway.