Requires: Stand mixer (alternatively, use electric beaters), 2 shallow baking trays and a disposable piping fitted with star-shaped nozzle
Preheat the oven to 180°C conventional oven (356° Fahrenheit/Gas 4). Line 2 shallow baking trays with baking paper.
Tip: Baking paper is best for this recipe as silicone baking mats allow the cookies to slide while baking.
To make the chocolate cookie dough, use a stand mixer to beat the butter, castor sugar, eggs, vanilla bean and a pinch of salt until combined. Alternatively use an electric mixer.
Use a spatula to combine the flour and cacao into the cookie dough, tablespoon by tablespoon until just combined. As the dough forms, you will need to use your hands. Transfer dough to a clean work bench and knead until smooth.
Note: 00 is a powder-fine Italian type of flour. It is made from soft wheat varieties, and is frequently used in Italian desserts and pastas. 00 flour is available in most supermarkets, Italian food stores and gourmet delicatessens.
Cover the cookie dough with cling film (plastic wrap) and refrigerate for minimum 30 minutes.
Tip: This is particularly important in warmer climate.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Roll one tablespoonful of the dough (20-22g approximately) into a ball, then place it on one of the prepared baking trays. Repeat using the remaining cookie dough, ensuring that the balls of dough are well spaced out on the two trays to allow room for spreading. Refrigerate for a further 5 minutes.
Remove the trays from the fridge. Use your index finger or the end of a wooden spoon to make a small indentation in the centre of each ball.
Bake, placing one tray on the middle groove and one on the bottom, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for 10-12 minutes.
Once cooked, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the Nutella in a piping bag fitted with star-shaped nozzle. Pipe Nutella into the hollow in the middle of each cookie. Happy cooking – buon appetito!