Tag Archives: cookies

Cooking: Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

I cannot for the life of me remember where I found this recipe. My best guess is it is from Giada De Laurentiis, since quite a few of my recipes are derived from hers. I love these simple cookies, and they are perfect in a care package or as a pick-me-up. They are just the right amount of chocolate-y and just the right amount of chewy.

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Ingredients:

1 Cup (2 sticks) softened butter

1/4 C powdered sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 package mini chocolate chips

2 C flour

2/3 C Nutella

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your cookie sheets.

Beat butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add the cinnamon and flour, then beat in the Nutella. Lastly, fold in about half the bag of mini chocolate chips.

Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, drop 12 balls of dough at a time onto the greased cookie sheets. Bake them for 10 – 12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or wax paper to cool completely. With a small scoop, I get about 3 dozen cookies.

Enjoy!

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Camera: Shower of Sweets

My mom, sister and I threw a bridal shower for my cousin, Samantha. We went with a champagne and dessert buffet. Most of the guests would be Macedonian women, and they love sweet treats and sparkly drinks. It was quite a success, and I thoroughly enjoyed the long hours spent in the kitchen creating the delicacies.

Treat boxes for guests! Sam’s wedding color is purple, so we filled the boxes with a variety of purple colored candy as well as packaged dessert extras.

Among the goodies were Madelines, mini Pecan Tarts…

Gingersnaps…

Mama’s mini Lemon Meringue Tarts…

Devil’s Food cupcakes with homemade Vanilla Buttercream. I used to work in a bakery. ūüôā

Nutella Shortbread Sandwiches…

Maria’s Andes Mints cookies…

Our Baba’s baklava. No one makes it better.

The hostesses with the bride-to-be!

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New cookies!

I tried some new recipes this year, and they are definitely winners.  The first batch was thumbprints, filled with blackberry jam and raspberry preserves.

The raspberry ones were the best.

Thumbprints Recipe!

Ingredients:¬†2 C. sifted flour (it really doesn’t have to be sifted if you don’t want to deal with that), 1/2 tsp salt, 1 C softened butter/margarine, 1/2 C sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, any type of your preferred jam (we’ve tried blackberry, raspberry, and peach)

Directions:¬†Sift together flour & salt. Cream butter and sugar until light & fluffy. Add vanilla. Slowly mix in flour, 1/2 C at a time until just blended. Chill dough 1 to 2 hours. Preheat your oven to 325. Quickly shape dough into 1-inch balls and space 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. After cutting/trimming your thumbnail, make a deep thumbprint in the center of each cookie, but don’t press all the way through. Add a tiny scoop of filling. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies are the color of pale sand. Remove from oven and cool. Once cookies are completely cooled, you can dust with powdered sugar (for a party) or leave them plain (for at-home, tea-time enjoyment).

However, the superstar of the day was shortbread Nutella sandwich cookies.  Not much more can be said than WOW:  these are THAT good.

Nutella Shortbread Sandwiches Recipe!

Ingredients: 1 C softened butter/margarine, 1 C powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2.5 C all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp salt, and one jar of Nutella

Directions: Cream butter & sugar together. Add vanilla. Sift flour & salt, then slowly add to the mixer. If dough seems too dry, add a couple teaspoons of milk. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and chill for one hour.

Preheat your oven to 350. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut shapes (this is where these cookies lend themselves to any kind of party or holiday, so long as you have the right cookie cutter). Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet & refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Next, bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool at least 15 minutes. Spread Nutella on half of the cookies and sandwich them. If you want to glam them up a bit, dust them with powdered sugar.

Enjoy, sweethearts!

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Cookies

For most of my childhood and beyond, one Friday or Saturday in December has been set aside for Christmas cookie baking.¬† Sometimes Nana and Papa would drive down and join us, but it was always Mama and my younger siblings, baking from mid-morning until mid-afternoon.¬† We always make far more than necessary, far more than anyone will eat.¬† Dad and I prefer the gingerbreads, my brother cares for only the M&Ms cookies (the only candy the boy eats is M&Ms), my sister’s favorite is called Snowy Mountain Tops, and Mama just likes dessert in general.

Snowy Mountain Tops, while the least popular to eat due to their richness, are the most fun to make:¬† chocolate dough, mixed from scratch is refrigerated.¬† Spoonfuls are then rolled quickly into a ball and flattened into an even disc.¬† A Hershey kiss is nestled into the center and the edges of the dough are gathered around, encasing the kiss, creating a mountain peak.¬† After baking and cooling, the tips of the mountains are dipped on confectioner’s sugar, creating “snowy” mountain tops.¬† One year, while baking in the oven, all the Snowy Mountain Tops shifted on the baking sheet into two rigid mountain ranges, leading from one corner of the baking sheet to the other.¬† It was both¬†bizarre and awesome.

I think my love for the tedious baking-from-scratch was ignited and nurtured through this tradition of Christmas cookie baking.  Even if you throw out most of the cookies in the end, try baking them from scratch this year.  You may find it quite fulfilling.

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