I know, finally, right?
Sorry, I was MIA, friends, but seriously, I thought I was dying of the zombie plague or something.
I did have a mysterious scratch on my pinky for several days.
At first, I thought it was the infection point.
Turns out it was just a scratch and nothing more, though.
When I didn’t fade away and reanimate as one of the brain-starved walking dead, I figured I was just regular sick.
And clearly melodramatic.
I was really down for the count, though.
It probably wouldn’t have lasted so long if I hadn’t kept deciding I was all well again, and trying to function like a real human, only to become sweaty, dizzy, and nauseous again for the rest of the day.
I’m still only functioning at about 75% real life human, though, so I’m taking it easy for a little while longer.
The sick is about 90% gone, thank the Lords of Kobol (who can guess my new obsession???), but it spawned these demon back spasms from the depths of hell, and fighting those is really what has me moving like I’m part sloth.
Anyway, I’m all “whine, whine, whine,” when I’m sure what you really want to know about is those mouthwatering little beauties up there, huh?
I had a couple more New Year’s Eve treats to share with you all last week, but I just couldn’t get motivated enough to finish writing the posts. Sorry.
So I’m saving them for another appropriate occasion…or next New Year’s Eve…whichever comes first.
Instead, I got my butt in gear and made something new for you.
Since I’m still not top notch, I wanted to make something quick and easy, but something that is still a special treat.
I had a craving for Nutella one day, and decided to bake it into some kind of cookie. I’ve never baked with Nutella before, and I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to make until I thought of myÂ oatmeal cream pie post.
Then I couldn’t stop thinking about a Nutella fluff filling.
And that (laziness combined with sickness rolled into a craving for Nutella and marshmallow fluff in the same treat), folks, is how one of the best cookies evah came into being.
**Vegan/dairy free substitutions included. Nutella is not vegan, but there are some linked alternatives.**
The cookie portion of these little devils is made up of just a few simple ingredients: all-purpose flour, Nutella (duh), sugar, brown sugar, unsalted butter, an egg, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt.
I based the recipe on m peanut butter cookie recipe, and it tasted great the first time around, but the cookies came out super crunchy.
I realized that adding Nutella in place of the peanut butter also meant adding more sugar, so I cut the sugars in half and tried again. This time the cookies came out perfect. They’re crisp and sweet on the edges, and soft and fudgy in the centers. Plus, cutting the sugar made the chocolate and hazelnut flavors of the Nutella stand out more.
If you have little hands that want to help, then rolling and pressing the cookies is perfect for them. As is the next step.
If you don’t have Sugar in the Raw, demerara sugar works beautifully, too. Or you can, of course, use regular granulated sugar.
Then just bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, and let them cool while you make some really incredible delicious Nutella fluff filling for them.
But if you want to take these to a whole new level, then the filling is a must. It’s a rich, sweet concoction of Nutella, marshmallow spread, a little sugar, a little butter, and some vanilla extract that is absolutely irresistible. It’s also fast and easy to make, like the cookies, so the great thing is that if you make this filling while the cookies are baking and cooling, then you can still have a fantastic, special treat in less than an hour.
I’m warning you now, though: if you made a resolution to eat less sweets this year, do not make these. Especially do not make this frosting. You won’t regret it…it’s too darn good for that, but you sure will ruin your resolution.
It’ll ruin it in all the ways a resolution should be ruined, but still.
These are such a wonderful spin on an old classic. They have the same great feel of a good old oatmeal cream pie, but with much more of a satisfy-the-chocolate-fiend-in-your-heart kind of taste. These can be whipped up, quick and easy, for a surprise after school snack that no one can say no to. Enjoy!
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies [Printable Version]
Makes 2 dozen cookies, or 1 dozen sandwiches
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened but still cool (margarine for vegan/dairy free)
1/4 brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg (1/4 cup applesauce for vegan/dairy free)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup NutellaÂ (Nutella is not vegan, as it contains whey, but there are several vegan recipes out there)
To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a small bowl; set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the egg (or applesauce) until combined. Add the Nutella and beat until well mixed. Stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture until combined.
Roll the dough into balls, one tablespoon at a time. Place the balls 2-inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
Press each ball gently with a fork in one direction, then again in the opposite direction. Lightly sprinkle the cookies with sugar. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting or serving.
Nutella Fluff Frosting [Printable Version]
Makes just the right amount to fill 1 dozen sandwiches
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (margarine for vegan/dairy free)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup marshmallow spreadÂ Â (vegan brand marshmallow spread, such asÂ Suzanne’s Ricemellow CremeÂ for vegan/dairy free)
1/2 cup Nutella (Nutella is not vegan, as it contains whey, but there are severalÂ vegan recipes out there)
To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Stir in the vanilla and pinch of salt. Mix in the marshmallow spread and Nutella, and whisk until light and fluffy. If the filling is too soft or runny, add more sugar as needed.
Assemble the sandwiches: Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling on the bottom of a cookie, then place another cookie, bottom side down, on top.
Recipes by Darla