I baked yesterday. Nutella Cookies. They ate them and the world rejoiced. Okay, maybe not exactly :)
Some people bake because it’s their passion, others bake for special occasions or when they’re entertaining. Personally, I do bake for birthdays and holidays but not really for entertaining. Perhaps I’m not a big baker because I worked in a bakery for many years ( sometimes the smell of buttercream or proofing dough haunts me). I love to entertain but I’m not one for a dessert course and if I serve it — I rather make homemade ice cream. I do however bake when I feel like my girls need a little extra mom-love. Like yesterday. They needed some love and sugar, I gave them a big does of both :).
It’s been a crazy week in our home… lots going on but nothing out of the ordinary. Work, school, soccer, dance … and I noticed I was a little “short” with my girls yesterday, the week was clearly wearing on me. We needed a sugar-love intervention. So, I told the girls to play outback with the pup for a bit and I whipped up these babies. Then, we ate cookies and painted our nails – girl time with mom. Then we all felt better. Love it when life is that simple.
1. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about two minutes. Add the vanilla and hazelnut extract and beat until extracts disappear. Add the Nutella and mix until batter is smooth.
2. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternately with the milk in one batch, mixing well. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes before baking. You can make the dough a few days in advance, just wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
3. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Take a tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball. Place on lined baking sheets and gently press down on the dough ball. Continue making dough balls until the cookie sheets are filled-leave two inches in between cookies.
4. Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes or until soft, but starting to set. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
They’re delicious, make them now. Next, I have to try this avocado ice cream from two peas & their pod. THAT sounds ah-maz-ing.
Want to know how to make chocolate covered strawberries even better? Try soaking them in chocolate vodka overnight before you dip them!
First, rinse your strawberries. Then place them in a jar. Pour in chocolate vodka until they are submerged. Seal and refrigerate for 24 hours. *Note – you really need to let them soak. I ate one after only 6 hours and your could note yet taste the vodka.
After 24 hours (or so), remove the strawberries from the jar of vodka and pat dry. Then dip into your favorite melted chocolate (I chose white chocolate).
Then arrange your vodka-soaked dipped berries onto a cute cake stand or platter. Your loved ones will be oh-so-thankful!
Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe
-Chocolate infused vodka (such as Godiva)
-Chocolate for melting
*Rinse berries and soak in a jar of vodka for at least 24 hours. Remove berries from jar and pat dry. Dip berries into melted chocolate and let dry on wax paper. Plate and serve!
Looking for something new to whip up this Halloween? While on the hunt for new pumpkin dessert ideas, I came across this recipe. I am going to try these Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Martha Stewart. What do you think? I am guessing that they are going to be our new favorite!
Makes about 20
FOR THE COOKIES
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
FOR THE FILLING
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Prepare cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
Place butter, shortening, and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla. Mix in remaining flour mixture.
Drop about 2 teaspoons dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies spring back when lightly touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and let cool 10 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheets and transfer to wire racks using a spatula; let cool completely.
Prepare filling: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese, butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg; whip until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
Pipe or spoon about 2 teaspoons filling on the flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, keeping the flat sides down.
Today is National Donut Day, and in honor as such a sweet calendar event- I thought I would share some great donut inspiration with you. The next time you are planning a party- consider swapping your traditional cake out and serve donuts instead.
Saint Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, so let’s start with dessert first! If you are looking for an interesting St. Paddy’s dessert idea or simply a reason to drink more Guinness- look no further!