Friday, February 18, 2011

Part II: Packaging More Care

It was 1 am. I needed to do something exciting.
     I mailed my care package, wrapped within an inch of its life in packaging tape and bursting at its seams with tupperware boxes, to CV today. What was it filled with? Peanut Butter Banana Bread, of course, and cookies. You may ask, what cookies? Well, this was actually a very tough call. I couldn't send something too chocolatey, because those don't always travel well in the mail. I couldn't send something shortbread-y because that is what I had sent to CV last time. And, as usual, I was constrained by the ingredients I had on hand when I made these cookies at 1 am last night.  


     So, what did I do? I searched through my cupboards. And what did I find? Nutella. That food of the gods. Dreamy chocolate hazelnut spread that I'm sure you've tried on bread as part of your balanced breakfast. Very few things in the world sound better than Nutella Cookies. And that is how Nutella Cookies ended up in CV's package.

Food of the Gods.
     It's amazing how many Nutella recipes there actually exist online. There are Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies and Nutella Hazelnut Cookies and Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies...but there is a strange lack of plain - which is just the wrong word to describe it - Nutella cookies. After much googling and searching I found one. It was perfect: ridiculously easy to throw together, using scandalously few ingredients, and not trying to mar the taste of Nutella with any extra frippery. (Not, that frippery is always a bad thing - I'm planning on making Nutella Chocolate Chip cookies soon, but at 1 am frippery can be frustrating.)


     I highly suggest you bake these cookies. They take absolutely no time, require nothing fancy, and only use 3 1/2 tablespoons of Nutella, so you will have plenty left for your regular Nutella eating - this is always a top priority consideration when one is contemplating cooking with Nutella. I constrained myself and only ate one of these cookies, as I wanted at least fifteen to send off to Canada. Less than fifteen cookies is just no gift at all, don't you think? It just doesn't look imposing enough. Regardless, I had to put the cookies away pretty fast after I tried one. It was the flavor of Nutella with the texture of a soft cookie. Need I say more? For when it arrives or for when you make it yourself, I suggest eating it warmed up slightly in the microwave. My mouth waters just at the thought. Do yourself a favor, make these cookies.

Nutella Cookies 
Adapted from The Diary of a Frugal Family 

Makes 15-20 Cookies

3 1/2 tbsp Nutella 
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp Sugar (i.e. 3 oz)
3 1/2 tbsp Butter, Melted  
1 Egg 
1 cup Flour 

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two baking sheets, and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the Nutella, sugar, and butter. Then, add the egg and flour and stir until thoroughly mixed. Next, scoop slightly less than a tablespoon of dough in a tablespoon measure and roll into a ball. Place the balls so there are about eight on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the cookies look firm. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet on top of a wire rack for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until dough is finished.

Note:

I just realized the original recipe called for Self-Rising flour, and I used regular All-Purpose Flour without adding anything to it. This is why I got soft cookies that did not spread very much but were thick. If you like thin, chewier cookies, you can use the same amount of flour plus 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder and 1/8 tsp Salt. I would only have 7 cookies on a baking sheet then because the cookies will spread out a lot more. So many possibilities! 

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