Tuesday, February 6, 2007


After Sundays frustration with the oven, I was determined to make proper granola last night. I suppose I could have eaten the last dregs of Kashi cereal in the cupboard and not bothered to do anything at all (except watch some Frasier and sip a glass of Chardonnay), but I hate to eat the bottom of the bag of cereal. I always feel that there must be something wrong with it. Why hasn't it been eaten up by now? Is it even remotely fresh at this point? Or will I chip a tooth and be more miserable than I was after the granola disaster? In the end, more work for better cereal. And it was definitely better. I ran out of cranberries but we discovered dried pineapple at Community Health and Josh fell in love with it. So that was chopped up along with the usual fare and I stirred the brown sugar in before the oil and honey which i think made it mix better. The real solution to the burning, though, was to use a 35o degree oven and cook until barely 15 minutes had passed. It was golden and chewy and crisp at the same time and, this morning with yogurt, was absolute heaven.

My other project last night was to use up the jar of Nutella in the fridge that taunts me. What is better than Nutella licked from a spoon? I could devour that calorie laden spread if I didn't come up with some ways to use it. I had never heard of baking with Nutella which is odd because it has the texture and creamy-ness of peanut butter so it should be quite versatile. Once I started reading blogs, I realized I was not the only one with a Nutella obsession. Cheesecakes, crepes, cookies and cakes were experimented with and deamed worthy of the Nutella goodness. So I found a cookie recipe at Alpineberry that seemed simple and had at it. This cookie is similar to a peanut butter cookie in terms of crumb and texture but the addition of cocoa and chocolate chips adds an incredible richness. Josh's office loved them this morning with coffee and I think they just might be worthy of a recipe card...


Nutella Cookies
(makes 30 cookies)
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
7 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted & skinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.
Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.
Cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in Nutella and vanilla extract. Mix in egg.
Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Add chocolate chips and hazelnuts.
Drop tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for about 11 minutes until the edges look set. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then carefully remove to cooling racks.

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