Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nutella & Sea Salt Stuffed Sugar Cookie

Remember how I had said a few posts ago that things were going to be very busy for me for the month of April? They are. My life feels like a hurricane at the moment; the last 5 days I've been busy non-stop before going to work for 3-4 hours, and then after work for another 3-ish hours. The last few days have been filled with working on a secret project for my best friend's wedding shower (can't say what in case she reads this!). It was something that I thoroughly enjoyed doing, particularly because it's for my best friend. And because I live 6 hours away from her and can do very little, I jumped at the opportunity to help out.

Have you ever taken something on, only to find yourself literally seconds later saying 'that might not have been the best idea I've ever had...' That was me. I took a step back and looked at my month and thought 'uh oh... This could turn out very badly.' I was worried that it wouldn't get done, but it's all finished with time to spare! The only thing is, now I'm behind on school work. I know that I should be starting to write my one assignment today that is due in a week, because tomorrow I'm volunteering for 4 hours and then I have my cake decorating class... but I just have zero motivation. I totally need a purely veg day- but that's just not realistic. So I'm taking my relax time and mentally gearing up to work on my assignment in an hour or two.

Realistically, I know that won't work out the greatest, because I'm planning on cooking a nice meal tonight using red snapper, which I've never had before! If all turns out well, it could be in a future blog post. So if I think it out in my head, I would start school work 5:00, work for an hour or two, cook and eat dinner, and then maybe work for another hour. For me, that doesn't equal much success. Usually I need a good chunk of time to sit down and write a paper, it's how I work best. But in a busy life that doesn't always happen, so I guess you just gotta work with what you got!

As part of my vegging day, I finally got around to making a batch of cookies that I flagged months ago! They are really delicious, nothing less than what I expected. The cookie is made out of a soft and fluffy sugar cookie that has a Nutella filling with flecks of course sea salt in it. You get sweet and salty all in one  several bites (at least for me!), although I must admit the sugar is the stronger flavour. I may end up putting a few more specks of salt in them next time, but I was worried they would be TOO salty :).

Go ahead and make them! And eat one while it's still warm, that's when they're the best. Or two.. or three, go on, I won't tell.

Yield: Approximately 24 cookies

1/2 cup Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sea salt

Using a 1 teaspoon measure, scoop out Nutella and place in small mounds on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is creamy and fluffy, 2-4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract.

Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually beat in the flour mixture until it is just combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture a few times to make sure all the flour is incorporated. Use 2 tablespoons of cookie dough for each cookie. Split the piece of dough in half and slightly flatten both halves. Sprinkle 5 or 6 grains of sea salt on one half of the flattened dough.

Using a small metal spatula or knife, life the mounds of Nutella from the baking sheet and lay on the bottom half of the cookie dough, on top of the salt. If the Nutella starts to soften, place back in the freezer for a few minutes (I had to do this several times). Cover the Nutella with the other piece of cookie dough and seal the edges with your fingers. Roll the ball in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar to coat it and place it on a prepared baking sheet.

Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart from each other. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time. They are done when the edges are set and beginning to brown, 10 to 13 minutes. The centres of the cookies should should still be soft and puffy.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then move to a rack to cool. Serve them warm for an extra special experience!

Source: Cookin' Canuck

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