Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nutella Cookies and Neighbors

I think it certainly goes without saying, when life gives you floods, bake cookies!!

I have figured out in my wise old years, when I am happy, I bake and when I am sad, I bake.  Needless to say, this past weekend provided so many emotions, including both happiness and sadness.  I feel so blessed that our family and home were spared by the floods thanks to our guardian angels and just the right height real estate.

At the same time, I have been overwhelmed with sadness, witnessing all the devastation around us and throughout Northern Colorado.  There have been so many people displaced and I just pray that they will be able to get back to their businesses and homes in the not too distant future.

So, there I found myself Sunday morning with a whole lot of butter, flour and sugar that needed to be shown some love.  Then there was of course, trying to decide which flavor cookie to bake.  It was definitely time to clear out the pantry and refrigerator with the various odds and ends ingredients that I had collected for the fair.

The decision was made...I couldn't just make one type of cookie, or even two, so I filled out my afternoon by making three different types of cookies.

Chocolate Chip with Peanut Butter Chip
Our friend and backyard neighbor Toni in Alaska brought a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies to us the day we moved in.  I wish that I could bake a plate of cookies for each of our neighbors that have been affected by the floods.  For now though, my family, husband's office and my coworkers will have to deal with the sugar fix this week.

White Chocolate, Oatmeal and Craisins
Toni also taught me that Nutella is the cure for all ailments and I think she may actually be right.  The star of the weekend was the simplest recipe for Peanut Butter and Nutella cookies.  These are really great to have on hand or plate up for your next door neighbor.

Peanut Butter & Nutella Swirl Cookies
Adapted from Sweetest Kitchen

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
3/4 Cup Smooth or Chunky Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1-3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg and vanilla.  Mix until well blended.

Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Drizzle Nutella on top of the dough then swirl it through the dough with a butter knife.

Chill dough 15 minutes in the refrigerator.  Roll into balls by hand.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Using a fork, press down the balls to flatten slightly.  Bake until edges are very lightly browns (about 7 to 10 minutes).

Allow to rest 2 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.

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