We have a couple of 7th graders as guest chefs on the blog this morning; my daughter Olivia and her able assistant Kathryn. Olivia is a prolific baker of cookies at our house and she does have her favorites like Aunt Aggie’s Peanut Butter Cookies, which she made on this blog back when she was the tender age of nine and which she has recently been supplying to her pregnant and peanut butter craving dance teacher. As for what used to be one of my “Dad”specialties, The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, she and her 6th grader brother, Noah have all but taken over that domain; I don’t think I have made a single batch for several years.
When the kids set out to bake cookies for a sleepover the other night, I suggested Olivia search for a new recipe to try. I understand why she settled on this recipe; it has all the elements she would love. Like most kids she is very fond of Nutella but perhaps not so typically, she absolutely loves those dark chocolate covered caramels with a little sea salt or fleur de sel sprinkled on top, so this recipe naturally appealed to her. They turned out to be soft, fudgy cookies with a good caramelized sugar crispness to the edges and a little salty counterpoint to the overall sweetness while letting the hazelnut flavour of the Nutella still shine through. The sea salt addition may not be to everyone’s taste but it is easily omitted and as Olivia did in a separate batch, easily replaced by a toasted hazelnut in the center before baking. Either way, this recipe is a winner and well worth a try.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
Cream together until light and fluffy:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
Add and blend well:
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup Nutella
Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed nutella mixture in three different additions and
1/3 cup milk
in two separate additions, alternating between the two but beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about a half hour before rolling it into 1 inch balls. Place the balls about 2 – 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Slightly press down the balls with the bottom of a water glass and sprinkle each one with a small pinch of sea salt.
Bake at 325 degrees F for about 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.