Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I know, I can be pretty mean sometimes. Fresh off of your Valentine’s sugar overload, and I’m sharing chocolate chip cookies with you that not only have brown butter in them but are also stuffed with Nutella. For real?! I don’t think I can ever go back to a plain chocolate chip cookie ever again. Browning the butter (which in case you didn’t know is a favourite pastime of mine) really takes the cookie dough to another level by adding an intoxicatingly nutty scent and flavour that is perfectly complemented by a dollop of Nutella. I can’t get over how much awesomeness is packed into each cookie.

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Piping out the Nutella in advance and freezing it makes it much easier to put these cookies together. I will warn you though that frozen Nutella doesn’t stay frozen for long, so work quickly and keep half of the Nutella dollops in the freezer until you need them. Enjoy!

Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields: about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
Chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella), about ½ cup
1 cup (16 tbsp.) unsalted butter
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. coarse sea salt, plus more sprinkling
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. greek yogurt or sour cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.  Place chocolate hazelnut spread in a plastic bag toward one corner of the bag.  Twist so that it does not squeeze out of the top.  Snip one corner off the end of the bag.  Pipe small dollops of the spread onto the wax paper, about 1-1½ teaspoons each.  You will need about 2 dozen.  Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and let sit until firm, about 2 hours.

Place the butter in a medium to large skillet over medium heat.  Melt the butter completely.  Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the butter foams, bubbles slightly, and begins to brown.  Continue whisking until the butter is evenly browned, being careful not to burn.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugars and the brown butter.  Mix on medium speed until well blended and smooth.  Blend in the egg and egg yolk, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla and greek yogurt.  With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Chill the dough briefly, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Use a medium dough scoop (about 2 tablespoons) to scoop a portion of cookie dough.  Press an indentation into the center of the dough ball to create a bowl shape.  Place a dollop of the frozen Nutella in the indentation and pinch together the edges of the cookie dough over the top to completely seal it in the center.

Place the shaped cookies on the prepared baking sheets, 2-3 inches apart.  Bake until the cookies are golden brown and set, rotating the pans halfway through, about 14 minutes total. Let sit a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Repeat with the remaining dough as needed (if you can resist eating it.)  Be sure to replace the remaining Nutella dollops in the freezer while waiting for cookies to bake.  It softens fairly quickly otherwise.

—SOURCE—
Annie’s Eats, from Ambitious Kitchen

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2-Ingredient Vegan Banana-Oat Cookies

IMG_4237So I guess the title of this post gives away exactly what the 2 ingredients are in these cookies, and if the title didn’t then the picture above definitely does! My sister had originally told me about these magical 2-ingredient cookies months ago but I didn’t believe her, and when I heard what the ingredients were I felt very skeptical. But one day I found myself desperately craving something sweet and baked but did not have the time or energy to whip up a batch of cookies. However I did happen to have a banana and a cup of oats and that was how I was finally introduced to these brilliant cookies. 1 banana, 1 cup of oats. You will have cookies baked and ready to eat in literally 20 minutes from the second you start. These cookies may not be the sweetest, the prettiest, or the most flavourful but they are good enough to satisfy any serious cravings. The bonus (as if only needing 2 ingredients and 20 minutes isn’t enough) is that they are a healthy, vegan alternative to traditional cookies and you can pretty much customize them any way you like!
IMG_4240The first time I made these, I stuck with 1 banana and 1 cup of oats, and added a handful of raisins as well. The raisins added a nice flavour and texture, but I found that while these cookies were amazing fresh from the oven, they dried out quite a bit after a few hours. The next time I made these, I used about 3/4 cup of oats, a handful each of chocolate chips and flax seeds, and 2 dashes of cinnamon and they were out of the world. AND they stayed pretty moist throughout the day. I ended up baking the exact same cookies 5 days in a row, and then I ran out of bananas, so sad. So try these cookies and don’t be afraid to experiment!

2-Ingredient Vegan Banana-Oat Cookies

Yields:  About 6 small cookies

Ingredients:
1 ripe banana
1 cup quick oats (use a bit less if you want your cookies to be more moist)

any additional mix-ins you like, including but not limited to: chocolate chips, raisins, craisins, cinnamon, flax seed, berries, nuts

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick spray. In a small bowl, break your banana into smaller pieces by hand and add the oats and any additional mix-ins you have chosen. Combine all ingredients together by hand until the batter has reached a uniform consistency. Using your hands, scoop out a small amount of the batter and form into a circle, then place on the baking sheet. Continue until there is no more batter left. The number of cookies you will get depends on how small or large you form them.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, and let cool slightly before devouring. Enjoy!

—SOURCE—
based off of Blogilates

Hedgehog Shortbread Cookies

IMG_4233One of my friends recently discovered these cute little hedgehog shortbread cookies on Pinterest and instantly emailed me the link…as soon as I saw them I knew I had to try them out. The original link didn’t show any step-by-step pictures, so after a few attempts, this is the method that worked best for me in shaping shortbread into hedgehogs!

After you have mixed your dough, it will be very crumbly and light. Grab a fistful with one hand.
IMG_4180Squeeze your fist to bring all of the shortbread dough crumbs together into something you can mold.

IMG_4181Now that you have a more pliable piece of dough, it’s time to shape it!
IMG_4182Keeping the hand that is holding the dough flat, place your other hand flat over the dough and rough both hands together to form an oval shape. If you find that your dough is crumbling off in small pieces, squeeze it again so it all sticks together, and gently work to reshape it.
IMG_4184I found that it helped to round out the edges a bit by curving my palm into a C-shape as shown below. I also went ahead and pinched the opposite end with my 2 fingers a little bit to form the beginnings of the snout.
IMG_4185Place your hedgehog down onto a sheet of parchment paper, and using your thumb, lightly make an indentation where the snout would be.

IMG_4187(You would do this with both thumbs, I couldn’t show that in the pictures though because I was holding the camera in my other hand 🙂 )
IMG_4188Next, use both thumbs on an angle to shape the snout/nose part.
IMG_4189Once you have baked the hedgehogs and have let them cool, dip/roll each individual hedgehog into melted chocolate, and then crushed walnuts or pecans. I found this to be the trickiest part, as the snouts were so delicate they kept breaking off. Some I was able to salvage by performing surgery (aka sticking the broken pieces back together with a bit of melted chocolate), but be warned that if a piece breaks off, it is hard to put back together!
IMG_4194Now all that’s left is to give each hedgehog a face! I melted a bit of chocolate in a ziploc bag in the microwave, cut the tip off a corner of the bag and used that to paint on the eyes and nose!
IMG_4235How cute are they?! I love how each hedgehog is different, just like us 🙂

Hedgehog Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Melted Chocolate chips
Crushed walnuts or pecans

Directions:
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Form cookies (in an oval shape with a pointed end) and place 2″ apart on on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F for 6-8 minutes or until set but not brown. Cool on wire racks.

Dip 3/4 of cookies in melted chocolate and then in crushed walnuts. Dot two eyes and a nose!

—SOURCE—
Six in the Suburbs

Toasted Coconut Shortbread

Now that December has finally arrived, it seems as though it is officially acceptable to start counting down the days until Christmas and to play Justin Bieber’s holiday album on repeat. Of course the upcoming holiday season only really means one thing to me: an excuse to bake as many sweet treats as my heart could possibly desire and share them with friends and family. If you are planning on giving out boxes of baked goods to your friends and family, I highly recommend adding these toasted coconut shortbread cookies to your list.
If you do bake these with the intention of giving the majority of them away, it will save you a lot of guilt from accidentally eating maybe 5 or 6 or 7 of these in one sitting. Oops. I can’t get over how addictive these things are. They are buttery and crumbly with a hint of toasted coconut, and are pretty easy to make considering how decadent they look. The only difficulty I had was rolling out the shortbread dough. It crumbled easy and I found it hard to make it hold it’s shape, but I only had the dough in the fridge for just barely an hour before I rolled it out, so next time I will probably plan my timing better and give myself more time to let the dough chill properly. I hope you will give these shortbread cookies a try!

Toasted Coconut Shortbread
Yield: about 32 medium sized cookies (depends on size and shape of cutter)

Ingredients:
For the cookies:
1 cup shredded coconut
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar
1¼ tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour

To finish (optional):
Bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped and melted
Toasted coconut

Directions:
Add the coconut to a medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the coconut is lightly browned, being careful not to burn it.   Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Blend in the salt and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour just until incorporated and a dough begins to form.  Mix in the toasted coconut.  Form a disc of dough and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.  Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill at least 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to just less than ¼-inch thickness.  Use a cookie cutter or pastry cutter to cut out cookie shapes.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheets.  Reroll dough scraps as needed.

Bake until light golden and crisp, rotating the pans halfway through baking, about 16-18 minutes total.  (Baking time will vary depending on the size/shape of your cookies.  Keep an eye on them!)  Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

If desired, dip cookies or drizzle with melted chocolate.  Transfer to a pan lined with wax or parchment paper.  Sprinkle with toasted coconut.  Let chocolate set completely before removing from the pans.

—SOURCE—
Annie’s Eats

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