Do you have a favorite cookie recipe for the holidays? I have a few classics that I love to bake – sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies are two of my favorites. However, I always have a difficult time picking my “favorite” cookie… There are so many to choose from!
One of the things I really love about baking around the holidays, though, is that it gives me a good excuse to try new recipes! I do quite a bit of baking and make *lots* of cookies for parties and homemade gifts, so each year I try a few new cookie recipes. Last year I tried a recipe from the 2005 Taste of Home Christmas Cookies & Candies Recipe Cards (I always have to pick up those magazines in the checkout line at the grocery store. I have a serious problem with that!). The recipe was basically a peanut butter cookie with a Milk Dud in the center. The Milk Dud melts inside the cookie as it bakes, which means the cookies stay soft and chewy. They were a big hit with my friends and family.
This year, I decided to use the Milk Dud idea to make some cookies of my own. Instead of peanut butter, I used Nutella (and adjusted accordingly) to make chocolate hazelnut cookies with a caramel center! The cookies are the perfect balance of crisp and chewy. The outside of the cookie gets slightly crisp while the caramel on the inside stays chewy and keeps the center of the cookie soft. These are definitely one of my new favorites!
Today I’m sharing my cookie recipe with you as a part of the 12 Days of Sharing being hosted by In Jennie’s Kitchen! This year I have repeatedly been reminded of how blessed and lucky my husband and I are, and I am especially blessed to have the ability to give back and support organizations that are making a difference and helping those who are less fortunate. One of the organizations that I am especially passionate about is Share Our Strength, and I was thrilled to participate in the 12 Days of Sharing event to join in the fight against childhood hunger.
By sharing our favorite cookie recipes, we can all help raise awareness about childhood hunger and help to end childhood hunger by 2015… It’s a pretty bold statement, but Share Our Strength is making it happen! Just a small donation goes a long way. $25 can feed a child three healthy meals a day for a month (via Share Our Strength site). That’s pretty amazing, considering there have been times where I have spent more than that on coffee in a week!
Today’s the second day of the cookie swap, so you still have lots of time to participate… Here’s how:
- Make a donation to Share Our Strength by clicking on the banner above! Not only will you be helping to end childhood hunger in America, you’ll also be entered in a giveaway for some really great prizes (including a Cuisinart stand mixer)!
- Join in the fun by posting your favorite cookie recipe and adding it to the virtual cookie jar. Be sure to encourage your readers to join in and consider making a donation! (Click here for posting details…)
- Keep visiting In Jennie’s Kitchen for featured recipes and participating blogs as well as all of the tasty additions to the virtual cookie jar!
- Spread the word! Be sure to tell all of your friends and family about the 12 Days of Sharing and encourage them to participate. Consider donating a few of your tweets and status updates to the 12 Days of Sharing to spread the word on Facebook and Twitter!
I plan to post a few more of my favorite cookie recipes during the remaining days of the 12 Days of Sharing. Until then, I will leave you with my Caramel Nutella Crisps!
Caramel Nutella Crisps
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups Nutella
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Milk Duds (approximately 10 ounces)
- Additional granulated sugar for coating cookies (about 1/2 cup)
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, Nutella, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs one at a time.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least an hour.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Scoop out rounded tablespoons of the cookie dough, and press a Milk Dud into the center of each. Roll into a ball, and toss in the extra sugar, coating the outside of the cookie dough. Place on an un-greased baking sheet, leaving about two inches in between cookies.
Bake for about 9-10 minutes (be careful not to over-bake, or the cookies will not be as soft and chewy). Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely (if you can resist eating them for that long!).
Don’t forget to visit In Jennie’s Kitchen for all of the 12 Days of Sharing festivities!