Category Archives: Nutella Challenge

Nutella Sandwich Cookies

A very important holiday is here! No, I’m not talking about the important football game this weekend, a president’s birthday, or that sweethearts’ day where you have to buy flowers and candy. I’m talking about World Nutella Day!

You haven’t heard of it? It’s the (not so) official holiday for Nutella lovers around the world to unite and celebrate their love of Nutella! The lovely bloggers over at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso have declared that today, February 5th, 2010 is World Nutella Day. It’s exciting!

But, the excitement doesn’t stop there! Not only is today World Nutella Day, but it is also the launch date of my good friend Paula’s new site Bella Nutella! It is sure to be the new hot spot for drool-worthy Nutella photos and recipes. You won’t want to miss it!

So, let’s raise our spoons and get right to the celebrating, shall we?

As a Nutella lover and a food blogger, I try to keep the spirit of World Nutella Day all year long.  I always have a jar of Nutella (the giant economy sized jar) in my pantry and a spoon handy. And, I love developing recipes using Nutella… I’m sure you’ve seen a few of them here in the past!

You are also probably familiar with my recent cookie obsession.  This year, for World Nutella Day, I thought I’d combine my love of cookies and my love of Nutella into one recipe.  I took my standard sugar cookie recipe and adapted it to make Nutella cutout cookies.  They are delicious on their own and made into Nutella sandwiches (which I will share with you today!), but they also are perfect for decorating!  I’ll be sharing some of the decorated Nutella cookies throughout the next week or so, so stay tuned!

Nutella Cutout Cookies
(Makes about 2 dozen 3 1/2 inch cutout cookies)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Approximately 1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease a baking sheet (or line with parchment/silicon mat) and set aside.

Beat together the butter, Nutella, and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and sea salt.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, mixing on low speed, until the dough begins to come together.  If the dough seems dry and crumbly, add a small amount of heavy cream until the dough comes together.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about 1/4-inch thickness.  Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out of the dough and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes.  Let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. If desired, frost with royal icing or make Nutella cookie sandwiches (shown below).

Nutella Sandwich Cookies

  • Nutella cutout cookies, cut into 2-inch circles
  • Jar of Nutella (you won’t use the whole thing… well, probably not)

To make the Nutella sandwich cookies, simply spread Nutella on one of the cookies.  Top with another cookie, and you have a Nutella sandwich.  Enjoy!

Friday Favorites – World Nutella Day Edition (Episode 41)

Today’s Friday Favorites are a bit different for one very important reason… Today is the 4th annual World Nutella Day!

You all know that I am a Nutella fan (and that I love participating in the Nutella Challenge).  So, you know I couldn’t resist participating in World Nutella Day, which is hosted by Ms. Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso.  To celebrate, this week’s Friday Favorites will include some of my favorite Nutella recipes from other blogs, a few of the Nutella recipes I have developed, and even a brand new Nutella recipe developed specially for the occasion!  It’s a three-for-one post!

My Nutella Day Friday Favorites…

I did a quick search in my RSS reader when picking my favorite Nutella posts for this week’s Friday Favorites, and I was amazed how many great Nutella recipes I found! It was really hard to pick just a few, but I managed. Buy an economy-sized jar of Nutella, because you’ll want to try each and every one of these recipes:

My Previous Nutella Creations…

If the posts I mentioned above haven’t given you enough ideas, here are a few of my recipes using Nutella!

Finally… A New Nutella Recipe!

This has been a pretty busy week for me, so I didn’t have a lot of time to bake (and, I didn’t want to do too much baking… but that’s tomorrow’s #10in10 post!).  I was racking my brain trying to come up with a fun, new Nutella recipe that didn’t require a huge time commitment, and then it hit me… Rice crispy treats made with Nutella!

To jazz up these rice crispy treats a bit, I used a round cookie cutter to cut out the individual treats. Then, I drizzled them with chocolate.  If you want to cut them into squares, though, that’s perfectly OK!

Crispy Nutella Treats

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2/3 cup Nutella
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • Milk chocolate chips

Line a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

Start by melting the butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the marshmallows, and stir into the melted butter.  Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the marshmallows have melted.  Remove from the heat, and stir in the Nutella.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crispy rice cereal with the marshmallow mixture. It may help to use a plastic/silicon spoon that has been coated with cooking spray. Once all of the cereal has been incorporated, transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan.  Use your fingers to spread the mixture out evenly in the pan.  Allow to cool for about an hour.

Once the treats have cooled, they are ready to cut.  Use a cookie cutter to cut rounds out of the pan (and snack on the scraps).  Drizzle each round treat with melted chocolate chips.  Allow the chocolate to cool and harden before serving.  The treats can be kept in an airtight container, layered with pieces of parchment paper.

Caramel Nutella Crisps (12 Days of Sharing)

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

(Adapted from Chewy Surprise Cookies, Taste of Home Christmas Cookies & Candies 2005)

  • 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!

Monster Munch (Caramel Nutella Popcorn)

Do you ever hide food in your pantry and forget it’s there?

Well, I bought a bag of Halloween M&Ms a few weeks ago when I was out at Target… I knew I wanted to make a Halloween treat with them, so I wrapped them up in the Target bag and stuck them in the back of my pantry so I wouldn’t snack on them in the meantime.  It worked… I never opened the bag!  In fact, I totally forgot it was there until yesterday.

Fortunately, I found my M&Ms just in time to whip up a quick Halloween treat. My original intention when I bought the M&Ms was to add them to a party mix, but I didn’t have many party mix ingredients on hand, so I decided to make some popcorn instead. Since I hadn’t yet made anything for this month’s Nutella Challenge, I decided to add some Nutella to the mix, as well.

Popcorn, M&Ms, and Nutella may sound like a giant mess to you, but they sounded like tasty ingredients for a caramel corn recipe to me. I often make different popcorns to put in homemade gift baskets. The caramel Nutella sauce was a perfect glaze for the popcorn, and you could adapt the recipe for various holidays by swapping out the peanuts and M&Ms for other seasonal nuts and candies.

Monster Munch (Caramel Nutella Popcorn)

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 to 1 cup popcorn (depending on the size of the pot you are using)
  • 6 ounces caramel candies (unwrapped)
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup M&Ms

Pour the canola oil in a heavy pot and add one kernel of corn. Cover and place over medium heat until the kernel of corn pops.  Add the remaining popcorn, enough to cover the bottom of the pot and cover again. The popcorn will begin to pop (do not take off the lid!).  Wait until the popping slows down, and then remove the pot from the heat.  Only take off the lid once the popping stops, or you will have a mess on your hands.

Preheat the oven to 275°F.  While the popcorn cools, line two baking pans or roasting pans with parchment paper. Transfer the popcorn to the two pans.

In a small sauce pan, combine the caramels and light corn syrup and cook over low heat.  Stir frequently as the caramels melt and a thick sauce forms.  Once the caramels are entirely incorporated, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the Nutella.  Pour the mixture over the popcorn and use a spatula to evenly coat all of the popcorn (do the best you can, if it’s lumpy at this point, it’s OK).

Place the pans in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes.  As the mixture bakes in the oven, the sauce will continue to soften and the popcorn will be easier to stir.

Immediately as the popcorn comes out of the oven, add the peanuts and M&Ms, and toss in the popcorn mixture.  Allow the popcorn to cool, stirring every minute or two until the popcorn is slightly cooled.  Allow to cool entirely before transferring the popcorn mixture to an airtight container or small cellophane gift bags.

Nutty Nutella Oatmeal Chip Cookies

I am excited to announce that I am submitting these cookies to be featured as a part of Deck the Blogs on Oprah.com! Be sure to check out all of the great recipes and holiday ideas from all of the featured food bloggers!

Can you believe that I almost neglected to make something for this month’s Nutella Challenge?

I couldn’t believe it, either. My mind has been going in a lot of different directions, and somehow this slipped my mind (not sure how, since there’s a giant economy-sized jar of Nutella sitting in my pantry).  In preparation for my trip to NYC next week, I have been trying to get ahead on my baking challenges since I will be away towards the end of the month (prime challenge time).  That’s when it hit me that I hadn’t posted a Nutella recipe yet.

I didn’t have a lot of time to put this one together (i.e. didn’t want to have to make the recipe more than once), so I took a little bit of help from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  I started with a recipe for peanut butter oatmeal cookies and adapted it to use Nutella.  I have found that Nutella works well in place of peanut butter in most recipes, since the consistency is very similar.  You need to consider a few things, though.  Nutella is typically sweeter than peanut butter, so you may want to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe.  I reduced the sugar in the recipe from one cup to three quarters of a cup.  Peanut butter is typically saltier than Nutella, so you may want to up the salt. My original recipe didn’t call for any salt, but I added a half-teaspoon for good measure.

I decided to add some chopped hazelnuts and mini chocolate chips to mirror the flavors in the Nutella.  I used one half-cup of each, but I think you could add more.  That’s all I had on hand, and I wasn’t going to run to the store at 10:00 at night.

Overall, I think the cookies turned out quite well… My husband thought they could use a bit more of the nuts and chocolate (as I mentioned above), but that didn’t stop him from eating three of them right out of the oven.  This is definitely one that I will be making again!

Nutty Nutella Oatmeal Chip Cookies

(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (semisweet)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Set aside a nonstick baking sheet (or lightly grease/line a baking sheet with parchment).

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), combine the softened butter and Nutella.  Beat on medium speed until the butter and Nutella are combined and the mixture is fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat on medium speed again, until the all of the ingredients are incorporated into the batter, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. (Note – I’m not entirely sure why the recipe called for the baking powder, soda, and salt to be added at this point instead of with the flour…  But, I didn’t want to tempt fate, so I followed the directions.)

Add the eggs and vanilla extract, beating again until the batter is smooth.  Gradually add the flour, beating after each addition to incorporate it into the batter.  Once the flour is incorporated, gradually add the rolled oats, beating after each addition.  If you are using a hand mixer, you may need to stir by hand if the mixture becomes too thick.  My stand mixer had no problem incorporating both the flour and the oats.

Once the flour and oats have been incorporated into the batter, remove the batter from the mixer.  Add the chopped hazlenuts and mini chocolate chips, and stir into the batter.

Use a spoon or scoop to measure out rounded tablespoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheet.  The cookies will spread a bit, so be sure to space them at least two inches apart.  Bake for 9 – 10 minutes.

Cool the cookies slightly on the pan (just for a minute or two), and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you love Nutella half as much as I do, be sure to check out all of the other entries for this month’s Nutella Challenge, hosted by the lovely Paula of bell’ alimento!