Tag Archives: Chocolate

Hazelnut and Nutella Sandwich Cookies

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Hazelnut and Nutella Sandwich Cookies

There are some things in life that make great pairs.  They should just go together.  Like cheese and crackers, peanut butter and jelly and hazelnuts and chocolate.  Whoever came up with the deliciousness that is Nutella (it’s the same company that makes Ferraro Rocher!!) should get a culinary medal!  I could eat that stuff by the spoonfuls…and at certain times of the month, I have been known to do just that.  Not too long ago I tweaked another recipe and made chocolate dipped hazelnut tea cookies but I began thinking how delicious it would be to have hazelnut and nutella sandwich cookies.  An Oreo to call my own!!  The cookies had to be rolled so they were not too thick and have plenty of hazelnut flavor and have the wonderful nutella center.  I found a Pillsbury recipe that I could modify and here’s what I came up with…

Cream butter and sugar then add eggs and vanilla

Incorporate the hazelnuts into the cookie dough by hand

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes before rolling out

Cut out dough (I used a 2" circle cutter) and bake for 9 minutes at 350 degrees

Spread Nutella on the back of cooled cookies and place another cookie on top to make a sandwich

Heat up 1/2 cup or so of Nutella in the microwave and pour into a small ziplock bag (it's really useful to put the bag in a mason jar first)

Cut the tip off the corner of the bag to create a mini piping bag

Drizzle over each sandwich cookie

Hazelnut and Nutella Sandwich Cookies

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 eggs

3 cups flour

½ tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup hazelnuts, finely ground and toasted

Pre-heat oven to 350° F.  Using a food processor finely chop the hazelnuts and toast them in a dry skillet for a few minutes until fragrant and light brown in color.  Set aside.  In a mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar then add vanilla and eggs until nice and smooth.  Slowly add in baking powder and flour mixture until well incorporated.  Stir in hazelnuts by hand and wrap the dough in plastic wrap to refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes.

Take out chilled dough and roll out to about 1/4″ or slightly thinner.  Cut out circles using a 2 inch biscuit or cookie cutter.  Bake for about 9 minutes and cool on a cooling rack.

Spread a generous amount (about 1 1/2 to 2 tsp) Nutella on the back of the cookie and place another cookie on top making a little sandwich.  When all the cookies are paired up ~ yields about 30.  Take about 1/2 cup of nutella and microwave for 25 seconds and place in a small ziplock bag.  Cut a corner of the ziplock bag off to create a tip and drizzle warm nutella over each cookie in whatever pattern you choose.  Cool in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes and serve.  You can store the cookies in an airtight container, make sure to separate layers with wax or  parchment paper.

Double Chocolate Rum Cake Bites

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Double Chocolate Rum Cake Bites

I love chocolate.  I really do.  I could eat a lot of it.  Because I’m also a dietitian and try to practice moderation in my eating habits and exercise regularly, I can’t be a pig about it (dang it!).  One of the reasons I like to make Cake Bites or Cake Pops (that’s when you stick a popsicle stick in it) is that it acts as a built-in portion control.  The small size makes it just about the  perfect ending to a great meal.   Plus, I think as a short person, I should champion all things small.

These Double Chocolate Rum cake bites are delectable.  Oh, did I mention you can freeze them?  Yeah, that means you can whip these little suckers out when you have unexpected guests and amaze them with your culinary skills.  Or in case of a chocolate emergency or a bad hair day, take out a few from the freezer and have your own little party, they taste really good partially frozen!

Another thing, just because I try to make everything from scratch doesn’t mean I don’t use a boxed cake mix now and then.  Why fix something if it ain’t broken? I adapted this recipe from Wendy Paul’s book, 101 Gourmet Cake bites.

Ingredients for the cake

Bake the cake in a 9 x 13 pan, let it cool and crumble it into a large bowl

Make the chocolate ganache

Scoop out the cake mixture and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to harden them a bit

Melt some chocolate chips with a little bit of vegetable oil in a double boiler (basically a heat safe bowl on a pan with some water in it)

Drop each cake bite into the melted chocolate to cover

Using a fork, take out each coated cake bite

Using a small mason jar as a holder, place a little ziplock bag inside and pour leftover melted chocolate in to create a "piping bag". Cut off a tiny corner portion and to pipe the chocolate

Drizzle the chocolate over the covered cake bites

Double Chocolate Rum Cake Bites!

Here’s the recipe:

Double Chocolate Rum Cake Bites

1 Box of dark chocolate cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)

3 eggs

1/2 cup rum

1/2 cup milk

Chocolate meltys or Chocolate chips (for melting and coating the cake bites with)

1-2 tsp vegetable oil

Chocolate Gananche

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 tsp rum flavoring or 2 Tablespoons of dark rum

To make the Ganache:

Heat heavy cream to boiling and pour over the chocolate chips.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Add the rum flavoring.  Let it come to room temperature.

To make the cake bites:

Mix together cake mix, eggs, rum and milk and bake in a greased 9 x 13 cake pan for about 28 minutes.  Let it cool.  In a large bowl, crumble the entire cake into small pieces.

Add 1 cup of Chocolate Ganache to the cake crumbles.   Mix together until everything is kind of moist and hold together when pressed.  Scoop out 3/4″ size balls and smooth them out with your palms.  Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  In the meantime, melt chocolate meltys and vegetable oil (or you can use chocolate chips) in a double boiler (heat safe bowl over a pan with 1 1/2 inches of water, the heat from the water will melt the chocolate without scorching it).  Take the cooled cake balls out of the refrigerator and drop them gently into the melted chocolate.  Using two forks, one in each hand, take out the coated cake bite with one fork and using the other fork, gently push it off onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate and if you desire use leftover melted chocolate in a little ziplock bag, cut one tip off and use it like a piping bag to drizzle chocolate over each cake bite.  This makes a beautiful design and covers up any imperfections.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chocolate-dipped Hazelnut and Chocolate Chip Tea Cookies

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Chocolate-dipped Hazelnut and Chocolate Chip Tea Cookies

I found a wonderful Hazelnut Tea Cookie recipe in this great food blog called Emmycooks. I love a good cookie, especially ones I can eat while sipping a good cup of tea.  I also really, really, really like Nutella.  It’s smooth velvety chocolate and rich hazelnut flavor is to die for.  It’s a standard “staple” at our house along with fresh ground peanut butter (so I can make a variety of Thai and Indonesian sauces and put it on my toast too).  You know what I had to do with this Hazelnut Tea Cookie recipe, I had to “Nutella-fy” it.  So now you have a choice, you can make the delightful original recipe from Emmy’s blog or you can also try this version.  It’s a win-win.

Cream brown sugar and butter then add the egg

Add in toasted hazelnuts and mini chocolate chips by hand

Drop by scoopfuls onto a cookie sheet (I use silpat to line my baking pans) and bake for 8 minutes at 375 degrees

Melt some chocolate chips with a little bit of vegetable oil in a double broiler (basically a heat safe bowl on a pan with some water in it)

Dip the bottom of the cookies in the melted chocolate

They are truly decadent

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate-dipped Hazelnut and Chocolate Chip Tea Cookies

1 stick of butter (1/4 pound or 8 tablespoons), softened

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup AP flour

1 cup finely chopped Hazelnuts (toasting them really helps with the flavor)

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (for melting and dipping)

1 tsp vegetable oil

In a food processor finely chop Hazelnuts to yield one cup.  Put in a microwave safe plate or dish and microwave for 1-2 minutes stirring every 30 seconds or so until nicely toasted.  This intensifies the hazelnut flavor.

Cream the butter and the sugar together.  Add in egg, salt, soda and incorporate well.  Slowly add in the flour and mix well. Hand stir in the toasted hazelnuts and mini chocolate chips to the batter and drop by scoopfuls on to a Silpat lined or Parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for about 8 minutes at 375 degrees.  Cool on a cooling rack.

In a heat safe bowl melt semi sweet chocolate chips with the vegetable oil over a double broiler (basically another pan with 1 1/2 inches of water in it that is heated up so the steam melts the chocolate, this is safer for the chocolate so it doesn’t burn, make the sure the bottom of the pan does not touch the water).  When chocolate is melted place each cookie bottom side down in the chocolate to coat it well.  Place the cookie on a cooling rack with the chocolate side up.  When all the cookies are coated place them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes for the chocolate to harden.  Serve with hot tea or coffee.

Double Chocolate Chili Cookies

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Double Chocolate Chili Cookies

I actually made these by accident.  I am short.  Just 5′ 2″ tall and most shelves are above my head. I was going for cinnamon that I’d recently ground and right next to it was a chili powder mixture that I’d also just ground up and the whole little jar  fell into the bowl of flour that was on the counter beneath.  I tried scooping out as much of the Chili powder as possible and finally gave up and decided to make my cookies.  I added nutmeg and brown sugar to try to counter act the Chili.  It turned out amazing and since then I’ve played with the proportions a little to come up with this amazing cookie.  It’s got a little hint of the Chili so everyone eating will ask you “What did you put in these cookies?”.   You’ll love how it tastes, I promise.  It’s got chocolate in the batter and in chunks, how can it go wrong??

I used Chocolate chips and Chocolate baking squares.  I used the chips for melting and the baking squares for making chocolate chunks to put into the cookie for a better texture.

Melt the chocolate chips on a double boiler.  It’s just a heat safe bowl over a pan with some simmering water.  This way the chocolate melts smoothly without getting burnt or dried out.

Cream the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla extract together and add the melted chocolate mixture to the batter.

Add the dry ingredients (all mixed together) a little at a time until well blended.

Add the chocolate chunks by hand.

Drop by rounded tablespoons (or a scoop if you have it) on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

Cool cookies on a cooling rack before devouring them with some nice cold milk!  This is where the milk mustache comes in handy!

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Chili Cookies

¾ cup All purpose flour

¼ cup tightly packed brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp Chili Powder

1 ½ tsp Cinnamon powder

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¼ cup butter at room temperature

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 tsp pure vanilla

4 oz semi sweet chocolate cut into chunks

8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

In a heat safe bowl, place 8 oz of chocolate chips and put the bowl over a pan with simmering water on the stove.  Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  Slowly stir the chocolate until it is melted.  Turn off the heat.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Chili,  salt, baking soda and powder, set aside.

Using an electric hand mixer, cream together butter, both kinds of sugar and vanilla extract, slowly add in the eggs until the whole mixture is smooth.  Mix in melted chocolate until well blended.  Gradually mix in flour mixture a little at a time until fully incorporated.  Using a rubber spatula gently mix in chunked semi sweet chocolate pieces.

Using a small scoop or two tablespoons drop cookie dough about 1 ½ inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper.  Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  Transfer cookies onto cooling rack and enjoy with a glass of cold milk!!

Makes approximately 36 to 38 cookies.