Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies

February 5, 2016

 

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Hey all you Nutella fans out there! Take a look at what I got here…Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies! Yup…a rich chocolatey Nutella cookie which surrounds a silky truffle-like Nutella center and if that hasn’t got you drooling, just listen up. It is topped with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. You know I’m a sucker for that sweet/salty taste sensation! And these cookies have it all going on. The outside cookie is soft and yet also chewy at the same time. And once you bite into it, assuming it is warm out of the oven, you get this molten, lava-like burst of melted Nutella. Pure Nutella nirvana I tell you!

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Now it is not by chance that I’m blogging a recipe which features Nutella today. Today February 5th is World Nutella Day. This celebration of all things Nutella was started in 2007 by Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso as a day to celebrate, get creative with and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.

World_Nutella_Day_Final_m-300x207 This year, the founders have transferred Nutella Day to Ferrero the company who owns that most beloved spread. Take a peek at their Facebook page and see how folks are celebrating the day! I love Nutella so I usually try to participate with a Nutella laden recipe every year. Last year I made cookies as well,  irresistible Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies

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I was still all about the cookies and the salty / sweet thing two years ago when I blogged about  Salted & Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies feature silky, decadent Nutella, creamy caramel, nostalgic malted goodness and rich chocolate chips, all rolled up together in a crunchy chewy salted cookie

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And then there was my  Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart which was quite stunning if I do say so myself.

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But back to today’s star, both decadent and addictive, Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies.

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These tempting little treats are pretty easy to make, especially if you plan ahead. You see, you need to freeze what will become the molten Nutella centers, for at least 3 hours before assembling the final cookie. Sure it can all be done on the same day, but I did it the day before baking day. Once I was ready to bake, these cookies came together in no time flat. They are truly magical warm from the oven what with that lava like flow of Nutella when you bite into them. But don’t fret if they’ve cooled down. The center will be more solid, like Nutella is straight out of the jar, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. However, if you love the Nutella lava effect, just reheat them for a short time in the microwave and you’ll have Mt. Nutella cookies, erupting again!

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I know these cookies look rather short on the list of ingredients front, but don’t be fooled, they pack quite a flavorful punch. The Husband, who doesn’t usually care for chocolatey desserts, has actually come back for seconds. He says they are like a Nutella filled brownie…with salt. YUM! Make up a batch today in celebration of all things Nutella. Or… you know… Valentine’s Day isn’t that far off. Bet any Nutella loving folks out there would be head over heels when gifted with these cookies on the big day. You know what they say…no better way to man’s heart and all…

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Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies

  • Servings: 12 -15 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 5 1/4 ounces / 149 grams Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread

For the dough:

  • 10 1/2 ounces / 298 grams Nutella Chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 4 ounces / 112 grams King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour or 4 1/4 ounces /120 grams of King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

For the Topping:

  • Fleur del Sel coarse sea salt

Directions:

To make the filling: Scoop small balls of Nutella (chestnut-sized, about 1″ diameter) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. A teaspoon cookie scoop, filled level, is the perfect tool for this job. Scoop out 15 -18 balls of Nutella. You may end up with extras, but better that than coming up short.

Place the baking sheet into the freezer (uncovered is fine), and freeze until the balls are completely frozen, about 3 hours; or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

To make the dough: Mix together all of the dough ingredients; the mixture will be cohesive, fairly soft, but not sticky; think modeling clay. It will stick together better when you squeeze it.

Scoop out heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough; a slightly heaped Tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

Remove the frozen Nutella balls from the freezer once you have the dough ready to shape. Flatten a ball of dough. Place one of the frozen Nutella balls in the center. Wrap the dough around the Nutella like a dumpling, enclosing it completely. Roll the ball of dough between your palms to seal any cracks and round it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and frozen Nutella balls.

Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet; they won’t spread much, so should all fit on one sheet. Sprinkle very lightly with a bit of coarse sea salt.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes; when done, they will have lost much of their shine, and you may see a very faint lightening of color around the bottom third of each cookie.

Remove the cookies from the oven; serve warm, or at room temperature. For the full melting-center, lava-like effect, serve warm; if they’re at room temperature, the centers will be solid. Reheat very briefly in the microwave to liquefy the centers, if desired.

Enjoy!

Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools and Ingredients for Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

OXO Good Grips Small Cookie Scoop

OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop

King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (this link is for 2 – 5 lb. bags of flour)

Nutella

Maldon Sea Salt Flakes (Fleur de Sel)

I should also mention that King Arthur Flour has a wonderful shop full of kitchen essentials as well as their quality ingredients on their website. Definitely worth taking a peek!

 

 


Milk Bar’s Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies

September 23, 2015

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I think I have actually reached cookie nirvana. I mean I like cookies…pretty much never met one that I turned my nose up at. But these cookies…oh my god!!! They’ve got it all. Crunchy and chewy, sweet and salty, chock full of gooey marshmallows and shot through with little tidbits of chocolate and crispy Cornflake Crunch (oh…I’ll talk about that Cornflake Crunch bit of the recipe in just a sec…). These cookies will take you back to those lovely slow saturday mornings when you were a kid and just sat around with a bowl of cereal, zoning out on cartoons. They’re a bit like a s’more…’cept totally different. Unique I tell you. And irresistible! I could not stop eating them. Rather addictive you might say. Perhaps it is not surprizing then that the recipe comes from Chef Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar cook book. She is the amazing chef responsible for Crack Pie, which I tried my hand at awhile ago. And since these cookies have a name which is very descriptive, yet a mouthful to get out, I’ve taken to calling them “Cookie Crack” which I feel is pretty dang accurate!

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Now I will tell you right away, these cookies have gained a reputation amongst the online food bloggers as being quite finicky. So I was verrrrrrrry careful to follow chef Tosi’s instructions to a T and didn’t really have any problems. The only thing I actually changed was the size of the cookie – chef Tosi recommends scooping out 1/3 cup cookie dough per cookie which gives you a complete monster cookie. Cool perhaps and exactly what you might want if you are buying one in a cafe, but I wanted a smaller around the house sized cookie so I went with a 1 tablespoon sized scoop. I also reduced the baking temperature to 350°F and the time to 12 minutes. The original recipe calls for 375° for 18 minutes, which would have set off all the fire alarms between here and New York if I had attempted that for my smaller sized cookies. I will say though, once you reach the baking stage, you need to watch these cookies like a hawk. I’m serious. Don’t start trying to do some other chores in another room, don’t get caught up face booking or twittering. Mind the cookies! They seem to have a knack at going from “oh it’s slightly golden, I’ll give it a few more minutes” to ” good lord where is the fire extinguisher” in no time at all! Remember also that you need to let the cookies cool a bit on the baking sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack and they will continue to cook a bit while sitting on that hot sheet, so maybe take them out of the oven just a bit before you would say they were perfectly done.

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I should at this point also give you a few bits of advice concerning Milk Bar Recipes that may be helpful. You should just know going into it that all of Chef Tosi’s recipes are like those Russian Matryoshka dolls, there is always one or two recipes to be found inside the final recipe. So with these cookies, you will first need to make up a batch of Cornflake Crunch which you will then crumble up and add into the cookie dough. But let me stop here for just a second to tell you about the glory of that Cornflake Crunch…It is a big part of what makes these cookies so awesome. Crunchy, sweet and salty joy! The recipe will actually yield more Crunch than you need to make the cookies, which is a good thing because it is dang near impossible to stop eating it, like straight off of the cookie sheet. With what I did manage to save I have used to top ice cream, have sprinkled it over yogurt and oatmeal as well as used it to gussy up a tried and true classic dessert (stand by for that recipe in the not too distant future ;) ). Trust me, you will not be sad that there is a little bit extra Cornflake Crunch.

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The next thing I should mention is that although Chef Tosi does provide both european style weight measurements in grams as well as american style cup measurements for all of her recipes, you really need to go with the weight measurements. Now don’t get me wrong, I have always admired the cooks who could just play loose and fast with all the ingredients and still have delicious morsels spill forth from their kitchens. However, those folks won’t do well with a Milk Bar recipe. Precision is what is required here and my scooped cup of flour, I can almost guarantee you will be different from the next persons. So bite the bullet and get out there and buy a good old scale. Once you get the hang of it you won’t dream of going back! Measurements are not the only bit you need to focus on either. There are some techniques which must be executed exactly as well in order to enjoy success. The first is creaming  the butter. Chef Tosi insists on a ten minute creaming process. She goes into great detail explaining why in the cookbook, which if you haven’t bought yet, you just don’t know what you’re missing out on! But suffice it to say, she considers the creaming step the most important one in making a Milk Bar cookie.

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Also important with these cookies is the chilling time. When she says chill the dough for one hour, she is serious. Do not bake these cookies at room temperature, because you will be so sorry. I actually chilled my cookie dough overnight, just to be sure! So there you have it! All of my cautionary advice for making these delicious Cornflake-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookies. It’s really not that difficult and for all that focus and concentration you will be rewarded with a batch of unbelievably tasty cookies. Chewy and crunchy, covered with pools of gooey bubbly marshmallow, and flaked with chocolate. Cookie Crack extraordinaire! Get baking!!!

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Milk Bar's Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies

  • Difficulty: easy - but several steps and remember to allow for chill time in the fridge. Please read above blog for tips and hints for success.
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 225 gram (16 tablespoons/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 250 grams (1 1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 150 grams (2/3 cup) tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 240 grams (1 1/2 Cup) flour
  • 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) baking powder
  • 1.5 grams (1/4 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 5 grams (1 1/4 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • 270 grams (3 cups) Cornflake Crunch (recipe to follow)
  • 125 grams (2/3 cup) mini chocolate chips
  • 65 grams (1 1/4 cup) mini marshmallows

Directions:

Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a standard mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Still on low-speed, paddle in the Cornflake Crunch and mini chocolate chips just until they’re incorporated, no more than 30 to 45 seconds. Paddle in the mini marshmallow just  until incorporated.

Using a 2 3/4 ounce (NSF #16) ice cream scoop (or a 1/3 cup measure) portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. This sized scoop will yield jumbo sized cookies. I prefer to use a 1 Tablespoon (NSF#40) cookie scoop. The cookies are still good sized (about 3 to 3 1/2″ across). Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature- they will not hold their shape!

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment-or silpat lined sheet pans. Bake for 13 minutes. the cookies will puff, crackle and spread. At the 13 minutes mark, the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown toward the center. Leave them in the oven for an additional minute or so if they aren’t and still seem pale and doughy on the surface.

Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temperature, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer they will keep for 1 month.

Cornflake Crunch

yield: 360 grams (4 cups)

Ingredients:

  • 170 grams (5 cups) cornflakes
  • 40 grams (1/2 cup) milk powder
  • 40 grams (3 Tablespoons) sugar
  • 4 grams (1 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • 130 grams (9 tablespoons) butter, melted

Directions:

Heat the oven to 275°F.

Pour the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size. Add the milk powder, sugar and salt and toss to mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal and creating small clusters.

Spread the clusters on a parchment or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed

 Cool the Cornflake Crunch completely before storing or using in a recipe. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month.

Enjoy!

Milk Bar’s Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies

February 5, 2015

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I love Peanut Butter. It’s true. I really love it. I mean I love it in baked goods, I love it on bread and I even love to just stand there with a spoon eating it straight from the jar. I love creamy peanut butter. I love crunchy peanut butter. I think the only one I know who might just love peanut butter more than I do is my dog.

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He also loves to roll in the sand at the beach!

Yup I love peanut butter, but it is not the only thing that I have been known to eat straight from the jar….Nutella springs to mind. And I’m talking about big honking tablespoonfuls, not little proper teaspoons! I do love me some Nutella. I can’t believe I didn’t discover it until I was in college!

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And you know what else… I love it when peanut butter and chocolate come together. And if you throw in some flaky salt so that you get that great salty/sweet taste sensation….well, I’m just in heaven! So you can just imagine how I feel about these Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies.

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These little devils have got it all going on! Listen up, what you’ve got is two salted chewy peanut butter cookies with a gooey, chocolate-y ribbon of Nutella nestled between them. The perfect cookie for me!

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Now, you might be thinking that what with all this talk of “love” in the air and Valentine’s Day being right around the corner, that I made these cookies for my sweetie. You would be wrong. These cookies would be a dreadful Valentine’s gift for him. If I were to make him these particular cookies as a prezzie, it would be a sign that our relationship was in peril. I know that he couldn’t care less about peanut butter, doesn’t pay much attention to cookies at all, and is lukewarm about chocolate desserts all together. Nope. These are decidedly not for him. (Don’t worry over him…I’ve got his Valentine’s Day treat all picked out. Just you wait and see…) These cookies are all about ME. The only thing that might tempt me more is a cupcake. Hmmm…note to self….try to make a cupcake version of these cookies.

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Another thing these incredibly tasty Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Cookies are about is World Nutella Day. That’s right, today February 5th is World Nutella Day.

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This celebration of all things Nutella was started in 2007 by Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso as a day to celebrate, get creative with and most importantly, to EAT Nutella. I love Nutella so I usually try to participate with a Nutella laden recipe every year. Last year I made cookies as well, Salted & Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies feature silky, decadent Nutella, creamy caramel, nostalgic malted goodness and rich chocolate chips, all rolled up together in a crunchy chewy salted cookie. 

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A couple of years ago, I made a Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart which was quite stunning if I do say so myself.

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And I have also shared the recipe for Nutella & Banana Filled Peanut Butter Ebelskivers.

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Just can’t get enough of that Peanut Butter & Nutella combo! I will admit, this year’s Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies are a bit on the large side. They are more the size of whoopie pies than regular cookies. But you see, I had gotten these wonderful cookie stamps and was just dying to try them out,

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so I definitely increased their size. However, I did not ever hear anyone say “Oh no! That cookie is just too big. I couldn’t possibly eat it all.” Well, now that I think about it, I did hear that once or twice. But when I looked back over, there was nothing left but crumbs…Heck a couple of times, even the crumbs were gone! As if they had been magically hoovered up. So I’ll leave the size of the cookie up to you. Make whatever size cookie suits your needs, but believe me you need to make a batch and soon! Folks, with the exception of my husband that is, will go wild!

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Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies

  • Servings: 8 - 10 large sandwich cookies or 16 smaller ones
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Sweet Peas and Saffron (I did not change a thing about the ingredients, but made the cookies larger so that I could use my new cookie stamps!)

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup peanut butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • granulated sugar (for rolling)
  • coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)

Nutella for the ooey-gooey ever so chocolatey middle part

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until well combined. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla.

In a separate small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda. Mix into wet ingredients.

Scrape down from sides of bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Do not skip this part or your cookies will spread!

Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Line cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Roll dough into 1 tbsp sized balls, roll in the granulated sugar to coat. Place on baking mat and press down slightly with a fork. Sprinkle with sea salt. If you would like to use a cookie stamp like I did you will need to use about 2 tablespoons of dough. Lightly grease your cookie stamp and push straight down on dough. Gently pull stamp away from cookie and then sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 7-9 minutes until bottoms are golden brown. Cookies will look under-baked when removed from the oven but will set up on baking sheet. Cool for 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now for the assembly: Place Nutella in a pastry bag and pipe it out onto the bottom of one cookie. Top with another cookie and gently press down. These sandwich cookies are best when assembled just prior to eating. If you wish to assemble them in advance, they can be kept in the refrigerator, just remember to let them come to room temperature before serving.

Enjoy!

Salted Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Malted & Salted Buttered Popcorn Cookies

August 1, 2014

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Malted & Salted Buttered Popcorn Cookies! Were so many delicious words ever strung together? I mean you just know these cookies have got it all going on. I love anything malted, salted tells me I’ll get my sweet/salty fix, and buttered popcorn? I can barely contain myself! And my reaction to the words “buttered popcorn” doesn’t even register next to the husband’s. Oh my Lordy in heaven! He loves him some popcorn. I am not kidding you that our popcorn popper is in high use nearly every night. In all honesty, he wants popcorn about 4 -5 times a week. Well, let me re-phrase that…he eats popcorn 4-5 nights a week. I think he wants popcorn every single day of the year! So you can just imagine the fabulous wife points I got when I sashayed on out of the kitchen and sidled up next to him with a plate full of these stunners in my hands! And it’s not just the idea of them that is good. You know how sometimes you get an idea of a flavour combination that you think will be killer but when you actually make it, it kind of falls short? Not happening here. These cookies are really quite remarkable and unique. Each bite delivers a crispy crunch as well as a malted chewy chocolatey blast. And when you a get a bite that just happens to have that little extra buttery surprize popcorn piece, well it’s nothing short of sheer bliss!

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I initially came across this recipe in one of my all time favourite cookbooks, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, by Deb Perelman. I had taken note and was planning on baking up a batch of those cookies. But Deb hadn’t added malted milk balls to her version. Then I saw that enhancement to the Smitten recipe over at Sift and Whisk. I really love malted milk balls so their addition certainly made it a winner for me. The only problem I had with the Sift and Whisk version was that it called for using microwave popcorn. Uh-ohh! That was a deal breaker. I really do not like microwave popcorn and as much as the husband loves popcorn, even he would turn his nose up at the microwave variety. Call us crazy. Whatever…There really is a big taste difference between microwave and stove top corn, so much so that we sort of consider it a different animal altogether. I know microwave popcorn is supposedly easy. But really…how hard is it to pop up some corn with a glug of good old oil right on top of your stove? We actually have a Whirley-pop stove top popcorn popper that has a hand-crank on top to allow you to stir the corn kernels while they pop. Yup, if you stop by and wander into my kitchen, I’m pretty sure you’ll see it in permanent residency on my stove top. (remember…the husband is popping corn about 5x a week). But if you don’t have that level of specialty popping equipment, don’t despair. Just grab any old big pot with a lid, and shake it a bit while the kernels are popping. It is so much tastier than that old microwave stuff. And don’t even think to ask my husband about the differences in popping oil, you know olive oil vs. coconut oil vs. peanut oil, unless you’ve got awhile because he can go on and on about it. Consider yourself warned…But anyway, back to these Malted & Salted Buttered Popcorn Cookies.

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Bottom line is that you’ve just got to make them. I can honestly say, it is one of the few cookies I’ve ever seen my husband eat more than two of at a sitting. Remember, he likes those fruit desserts and couldn’t really care less about chocolate (shock, horror). But he came back to the cookie jar several times the evening these babies showed up. Actions speak louder than words so that should tell you something!

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Malted & Salted Buttered Popcorn Cookies

  • Servings: 24 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: sift and whisk &  The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (45 grams) popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter, melted
  • 1¼ cup (155 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (109 grams) light brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (100 grams) roughly chopped malted milk balls
  • coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make popcorn. Pour the oil over the bottom of a large dutch oven that has a lid or a Whirley-pop stove top popcorn popper. Add the popcorn kernels. Cover the pot and heat it over medium- high heat. Once you hear the kernels beginning to pop, keep agitating or stirring the pan until you no longer hear the popping noise. Pour the melted butter over the popped corn and then sprinkle with the salt. Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl and separate out any unpopped or partially popped kernels. You should have about 4 -4 1/2 cups of popped corn.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add egg and vanilla. Beat for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, until egg is totally mixed in. With the mixer on the lowest speed, gradually add flour mixture, and stop mixing when there is still a little flour visible.

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Fold the buttered popcorn into the dough taking care not to crush the popcorn completely. When popcorn is almost evenly distributed, add chopped malted milk balls (even the dust!), and fold into the dough.

Using a medium-sized cookie scoop, scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing each dough ball at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of each dough ball with coarse sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges turn light brown.

Allow to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will deflate a little once they come out of the oven, and will end up thin, with crispy edges and chewy centers.

Enjoy!

Malted & Salted Buttered Popcorn Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 

 


Salted and Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 5, 2014

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Salted and Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. I really don’t know if I need to elaborate on this one… I mean, I don’t know about you, but they had me at Salted & Malted. Nothing more need be said. But then those delicious pair of words are followed by Nutella. And it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. It goes on to read Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie! Have Mercy!

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I was instantly confident that this would be the recipe that I would make for World Nutella Day. That’s right, today February 5th is World Nutella Day. This celebration of all things Nutella was started in 2007 by Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso as a day to celebrate, get creative with and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.

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I love Nutella. Although I missed adding a submission to Nutella Day last year. (Total brain freeze…I have no excuse) I have contributed a couple of truly tasty Nutella laden recipes in years past. There was my exquisite Nutella, Double Chocolate & Banana Tart

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and my delightful Nutella & Banana filled Peanut Butter Ebelskivers.

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I think these Salted & Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies are a great way to jump back into the game.

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Morgan over at Host the Toast came up with these gems back in December. What a masterpiece! They literally have it all, silky, decadent Nutella, creamy caramel, nostalgic malted goodness and rich chocolate chips all rolled up in a crunchy chewy salted cookie. (Yup…its got the salty/sweet thing covered as well!) They are an absolute breeze to make and as I’m sure you can imagine, are certainly quite easy to eat. (Ahem…probably a bit too easy judging from the fit of my britches…) I can’t get enough of these little devils! Get yourself addicted today!

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Salted and Malted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe from Host the Toast

yield: 27 Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 and ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup malted milk powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup Nutella
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup caramel bits (or baking caramels cut into tiny pieces)
  • Flaky Sea salt, for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt until well blended.

Cream together the butter and both sugars in a separate bowl until completely smooth.

Add the Nutella to the butter mixture and mix until fully combined. Add in the egg and vanilla and continue to mix. Then, slowly add in the flour mixture. Mix until it all is just incorporated, but don’t over-mix.

Stir in the chocolate chips and caramel bits until evenly distributed. I like to refrigerate cookie dough for an hour or so before baking. It helps to keep it from spreading too quickly in the oven resulting in a very thin cookie. However, this step is optional. Using a medium-sized cookie scoop ( holds about 2 tablespoons) scoop dough and drop onto the parchment paper-covered baking sheets, spacing them out about 2½ inches apart and away from the sides of the sheet. You may have to do multiple batches– don’t try to squeeze them all in.

Sprinkle dough with flaky sea salt.

Bake 10-13 minutes. Remove from the oven. They will still be very, very soft. Leave them on the cookie sheet on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, or until they are solid enough to eat.

Enjoy!


Baileys, Cacao Nib & Oatmeal Cookies

March 8, 2013

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Oh Baileys! Why do you have to be so delicious! You just seem to go great in everything! And these little cookies are no exception. Baileys, chocolate chips, cacao nibs and oatmeal, what a fantastic line-up. These cookies are really some thing special. They are a bit crispy yet also chewy and bursting with the decadent flavours of Bailey’s and chocolate.

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I was lucky enough to have baked these up the night before our most recent snow storm. So I was able to spend my “snow day” nibbling on these little gems and washing them down with big steaming mugs of Scáiltín. Lucky me!

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Now you might be wondering what a “cacao nib” is. I know I sure was when I first ran across this recipe. Cacao Nibs are tiny chips of the roasted cocoa beans, essentially raw chocolate. They are not sweet, but taste rather nutty and perhaps a bit like chocolate, but more like a roasted coffee bean.

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They add great texture and interesting depth of flavour to baked goods. I’ve seen them listed as ingredients in various recipes out in internet land, but had no idea where to find them. I think I finally found them in a kitchen specialty store, though I have since been told that Whole Foods carries them. And of course, there is always Amazon. Worse case scenario, make these cookies up for St. Patrick’s Day without the nibs. I’m sure they’ll still be an excellent and tasty source of energy to keep you going strong through all of your celebrations. When you are able to find Cacao Nibs, make up another batch.

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Baileys, Cacao Nib & Oatmeal Cookies

recipe from: Violets and Cardamom

yield: 30 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (equal to 1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup Old Fashioned oats, ground or whole
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Nibs
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup Irish creme liqueur

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy (about 3 minutes).

Add the egg and beat for another minute.

Add the vanilla and Irish Cream and beat until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

Fold in the remaining ingredients making sure everything is mixed well. The dough should be pretty firm.

Scoop out the dough and place on either a parchment covered cookie sheet or on a greased cookie sheet. Make sure to space them out well as they do spread.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden on the outside. Let cool on cookie sheet for five minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!


Kanilsnúðar (Cinnamon Snails) & Iceland in December

January 8, 2013

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Happy New Year Everyone! The busy holiday season is finally over and I guess everyone is starting to get back into their old routines. Our holiday season was made particularly hectic due to our decision to go on a spur of the moment trip to Iceland. We had always wanted to visit Iceland and had briefly looked into flights, hotels etc., but it had always been a bit on the pricey side. When we arrived back from our October Ireland trip, I had read an article which claimed that this winter, visitors to Iceland would be much more likely to see the Northern Lights due to the current cycle of increased solar flare activity. That’s when I checked flights on a lark and found that not only were flights cheaper, but all of the hotels seemed to be running off-season special rates. I must admit, a few times I did think “Who the heck goes to Iceland in December?! Are we nuts?!”

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But I’ve got to tell you, it is fantastic!. We LOVED it! Actually, I probably should tell you it’s dreadful, cause we are definitely going back and I don’t want to let too many folks in on the secret. Sure, it is chilly, though not awfully so. It hovers right around freezing but the temperatures are often accompanied and shall we say enhanced by ever-present, kicking winds. There is also not a great deal of daylight. Although you will find 24 hours of daylight if you visit in July, in December it got light around 10:45 a.m. and was dark again around 4 p.m. Such limited daylight definitely forced us to plan out what we wanted to do during  the day and get to doing it before it was dark again. And we did get in quite a few adventures. We went horseback riding at Hestheimar Horse Farm.

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Icelandic Horses were initially introduced to the country by Norwegian Viking settlers and the breed has remained pure for about 1000 years. These sturdy and hardy horses are very friendly and personable. They have an extra gait called a tölt which is essentially a fast walk. Tölting is a pleasure! Very smooth, much more comfortable for the rider than a trot.

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Super Jeep next to a crater created when Eyafjallajökull volcano erupted a couple of years ago.

We went on a Super Jeep tour of Þórsmörk (Thor’s Forest) with South Iceland Adventure Company (Thanks so much to Magnus, our guide) and saw waterfalls, and hiked through gorges, mountain passes and around on a glacier.

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Inside a glacial ice formation.

We chilled out at the Blue Lagoon. Not the one from the 80’s with Brooke Shields, but a surreal geothermal pool and Spa located in a lava field in Grindavík about 40 minutes from Reykjavik. No description from me will do it justice. It really is other worldly. But let me just say… imagine a huge hot tub in the middle of a lava field with a swim up to wine/beer bar located in the center. Are you getting the picture?

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We went Snowmobiling with Mountaineers of Iceland on Langjökull glacier, the second largest glacier in Iceland. Very exciting, but even with the copious layers of thermals I was wearing, it was the absolute coldest I’ve ever been in my entire life! Though what would you expect, we were traipsing about on a huge slab of ice!

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We stayed at Hotel Rangá. This gorgeous, cozy hotel, which is located out in the country (hence no light pollution), about two hours from Reykjavik, caters to folks hoping to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights and will give you a wake up call should you desire if the elusive lights do make an appearance. (seems like they mostly show up around midnight to 2 a.m.) We were actually lucky enough to see the Aurora put on a great show.

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Northern Lights and a meteor from the Geminid meteor shower which was happening on the same night!

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What is the food like you might ask. As you can imagine, the seafood is really outstanding! My husband, who is allergic to seafood, was not left wanting. There were plenty of non-seafood options available for him to choose from. One of his favourite meals of the trip was reindeer meatballs. All that being said, one of the most popular “restaurants” in Reykjavik, really isn’t a restaurant at all. It is a hot dog stand called Bæjarins Beztu which has been selling hot dogs or pylsur to Icelanders and tourists alike since 1935. Apparently Icelanders LOVE hot dogs and claim that theirs are the best in the world. Indeed, The Guardian designated Bæjarins Beztu as the “best hot dog stand in Europe”. Of course we made a beeline for the place as soon as we arrived in the city (as well as paying it a couple more visits while we were there). We weren’t disappointed! They serve some excellent hot dogs. These dogs have lamb added to the usual pork and beef and are smothered with ketchup, mustard, raw onion, crispy onion and a spicy remoulade. Delicious!

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We are already planning our trip back this year and yup, in December! I’m sure at this point you are wondering if we are ever going to talk about the Kanilsnúðar recipe I’ve dangled so temptingly before you. So I’ll get right to it. Icelanders are really into Christmas. Christmas music plays non-stop. All the houses are completely decked out with lights. Everywhere we went, shops, bars, you name it, had Christmas cookies out for all to enjoy. I think I first tasted a Kanilsnúðar at the Heistheimar riding stables. It reminded me of a Snickerdoodle, but better, much more exotic and with a fun shape. Then I was able to find a bag of these darling little snails, the first of many bags consumed on the trip, in a local market and my obsession began.

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Once I got home, I looked about online and was able to find a couple of recipes. The one I really wanted to make called for the ingredient “Hartshorn” which I had never heard of. Further internet research revealed that Hartshorn is a rather old-fashioned leavener also known as Baker’s Ammonia. It is supposed to make baked goods rise higher than baking powder and make them extra crispy. I read that it was available in most Scandinavian shops. These establishments are a bit thin on the ground in Virginia, so I checked the King Arthur Flour site and sure enough they had it, so I placed my order. (If you would like to make these cookies without the Hartshorn, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for the 1/2 teaspoon Hartshorn called for. This is said to yield similar results, but I did not try it.) For those of you who do manage to procure some Hartshorn, don’t freak out when you mix the cookie dough up. It will have quite a whiff of ammonia about it, but it goes away once baking is complete. I was quite happy with my little “cinnamon snails”.

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They are great with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning or as an afternoon snack. My husband likes them because they are not overly sweet, a quality which he seems to prefer in a cookie. I’m sure they have secured a permanent place in our Christmas cookie repertoire because they will always be a pleasant reminder of our dreamy first trip to Iceland.

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Kanilsnúðar (Cinnamon Snails)

recipe adapted from: Jo’s Icelandic Recipes

yield: approx. 12  cookies

Ingredients:

  • 175 grams flour
  • 100 grams  unsalted butter  plus 1 Tablespoon salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp hartshorn powder (baker’s ammonia) * or 1/2 tsp. baking powder and baking soda
  • 60 grams sugar
  • 1 egg
  • healthy pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon (or extra if you’re really into cinnamon)

Directions:

Mix cinnamon and sugar together until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Place flour and hartshorn, sugar and salt in food processor. Pulse to mix. Cut cold butter into 1″ cubes and scatter over  the flour mixture. Pulse a few times until mixture resembles coarse little pebbles. Remove flour/butter mixture from food processor and place in bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and knead mixture until it just comes together to form dough. Pat dough into square shape and wrap with plastic wrap.

Place wrapped dough in the refrigerator for a couple of hours at least.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Flatten the dough quite thin and roll out evenly. Try to keep it an approximately square or rectangular shape.

Brush dough with melted butter.

Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over top of dough.

Roll the dough up into a roll, then slice into approx. 1 cm thick slices.

Arrange slices on a cookie sheet and bake at about 200°C (392 ° F) until golden brown.

Enjoy!

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