Nutella Speculoos Cookies

I’m going to make the assumption that you’re already well aware of my new found OBSESSION with speculoos. I think I went through a week when I couldn’t go one day without eating at least one spoonful of it! Now, I don’t think I have written about my mutual love for nutella, but let’s just say that if it was a question between speculoos or nutella, I would have a mighty hard time picking between the two. A few years ago, when I was on a ski trip, we were served little nutella packets each morning with breakfast that I would sneak into the pockets of my ski pants to eat as a snack on the slopes. I really hope the people behind speculoos are getting into the snack-size business, as carrying around a big glass bottle all the time seems quite impractical, then again, I would probably do it 😉 

Another thing I love – peanut butter. Basically I think that everything should be into a spread! Can you imagine a Momofuku compost cookie in spread form? Wow, even just thinking about it makes my stomach grumble! But back to peanut butter – no joke, I eat it out of the jar just like my speculoos. Now a funny thing about France is that they don’t really eat peanut butter here. What’s up with that? I guess they’re not that big into PB&J here. After almost leaving empty handed from Monoprix last week after my hunt for peanut butter, lo and behold, I found it tucked into a corner on the top of the Asian food section! Odd placement, as I highly doubt peanut butter is more popular in Asia than in France, but hey, at least I found it!

So where is this all leading? Oh right, I found a recipe for peanut butter nutella cookies a few weeks ago that sounded just like my kind of heaven. As I was about to start up the recipe, I had a spoonful of speculoos in my mouth when I realized “wait, what about swapping out the peanut butter with speculoos? They have the same consistency, this should work.” Well, let’s just say this was one of my better successes when deciding to alter recipe ingredients. Quite honestly, it was a sure fire thing from the start: nutella + speculoos + even a little more butter = massive hit! Of course, I added more nutella than needed and decided to do the same with speculoos. These babies sure are soft before baked, so extra refrigeration is definitely needed. Next mission – peanut butter, speculoos and nutella all wrapped up in one! Someone might need to send me some more peanut butter if I want to head down that road…

Speculoos Nutella Cookies

(Adapted from Pass The Sushi)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 3/4 teas baking soda
  • 1/4 teas salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup speculoos
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teas vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Nutella

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; Set aside.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter, speculoos and sugars until combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scarp down the sides to insure everything is mixed well.

4) Add the egg and vanilla and combine. Slowly add in the flour mixture until just combined. It will be a slightly crumble dry ball of dough. Fold in your Nutella without mixing in too much.

5) On a clean work surface, turn the dough and and for into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

6) Scoop tablespoon sized balls out onto the baking sheet and press with a fork. Sprinkle each with a dash of the sea salt.

7) Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are well browned. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Peanut Butter Brownies

It’s almost time to go back to school. I’m savoring these last few days of freedom before I get inundated with work again. It has been slushy and snowy most of the week in New York, but at least one of my roommates came home this past weekend, so I haven’t been all by myself. Hopefully, I’ll keep finding time to bake when I get back into the swing of school. I’m going to try and make something at least once a week and update the blog accordingly. Let’s see how that turns out!

I was at Jack’s 99 cent store in Midtown the other day and discovered some glorious things. On the first floor, it’s all 99 cent items, pretty cheap, nothing special, but if one ventures up one or even two more floors, one can find all sorts of delightful things that are a little more expensive, but still incredibly cheap. I got 4 oz. bars of Ghirardelli’s baking chocolate that are usually 4 or 5 dollars at the regular supermarket for $1.99! I got a little over excited when I saw that they sold Pellegrino, but controlled myself by just getting the chocolate and some peanut butter.

When I got home, I realized that with my newly acquired purchases, I could make some peanut butter brownies. I was very impatient making these last night and didn’t let the brownies bake long enough, but the peanut butter frosting is still really delicious. If I were to make these again, I would either bake them longer or use a different brownie recipe with the same peanut butter frosting. The Reese’s on top are the perfect complement to some already peanut buttery brownies.

Peanut Butter Brownies

 

INGREDIENTS:

Brownie Layer

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chips or chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Peanut Butter Layer

  • 1 cup peanut butter (not natural or old-fashioned)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter Cups, cut into quarters

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 9 X 9 inch baking pan with foil and butter the foil.

2) Melt butter and chocolate in a double-boiler. Stir until chocolate is melted. Beat in the sugar followed by the eggs, vanilla extract and kosher salt.

3) Gradually add the flour and stir until combined.  Add the salted peanuts.

4) Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

5) Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 22-25 minutes.  Cool the brownies to room temperature.

6) While brownies are cooling, sing an electric mixer, beat together the peanut butter and 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter in medium bowl.

7) Beat in the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  The mixture should be very spreadable.  If, for some reason, it isn’t, incorporate a little more milk.  Spread this over the cool brownies.

8 ) Top with Reese’s and enjoy 🙂

Monster Cookies & Birthday

So yesterday was my birthday! I’M 20 YEARS OLD! I can’t believe  it. I feel so old, but at the same time, no different then I did last week. I guess it will just take a little time to settle in the fact that I’m now in my 20’s. My dad joked that he doesn’t think I’ve changed in 20 years, except for maybe a little more hair and my grandfather said he wasn’t sure I’d make it this long 😉


Saturday night, my roomies threw me an incredible party! My lovely roommate took it upon herself to go to four different cupcakes shops in the city to get different cupcakes so that we could have a sampling. It was so much better then cake. Instead of one type of cake, we all got to try chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, mocha, s’mores, and many many more. She got them from Butter Lane, Crumbs, Cupcake Cafe, and Chikalicious. It was amazing! We played a massive game of charades and then broke out the karaoke machine and sang some amazing songs. There was a slight damper on the evening when the fire alarm went off at 1:30 in the morning, but once we got back inside, I got to open all my presents! All and all, I’d say it was one of my most memorable birthdays.

Now of course, even I couldn’t go without baking for my own birthday. I decided on some cookies that I had planned on making weeks ago, but couldn’t because the dough has to be fridgerated for hours. Basically a mix of oatmeal, peanut butter and some M&M’s, monster cookies are bound to become my new comfort cookie. Except for the fridge time, they were incredibly easy to make and to add to the peanut butter, I decided on peanut M&M’s instead of plain ones. The 5 cups of oatmeal lends to many many cookies – I’d say about 40 cookies. I gave a bunch away to my family because there was no way we could finish them all. Hopefully they’ll enjoy them 🙂

MONSTER COOKIES

(Adapted from BAKED)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 ž cups rolled oats
  • ž cups (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 ½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • Âź tsp light corn syrup (I didn’t have any, and didn’t feel like venturing out to get any, and they seemed to turn out fine without)
  • Âź tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chunky peanut butter (I used smooth)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) milk or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) M&M’s (Decided on peanut M&M’s instead to give it even more peanuty flavor – used three packages)

DIRECTIONS:

1) In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the oats and stir until combined.

2) In the bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and pale in color.

3) Add the sugars and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Do not overmix.

4) Scrape down bowl and add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth (about 20 seconds) and scraping down bowl after each edition.

4) Add the corn syrup and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

5) Scrape down bowl and add peanut butter. Mix on low speed until just combined, add the oat mixture in three additions, mixing on low speed until just incorporated.

6) Use a spatula or wooden spoon and fold in the chocolate chips and M&M’s.

7) Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for 5 hours.

8 ) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

9) Use ice cream scoop to scoop out dough into 2- tablespoon size balls on two baking sheets – 2 inches apart. (I just used my hands)

10) Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Let cool on pans for 8-10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.