Cookies

No Bake Nutella Balls

Have you ever been craving a chocolate home-made treat but can’t find the energy to turn on the oven, take everything out and bake?  Surprisingly… this happens to me all the time!! I obviously absolutely love getting elbow deep baking in my kitchen but I too buy break & bake toll house cookies!  I’m only human… I must admit.

I had one such moment a couple weeks ago where I suddenly NEEDED a chocolate treat and it needed to be a cookie.  Well I was not about to whip up some cookie dough from scratch and wait for them to chill and bake so I devised a different plan…what about a no bake cookie? Something I could make with things I already had hanging around in my pantry…. thus was born the No Bake Nutella Ball!  This recipe is SO easy to throw together and can be enjoyed immediately if you so desire.  You probably already have most of these ingredients on hand but if you’re missing something there is likely a good substitute you can use:

Don’t have honey?  Use all pure maple syrup.

Don’t have pure maple syrup? Use all honey.

Don’t have Nutella? Use all peanut butter.

In other words.. get created and make these your own!  This recipe will make 16 balls and I literally think they were gone in a matter of 3 days… they’re THAT good!

Let’s get baking… sort of 😉


No Bake Nutella Balls

yield: 16 servings– prep time: 5 minutes – chill time: 30 minutes (optional)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup whole rolled oats

1/2 cup nutella

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 tbsp vanilla

3-4 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tbsp honey

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


Well let’s see bare with me here because this is ONE LONG RECIPE TO FOLLOW……

Step One: Throw all of the above ingredients into a bowl, mix until fully combined then form balls with a cookie scoop and your hands.

Step Two…Oh wait… THAT’S IT!!!!!!! Easy huh??  Here are a few tips to make them extra yummy:

  1. You may find the dough sticky and hard to form into balls.  Keep your hands wet and this should combat the stickiness
  2.  It’s technically optional but you can chill the balls for 30 min and let the ingredients set
  3. Regardless of whether or not you chill them you will need to keep these in the fridge once they’ve been made.  I keep them in a Tupperware in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

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Cookies

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies

I think it’s probably no secret that I love desserts and sweets but if I had to really think about what I am buying myself as a treat more than anything else: it’s always going to be something salted caramel!  It’s the epic and classic combination of sweet & salty!  Seriously though, whoever discovered it all tastes so good together should probably be the next President…. just saying.

These cookies are not only absolutely sinful, they are also EXTREMELY quick and easy to make! True story: a friend of mine realized with only a couple hours to spare that she was expected to bring a baked good to a party.  She texted me asking if I had anything really quick she could make in a pinch.  These cookies are what I suggested! They use only 5 ingredients and are always a huge crowd pleaser! She told me they were such a hit that she overheard person after person talking about how delicious they were, she was the star of the party!

Put these out at your next holiday party and you will be a real hero! Let’s get started!


Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies

yield: about 2 dozen cookies– prep time: 10 minutes – bake time: 15 minutes

1 box of brownie mix (I️ prefer Duncan Hines as shown below)

1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

2 eggs

Soft caramels, cut in half

Sea Salt


Step One:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  This recipe is super simple and starts out a lot like my 5 ingredient double chocolate cookies! Combine the brownie mix, oil and eggs until smooth.

Step Two: Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 min in the fridge. While it’s chilling, begin cutting the caramels in half.  The below picture is of the caramels before they are cut in half, you want them cut in half so they easily fit inside your cookie dough ball!

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Step Three: Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop out cookie dough and hide the caramel inside then roll the dough into a ball:

Step Four: Place the cookies on a parchment lined or greased baking sheet and put into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Once time is up, remove them from the oven and sprinkle sea salt on top immediately.  Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes on the tray before removing them… I know this is hard but you MUST wait the 10 minutes otherwise the caramel will be too hot and fall out of the cookie and then you’ll have a hole in your cookie and nobody wants that!  You can then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool more or dig in 🙂

 

ENJOY!

Cookies

5 Ingredient Double Chocolate Cookies

Happy November!! I seriously can’t believe October is over… it has been a really busy month for me at work and at times I thought I’d never make it here… but alas, I did! Looking forward to things slowing down as we get closer to the new year which of course means I can spend more time in the kitchen!

What better way to kick that off than with the EASIEST double chocolate cookie recipe there is? NO REALLY- you’ll be amazed and I’d be willing to bet you already have all of the 5 ingredients in your pantry!

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I think I have mentioned before that I watch Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship religiously (it starts again this weekend!!!) and I love it because most of the contestants are home, self-taught bakers and they have the best tips.  One tip that stuck with me was to use boxed cake mix in cookie recipes!  If you go looking on the internet, you’ll see this is not a new concept and for good reason– of course it’s brilliant– cake mix tastes DELICIOUS and it already has most of the extra’s you’d need like salt, leavening (b. powder or soda), etc.

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These cookies take only 5 ingredients, 1 bowl and you’ll definitely be able to throw them together in less than 5 minutes! They freeze really well, so I’ll normally bake a few and then freeze the rest of the unbaked dough balls.  Then, it’s as easy and popping them in the oven every time I need a cookie fix, how great is that?  Crispy edges and a soft chewy center make these cookies chocolatey perfection.  And did I mention they are easy and quick to make?? Blink and you’ll miss it…

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5 Ingredient Double Chocolate Cookies

yield: about 2 dozen cookies – prep time: 5 minutes – cook time: 14-16 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 box of chocolate cake mix

1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

2 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup mini chocolate chips


Step One: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Empty the cake mix into a bowl and add the brown sugar.  Mix well until the brown sugar is completely combined

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Step Two: Add the two eggs and oil then stir until smooth.

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Step Three: Mix in the chocolate chips and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 20 minutes.

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Step Four: Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop out cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet (or spray with non-stick) and bake for 14-16 minutes.  I give the range because every oven is different, just watch them and remove when they are fully baked through.  Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then put on a wire rack to cool again for 10 minutes.

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Enjoy!

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Cookies

THE Cookie

That’s right… it’s not just ANY Cookie we are talking here… it is THE Cookie!! Let me explain….

If I’m honest, when I found out my husband and I were moving back to Washington, I was devastated.  I had a really poor experience when we lived here 6 years ago and those memories were branded in mind as all this place could offer.  Looking back with a MATURE eye (I’m  mature, I swear..) I realize my experience had a lot more to do with the fact that it was my first time truly living away from home (across the country, might I add), I was 22, knew nobody, and had NO job and NO money and less to do with this place in general.

My husband arrived a month before me and was busy scouring the area sending me pictures of places we used to go, places he thought I’d be excited to try, etc.  One night he said he was exploring our new neighborhood and came across a magical place called Metropolitan Market (fondly called Met Mart in this family) which is a local grocer with an in house bakery, specialty foods, the works!  He sent me a picture of their famous bakery item.. THE COOKIE and I was like uhhhhhhhhhhhh I NEED TO GO THERE NOW AND EAT THAT!!! Seriously though look…

 

Flash forward a year and a half: I literally bring every out-of-town guest to Met Mart the first day they arrive to visit for the cookie! (is that weird?)

I’ve been eyeing the ingredients they have listed on the display card and thinking for a while.. I want to make a cookie inspired by this!  So… let’s see… what does the sign say I need:

  1. Two kinds of Belgian chocolate- that should be easy
  2. Toasted walnuts- I can do that
  3. Real butter…

….well considering I don’t know what “fake” butter is (nor do I want to) I knew I could deliver on that too.

Ok I’m being sarcastic about the two kinds of Belgian chocolates.. I spent about 10 seconds browsing the Met Mart aisles for Belgian chocolate but then I stopped because I was lazy excited to get home to bake! Nestle chocolate would just have to do..

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In the end these cookies seriously exceeded  expectations.  They started out as a fun experiment but will most likely become my new go-to cookie.  I think the biggest key here is using only brown sugar which I’d never done but resulted in a chewy cookie that had almost a caramel flavor.  I had fun testing with different chill tactics too which I’ll dedicate a blog post to later.  For now- LETS MAKE THE COOKIE!!!!!

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THE Cookie

Yields: 2 dozen cookies (approx) – prep time: 30 min/2 hour/overnight (read on for explanation)– bake time: 14 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup butter (softened to room temp)

2 cups brown sugar packed

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 eggs at room temp

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup Belgian chocolate chocolate chips or chunks of your choice

1 cup chopped walnuts- toasted

Sea salt as desired


 

Step One: Assemble the troops

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Step Two: Take one cup of the chopped walnuts and put them on the stove over medium-high heat.  Watch them closely and toss them around using a wooden spoon. You know they are done when they have slightly browned in color and are fragrant – be careful not to burn them! Remove from heat.

Step Three: Cream the butter in your mixer until very smooth.

Step Four: Add in the packed brown sugar one cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure the sugar and butter get really incorporated and creamed.  It should look something like this:

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Step Five: While the butter and sugar continue to mix, add the eggs in one at a time.

note: having the eggs at room temp is an important step you shouldn’t and don’t need to skip! Adding cold eggs to the room temp butter defeats the purpose of having room temp butter. The end result will be a smooth batter.  Run warm water over the eggs for 2-3 min and that will do the trick! 

Step Six: After the eggs are mixed in, add the vanilla and continue mixing until combined.

Step Seven: In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking soda with a whisk or fork.  Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture 1/2 at a time while the mixer is running.  Stop just as the dough comes together.

Step Eight: Add in the chocolate chips and toasted walnuts and mix with spatula until fully distributed.

Step Nine: Take a quiet moment alone to appreciate the beauty you have just created…. aka eat the dough that’s on the paddle!!! (what did you think I meant?)

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Step Ten: This is the important part… CHILL YOUR DOUGH. No really!! it makes a HUGE difference (more to come in future post).  I suggest chilling your dough overnight for the most tender and chewy cookies but totally understand that sometimes you can. not. wait. In that case, chill for AT LEAST 30 minutes or 2 hours if you don’t want to do overnight. But honestly you’re a grown-up so if you wanted to put them in the oven right away I CAN’T STOP YOU! Isn’t being a grown-up awesome? Once your desired time has passed, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Step Eleven: Using a cookie scoop (or two spoons) scoop the dough and put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  I usually only cook about 6 at a time to be sure they cook evenly.

You can have fun with this part, as I did, and stack scoops on top of eachother for a thicker, larger cookie.  If you flatten the first scoop and keep the second one circular, you create a cookie with thin crispy edges and a thick, soft, chewy center (MY PERSONAL FAV!) Like this:

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Another fun tip: to make your cookies picture perfect, add extra chocolate chips on top before baking 🙂

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Step Twelve: Finally, sprinkle with sea salt (if desired) and bake in the oven for 14 minutes.

Step Thirteen: Take the cookies out of the oven and immediately sprinkle with more sea salt if desired. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then on a wire rack for at least another 5.  Pour yourself some ice cold milk and ENJOY!!!

 

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