For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to read. I think I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I’ve been able to read, and there are photos of me, only a few years old, reading to my brother when he was a baby. And others of me at only nine months old reading a book. Okay, at that point I was probably only looking at the pictures, but still, I liked my books. And I remember as a child, sneakily trying to get away with reading a book under my covers with a torch (I think that was probably about as rebellious as I ever got, trying to read after it was lights out time). And although I’ve previously stated that I read cookbooks like novels, I do like reading novels and my “go to” genre would have to be sci fi/fantasy.
A few months ago, a friend of mine recommended the A Modern Witch series by Debora Geary. It didn’t take me long to be hooked on Debora’s books and I very quickly worked my way through the whole series (that has been published to date that is). If you like a bit of magic in your books, I would certainly recommend this series.
You may be wondering what this has to do with a cooking blog and nutella cookies. But there is actually a connection. It is almost impossible to read Debora’s books with out getting hungry and/or having the urge to start baking. Food plays quite a large role in these books. Cookies most of all with nutella cookies and snickerdoodles featuring the most prominently. This made me curious to try to bake these cookies, as I had never tried either. And as a recipe for nutella cookies had already been posted on Debora’s website, they seemed like the best place to start. I have also tried to make the snickerdoodles, but I wasn’t that happy with the recipe I used, so I am going to do a bit more research on those and will post a recipe when I am happy with the results. If you have a recipe you recommend, please let me know.
Now I don’t actually like nutella, so judging the success of the cookies was a bit difficult for me. However the cookies were very popular at work, and I got a few requests for the recipe. I liked the texture, but because I don’t like nutella, the flavour wasn’t really for me. Jerome, who likes nutella, liked them but suggested that they would be better without the extra nutella on top, as he preferred just the cookie itself. Just remember, the most important thing with cookies/biscuits is that they keep cooking after they come out of the oven, so if you wait until they are completely finished, they will then overcook. I found the recommended bake time worked well for these cookies.
Makes between 30-36
- 1 ¼ cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 114g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter – softened
- ½ cup caster sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup Nutella – room temperature
- 1/3 cup milk
- ¼ – ½ cup Nutella for topping (also room temperature)
- Preheat the oven to 150C fan forced (170C). Line 3 baking trays with baking paper (if you don’t have 3 trays, you can use one however you will have to allow the cookies to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before you can prepare the next batch).
- Sift and combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder in a bowl. Whisk to ensure the dry ingredients are combined.
- In a separate large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), cream together the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar on a medium speed using the beater attachment (or using an electric hand mixer) until pale and smooth (about 2 minutes). Add the vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds, then add the ½ cup of nutella and beat until smooth and incorporated.
- Add half the flour and mix until combined (still using the electric mixer or stand mixer). Then add all of the milk and mix until incorporated. Add the rest of the flour and mix until everything is combined.
- Cover and allow to chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes (although it can stay in the fridge for a few days before baking).
- After 15 minutes, or when you are ready to bake, remove the mix from the fridge and roll tablespoon sized amounts of the dough into balls (I used a tablespoon sized cookie scoop to get even sized cookies). Place on the baking sheet/tray, with a 4-5 cm gap in between each cookie as they will spread.
- Lightly flatten the dough balls with the flat of your palm, and then make a small indentation in the middle of each cookie with your thumb. Add a small amount of nutella in each indentation (if you want to use this – you can make the cookies without the extra nutella).
- Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes (mine took 10 minutes with a tablespoon of dough). The cookies are done when cracks start to appear on the top and the cookies have started to set. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cookie rack to cool.
- Store in an airtight container.