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Chocolate Chip Cookies

The perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies are crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. If you agree with me, then this recipe is for you. You can’t go wrong with these cookies. When I asked my family what cookies I should bake for the holidays, these Chocolate Chip cookies were at the top of the list.

I have been making this recipe since I was a teenager. I don’t know where it came from, but it has been my go too recipe most of my life. Other recipes that I have tried over the years just don’t measure up. This recipe calls for both chocolate chips and walnuts. Of course you can use any kind of nut you prefer or none at all, but I think the nuts make them extra good.

Ingredients:
1/2 – cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 – cup sugar
1/4 – cup brown sugar
1 – egg
1 – tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 – cup all purpose flour
3/4 – tsp. salt
1/2 – tsp. baking soda
1/2 – cup chocolate chips
1/2 – cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Once the butter is creamy, add in the flour mixture a little at a time and mix until all incorporated.

Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.

Spoon teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet or on parchment paper. Space them about 2 inches apart.

Bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 10 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Place the cookies on racks to cool.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies




Nutella Sugar Cookie Sandwich

 

Sugar Cookies, Nutella, Espresso, Buttercream

Sugar cookies don’t have to be boring.  Liven them up with Nutella and espresso buttercream frosting.  These stuffed cookies are decadent and delicious.

Ingredients for cookies:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 – cups powdered sugar
1 – large egg
1 1/2 – cups all-purpose flour
3/4 – tsp. baking powder
2 – tsp. vanilla extract
Nutella Hazelnut Spread

Directions:
Add the softened butter and 1 cup powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl, and beat until creamy about 5 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla and continue to mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Next add the baking powder and flour, slowly mix until well incorporated.

Remove the cookie dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. This will make the dough easier to roll out.

While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 375°

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Roll the dough to a 1/4” thickness.

Using a 2” cooking cutter, cut rounds and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If the dough is sticking, dip the cookie cutter into the flour.

Remove the excess dough from around the cookies, and roll it out and repeat the process until you use up all the dough.

Place the cookies about 2” apart and bake for 10 – 12 minutes until lightly browned.

Set aside to cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling, make the buttercream frosting.  The key to a smooth and creamy buttercream icing is not to be in a hurry. Take the time to whip the butter for at least 5 minutes before adding in the sugar, and an additional 4-5 minutes after adding the sugar.

Ingredients for frosting:
1 1/2 – cups butter, softened
2 1/2 – cups powdered sugar
2 – tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 – tsp. instant espresso

Directions:
Put the softened butter into a large mixing bowl and blend on high for about 5 minutes to make smooth and creamy. Stop the mixer a few times to scrap down the sides to be sure to incorporate everything.

Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix about 2 minutes on high with each cup.

In a small bowl, add the instant espresso and vanilla. Stir to dissolve the coffee. When the powdered sugar is completely incorporated and the icing is smooth and creamy, add the espresso mixture and blend one minute more. Half way through, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Assemble the cookies:
Make the cookie sandwiches by spreading the Nutella on the bottom of a cookie and top with another.  Once all the sandwiches are made, ice the tops.  You can use an icing piping bag or applicator or simply spread the icing on the tops with a butter knife.

Sprinkle the tops with Cacoa or chopped chocolate pieces (optional).

Sugar Cookies, Nutella, Espresso, Buttercream

Makes 16 cookie sandwiches.

Enjoy!

Sugar Cookies, Nutella, Espresso, Buttercream

 




Babci’s Brownies

Brownies, Chocolate, Walnuts

This brownie recipe comes from my mother-in-law.  These are my favorite; they are moist and rich, just what you expect from a brownie.

Ingredients:

1 – oz. Baker’s semi sweet chocolate
1/3 – cup butter (unsalted)
2/3 -cup un sifted flour
1/2 – tsp. baking powder
1/4 – tsp. salt
2 – eggs
1 – cup sugar
1-1/2 – tsp. pure vanilla
1/2 – cup chopped walnuts (optional)
12 – whole walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Melt the chocolate and butter.  You can melt it over a double boiler or in the microwave if you prefer.  Add the vanilla to the melted chocolate and set aside.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixing bowl, add the eggs, mixing on high for about 30 seconds.  Add the sugar in gradually.  Continue mixing until smooth and light yellow in color.  This only takes about one minute or so.

Reduce the mixer speed to medium/low and drizzle in the chocolate mixture. Once you have added all the chocolate mixture, start to add in the flour a little at a time until its all incorporated.  Fold in the chopped walnuts.

Pour the brownie mixture into a greased 8 inch square pan.  Cover with foil.

Bake at 350for 20 minutes then remove the foil.  Cook an additional 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Optional:  I usually add whole walnuts on top of the brownies about 2-3 minutes before they are completely cooked. It makes them look nice, and it also serves as a reminder that there are nuts in the brownies for those that may be allergic to nuts.

Makes 12 pieces