Flourless Nutella cookies and crisps

I came across a Food & Wine recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies in The Tennessean over Christmas and jotted it down. Then I thought — hey! NUTELLA! Because, you know, it’s Nutella. How could it NOT be good?

Because these are flourless they crisp up a lot as they cool. You can control the thickness with cooking time; around 10 or 11 minutes gets you a thicker cookie; more than 12 minutes gets you a crisp, thin wafer. Both are crispy after they cool, and both are fabulous. Make a tray of each and see what you like.

Flourless Nutella cookies and crisps

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together and drop by tablespoon on parchment lined cookie sheets
  2. Bake at 350F, but don’t go far! These go from cookie to crisp in seconds, so watch for when they rise and start cracking on top
  3. Take them out just after cracking for a thicker result, or let them rise, crack and fall for thinner crisps.

Cappuccino fudge crinkles

Kiddo and I had the urge to make cookies, and since he doesn’t actually eat any of them, I get to pick the recipes. This one jumped right off the page at me, I swear: cookies plus chocolate plus coffee? Sign me up.

This one is from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook — you know, the red and white one. It’s a classic.

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 packed cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee (I used two packets of Starbucks VIA sent to me gratis by the awesome Maris)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

To make:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. With a mixer, beat butter on medium to high speed for about 60 seconds to soften it up, then add in brown sugar, cocoa powder, coffee, baking soda, and cinnamon (not granulated sugar). Beat till combined, scraping bowl as necessary
  3. Add in egg whites and yogurt, and beat till combined
  4. Add in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating till just combined (if you’re using a hand mixer you may need to finish off with a wooden spoon — the batter gets pretty thick and sticky)
  5. Pour granulated sugar in a shallow bowl, then drop teaspoons of the cookie dough into the sugar, a few at a time. Roll the dough into balls, coating with sugar as you go. The dough will be crazy sticky, but you’ll be able to handle it easier once the white sugar is stuck to it
  6. Place cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about ten minutes, or until edges are firming up. Cool on a wire rack
  7. Eat with abandon Carefully pack up to give away

Russian tea

Russian tea recipe

Can I just say, for the record, I have no idea why this is called Russian Tea? I don’t. But I DO know why I’ve kept this recipe, written on orange construction paper, for so long: it is SO GOOD. I used to be a preschool teacher, and the teacher in the next room over gave me this recipe forever ago. Every year I make it it’s just as good as I remembered! There are a lot of versions floating around out there, but this one has never failed me. You will need:

Russian tea mix

  • 2 cups Tang mix
  • 1/3 cup lemonade mix
  • 3/4 cup instant tea (recipe says decaf; I use fully leaded because I have a 3 year old)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves

Then just mix it all in a bowl and store in a jar — so easy that this is a great project for the kids to help with. To serve, pour one cup of hot water over 1 Tbsp. of tea mix (grownups only with the boiling water, obviously).

This mix looks very pretty in little jars for presents, along with some sugar spice craisin nuts.

I must confess, though, my favorite thing to do with this tea is to enjoy a steaming cup of it in the afternoon with a little plate of cookies. It’s downright civilized, I tell you. My two favorite accompaniments for Russian tea this year are these buttered rum meltaways from Erin’s Food Files, and these shortbread cookies from The Novice Chef, my two bloggie sisters in crime. Try them… you won’t be sorry!

Russian tea

White chocolate oatmeal Craisin cookies

I had a morning appointment at Redo in Franklin (if you haven’t been, go now — love them) today and, as I am wont to do, brought The Kiddo with me. Fortunately he travels well, especially when the iPod is loaded up with Super Why. Know what else travels well? These cookies! I can neither confirm nor deny that they are lovely for breakfast sandwiched around a healthy smear of peanut butter.

This varies just a bit from the recipe on the Craisin bag, so here ’tis:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag Craisins
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

To make the goodness:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla for 5 minutes at medium speed till mixture is light and fluffy
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a second bowl and add to butter mixture one cup at a time, mixing till just incorporated
  4. Stir in Craisins and white chocolate chips
  5. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto nonstick or greased cookie sheets and bake for about 10 minutes until they’re just starting to brown around the edges
  6. Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes, then move to wire rack to completely cool

This makes about 5 dozen, and they  freeze beautifully! Enjoy!

Classic chocolate chip cookies

Just makes you want to reach for a glass of milk, doesn’t it?

These are classic, easy, ridiculously nom-worthy chocolate chip cookies from my very favorite cookbook. Get the oven heating!

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup softened shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar — half brown, half white
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips (about 1 1/4 cups, or half a bag)

And then:

  1. Mix together butter, shortening, sugar, egg and vanilla till creamy, but not fluffy
  2. Sift together and stir in flour, soda, salt and mix in with wet ingredients
  3. Add in chocolate chips and stir
  4. Chill dough while oven is preheating to 375F
  5. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet, about 2″ apart
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes until they are just barely starting to brown — Betty says “delicately browned.” I love that
  7. Cool slightly on the cookie sheet, then move to a rack to cool completely

Makes about 3 dozen 2″ cookies. And they don’t last long.