This post combines two of my favourites, reading mysteries and baking. And chocolate. (But that’s pretty low down on my list of faves, to be honest.)
I’ve read almost all of the Joanne Fluke mysteries but can’t remember trying out any of the recipes she includes in each novel until I finished “Blackberry Pie Murder” late last night. One of the cookie recipes featured Nutella, and since I have most of a jar of the hazelnut chocolate spread in my pantry, I thought I’d give it a try. I just made half the recipe (2 1/2 – 3 dozen cookies) as I didn’t want to use up most of my unsalted butter.
The cookies were very good freshly baked, though I think they were even better a few hours later as the flavour developed/ripened. They’re not overly sweet so I liked them better than many sweeter cookies I’ve tried. I baked for the shorter time suggested as I wanted a chewy rather than a crunchy result. If you don’t want to just eat them plain with a cup of cold milk, turn them into ice cream sandwiches. If you want a fancier presentation, press a small hazelnut on top of the cookie ball before baking.
If you don’t think you can get a hold of the book from your library, you can find the recipe
on line at “The Sugared Teacup” blog. (Sorry, the direct link is no longer valid.) below.
Chocolate Hazelnut Crackles (Nutella Cookies) – makes 5 to 6 dozen cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Nutella
2 large eggs, well beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
Melt the butter (in a saucepan or microwave) and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and vanilla. Beat well until the sugar is mixed in well. Add the baking soda, baking powder, and salt and stir.
Add the Nutella and stir in until smooth and then add the beaten eggs and stir.
Add the flour and continue mixing until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Form the dough into walnut-sized (~1 tbsp) balls and place them on a greased (or parchment paper lined) cookie sheet, 12 to a half sheet. (If the dough is too sticky to form into balls, chill it for a half hour or so).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. The balls will flatten out all by themselves. (Note: For more chewy cookies, bake at the lesser time.)
Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then remove them to a wire rack with a thin metal spatula to finish cooling.
Recipe from Joanne Fluke’s Blackberry Pie Murder. New York: Kensington Publishing Corporation, 2014.