Friday, April 6, 2012

Nutella Swirl Cornmeal Cookie

I haven't made happenstance cookies in ages. Sure, I made Christmas cookies but I haven't just had a random idea and stared into the pantry, hoping I had the ingredients, in ages.

I had been sitting on the couch, wanting some sort of sweetie treatie, and knowing that our mainstay treat (an ice cream) wasn't going to cut it. I wanted texture, definitely. I also wanted something sweet but not overly sweet. Those two things, I was sure of. The rest... subject to the addition or subtraction of my pantry.

No peanut butter cookie here. No chocolate chips either. It's a very sophisticated cookie with its cornmeal crunch, swirl of nutella, and heady spiciness of nutmeg. Feel free to tone down the nutmeg... but I rather liked it at this level. Nutmeg doesn't often get the chance to be a star. It's usually a small grating or small pinch or its the supporting cast member to a cinnamon star. No supporting role here. It is front, centre, and bold.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup nutella

Heat your oven to 375 F. 

As with every cookie, you need to start with a good base. Cream your butter and sugars. I usually add the three to my mixer, mix slowly at first, then increase the speed to really force the butter and sugar to melt into each other. Give it a minute or two of mixing time and watch for the butter to welcome the sugar ever so slightly and lose a bit of that completely grainy texture that it would have started with.

To the butter-sugar mix, add the egg and vanilla. Again, mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients - flour, cornmeal, nutmeg (if you find nutmeg to be too overwhelming and heady, you can reduce this amount or substitute with something you prefer more), salt and baking soda.

Chop your hazelnuts. If your nutella is cool, give it a few 10-15 second zaps in the microwave to make it nice and spreadable.

Mix your dry ingredients into the wet. This is the stage where want to start moving quickly yet gingerly. Now that the flour has combined with the wet ingredients, your work and force will only wake and develop the gluten, yielding a tough cookie. Gently stir in the hazelnuts.

Now, dollop your nutella on top and gently cut it into the dough. You're looking to swirl it into the dough in ribbons, not combine it thoroughly.

Portion out your cookies and place them on parchment lined cookie sheets. This recipe will make 12 obscenely delicious (and obscenely large) cookies... or 18-24 more reasonably sized ones. What size of cookie do you think I made??

Bake for 10 minutes (12 for the obscene), then let rest for about 3-4 minutes on the tray on top of the stove before transferring them to a wire rack.

If you've managed to wait, time for your reward. If you couldn't, I hope you didn't burn your mouth. hahaha.

That's one of the pretty little homemade sugar cubes!

And, you know what else, it felt good to have a spontaneous baking idea again. It's been a while since I've been so... unstructured... and this was a great reward for that effort!

1 thought(s):

Anonymous said...

My wife is on a real cookie making kick, so I think i'll show her this recipe. It would be a real shame if she got inspired to make them for me. ;-)

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