We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cookie Recipe #246 - Chocolate-Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

Here is another recipe using the chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella) that tastes soooo good. Two chewy oatmeal cookies hold a layer of the chocolate-hazelnut spread between them to form a slightly nutritious(?) sandwich.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats, 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella).

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Mix in flour and oats until thoroughly incorporated.

Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Roll in small bowl of granulated sugar until coated. Place 1 1/2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheet and press down to form 1-inch circles.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven 5-7 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Spread bottoms of half of the cookies with 1/2 teaspoon chocolate-hazelnut spread. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down and pressing gently together.

Makes 3-4 dozen sandwich cookies.

"Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies", Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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