Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pumpkin Nutella Cookies

     One big and one little.

My daughter-in-law sent me a link to  There was a recipe she thought I would like.  It was a cookie with Nutella in it.  What's not to like?

If you have never had Nutella, then you have a treat coming.  It is what they use for chocolate crepes in Paris.  It is what a lot of Europeans have on their toast or bagels for breakfast.  It is the chocolate filling for lots of baked goods.  Nutella was developed during WWII when chocolate was hard to get.  So add some hazelnut butter to stretch the chocolate, and HEY!.  This tastes pretty GOOD!   It is sort of like peanut butter with chocolate in it.  Only way better.

Pumpkin is also nutritious.  So add the protein from the hazelnuts and the goodness of squash and these cookies are practically a whole nutritious meal all by themselves!  The first batch I made, the cookies were a bit too big.  I used a Tablespoon scoop as recommended.  The second batch I made with a smaller scoop and I liked them better.  These cookies are very soft and the smaller ones seemed to hold up better than the bigger ones. I kept some out, for testing purposes only.  I am that concerned for you.  The rest I froze for the holidays when massive hoards of people will descend (two adult children).  That was my concern for ME.

Pumpkin Nutella Cookies

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup Nutella

Preheat the oven to 350.  I use Silpats for the cookie sheets, but if you don't have them use parchment paper.


Whisk together all the wet ingredients (pumpkin, oil, vanilla and egg) in a large bowl. You will have left over pumpkin.  Label a Ziploc bag, sandwich size is fine.  There will be about 3/4 cup left.  Put it into the bag and set the bag in the freezer.  Use it for baking, or even a veggie soup later.


Don't forget that the recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon vanilla.  I love vanilla so I went ahead and put it in.  I was a bit concerned that it was a typo, because that seemed like a lot, but it tasted great, so go for it.   Add the sugar and whisk that in.  Whisk vigorously to dissolve all the sugar.


The recipe called for another bowl to mix all the dry ingredients.  I hate doing that.  So I carefully placed all the dry ingredients on top of the pumpkin and swirled it around with a fork. Then I mixed it into the pumpkin below.  That saved ONE WHOLE DISH.  Yay, me. 


So, if you like to follow directions, use another bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together and then mix it into the pumpkin mixture.  This is make sure that everything is evenly distributed.  I just stir it well and don't worry about it.


Oh, and don't forget to change from a whisk to a spoon.  The whisk will fill with batter and it will be a pain and a mess to try to get the batter out of it.  Don't ask me how I know this.  Just assume that I was smart about this baking process and move along.


Now for the Nutella.  It is cold right now, so my Nutella was a bit hard.  In the summer it gets softer.  I popped it into the microwave for about 10 seconds and then the scooping went easier.  I filled a 1/2 cup measure and then,  using a dinner teaspoon, scooped small globs and dropped them all over the top of the pumpkin mixture.


Next take a spoon or knife and swirl all through the Nutella lumps.  Leave it swirly and don't mix it all the way in.  I did a couple of deeper swirls to mix the Nutella clear through.  Don't worry of there is a big spot of pumpkin.  You can swirl the scooper through the different areas to make sure you have a good mix in each scoop.
If the mixture is too warm to scoop, put it in the refrigerator for awhile.  A cookie scoop works great here.  I tried a fairly large (1 Tablespoon) scoop, but these cookies are very soft and so I went with a small cookie.  The smaller scoop is just perfect.  Plus, then you can eat more cookies!


Leave room between the cookies as they will spread out a bit.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.   Let them sit on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.

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