Recipe: Nutella filled cookies


As well as making raspberry & white chocolate cookies on the weekend, I also decided, on a whim, to try and experiment with nutella filled cookies.



I used my normal base cookie recipe, but with milk choc chunks instead of the white chocolate and raspberry (although I did experiment with one nutella filled raspberry-and-white-choc cookie, which was fine, but didn't work as well as the normal choc chunk cookies).

Method

We will be following the same instructions as described here, but before we start, we will line a baking tray, and using a teaspoon put small blobs of nutella on it, and put it in the freezer to harden - this is mostly to make it easier to handle when we try to get it into our cookie later:



Once you have the cookie dough cooled and ready to cook, rather than shaping it into a ball, flatten each piece slightly and then put a piece of the frozen nutella in the center, shaping the dough back into a ball around the nutella competely.

Cook as described and eat!


rob hinds Shambolically fumbling my way around the kitchen

Recipe: My favourite cookies


As I have mentioned before, one of my favourite sweet combinations is raspberry and chocolate - whether it be milk, dark or white chocolate, it just seems to work so well for me, so unsurprisingly, if not controversially, my favourite cookies are white chocolate and raspberry.



I made them last week, as a sort of practice run for an upcoming birthday party for my youngest, but I am pretty tempted to just keep making them regularly. Although, I am the only one in the house who prefers them to normal chocolate chip cookies, but that probably works in my favour too, as it means more for me (or more likely they don't all get eaten whilst I am out at work).


They are pretty simple, and are actually my go to cookie recipe, but you can replace the raspberries and white choc with plain choc chunks or whatever your mood fancies.


Ingredients

  • 170 grams unsalted butter
  • 250 grams plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 160 grams light brown sugar
  • 200 grams white choc chunks
  • 10 grams freeze dried raspberries

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Makes about 15-25 cookies, depending on the size you go for
  1. Mix the flour, oats, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl

  2. Add the sugars and butter in a bowl (ideally of a freestanding mixer, but whatever) and mix well - for a few minutes with the paddle attachment if you have one, but again, whatever. Just mix it well so it is smooth and well beaten

  3. Add the egg and beat/mix again for a minute or so until well combined. Add the vanilla if using it.

  4. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined and formed a cohesive dough. If you are using a free standing mixer, then increase the power slowly, as if you go straight in fast then you will get covered in flour. This has happened more than once to me.

  5. Chuck in the choc chunks and raspberries and mix for another 30sec-1min

  6. Wrap the the dough in clingfilm and stick it in the fridge to cool - probably an hour or so

  7. Once cooled, chunk the dough into small fist size balls and place them equally spaced on a baking tray and cook for about 15minutes, or until  they have melted into cookie shapes and lightly browned.

  8. Take them from the oven, let them cool for a bit


rob hinds Shambolically fumbling my way around the kitchen

Stoneware baked shortbread


A few years ago I got bought a stoneware shortbread mould, basically identical to the one below:
Its a classic stone, patterned shortbread mould from Lakeland, that's supposed to create traditional shortbread.

As I have previously mentioned, I quite like shortbread, so over the years I have attempted to use the stoneware to create picture perfect shortbread (with a variety of normal and brown-butter recipes), all of which ended in disaster.

I tried a number of tricks: cooking it low and slow, making sure it cools completely (several hours) before removing, greasing the mould, but every time it came out in pieces and mostly stuck to the mould. Searching for advice, several people in the lower end of the product reviews experienced similar results (although several people gave 5-star reviews with claims of mould-glory) and one of the top results on google was an article about similar disastrous experiences using the same mould, I didn't have high hopes.


I am pleased to say though, that I have had a breakthrough.


There were lots of comments in the review section for the product saying it worked as-is, recommending shortening, or letting chill completely, which I can confirm absolutely did not work for me, however, one or two comments and some more careful searching lead me to the idea of seasoning it (much like when I got my pride-and-joy new cast iron skillet) - which suddenly made sense. Its a natural, porous material, which draws moisture our of the contents (which is one of the properties that makes stone an appropriate material for pizza stones - the other property being the heat retention, also much like cast iron) - seasoning, the act of heating oil or (non burning) fat above its "smoke point" creates a chemical reaction where by the oil bonds and forms a natural, breathable coating.

Much like a well aged, well used, cast iron pan can demonstrate incredible non-stick performance - due to long term use - the same applies to stoneware for baking wet foods - there is apparently a saying that goes

The worse it looks, the better it cooks
Thankfully, cast iron or stoneware, you don't need a lifetime of use before you start to see the best results - we can fast track the process by seasoning the pan. As it happens, seasoning pans is very satisfying.


Seasoning a pan is simple -

  1. Pre-heat your oven to as hot as it will go (it might smoke, so make sure you are ready to have windows/doors open)

  2. Apply oil (I used vegetable oil) to the pan, not a lot, just a light coat (trying to make sure there aren't bits of dust or paper debris from kitchen towels - as the stone can be fairly abrasive, and any debris is going to get sealed into the surface)

  3. Put the dish in the oven for around 30 minutes

  4. Take out, let it cool completely (this will take a while, remember what I mentioned about it stone retaining heat)

  5. Repeat the process two or three times (I find it quite addictive to repeat, as the results are such a delight)



The results should be clear - the colour will change fairly dramatically, and if you touch it (once its cooled down) it will be fairly smooth.

If you look at the colour in the starting photo, a kind of pale-greyish white, that is how my mould started out, and below is after three or so seasoning runs:


Isn't that a beautiful colour?


And here's the successful results:



(a success in as much that it came out, pattern in tact - however it was an iteration on my brown butter shortbread development, so still a work in progress)





rob hinds Shambolically fumbling my way around the kitchen