Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies

Peanut Butter and Nutella is one of those classic combinations that you’d be crazy not to like. The sweet, nuttiness of the Nutella combined with the richness of peanut butter– it’s just heaven. In fact, one of my favorite indulgences is to put this combo on a spoon and eat it as a lollipop (you know you’ve done it too!). So tomorrow is a peanut butter cookie bake-off at my office so I decided that my submission would be a cookie that highlights this classic combo.

After searching the internet for inspiration, I found this recipe on a blog called Delightful Bitefuls and the cookies looked delicious, so I decided to try them. The ingredient list is pretty straightforward, and aside from peanut butter and Nutella, the rest of the ingredients are ones you probably already have in the house:

  • 1 stick butter at room temperature (leave it out for about 30 minutes to get the right consistency)
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Nutella (or more if you <3 Nutella)
This recipe starts the way most cookie recipes do, by mixing butters and sugars until well blended. Assuming your butter is at room temperature, this should happen pretty quickly. You don’t need to mix them too much, but you want them to be well blended. Add the egg and the vanilla and mix again until blended.
Next you want to add the baking soda, salt, and flour and mix until combined. If you have a Kitchen Aid this whole process should take about 5 minutes total. A little trick of the Kitchen Aid trade: turn the mixer on and off a few times after you’ve added all the flour so that it doesn’t end up all over your kitchen. Just 3 or 4 quick “pulses” will help get the flour slightly incorporated so that you can leave it on low speed and still have the flour in your bowl.  Once that is incorporated, add the Nutella and use a butter knife to swirl it into the batter. If you love Nutella as much as I do, you’ll want to make sure that you get every last bit of the 1/4 cup into the bowl, so spray your measuring cup with Pam to help eliminate sticking. Also, if you love Nutella as much as I do, you’ll probably want to increase the amount you put into your cookie to 1/3 cup. The way my cookies ended up, some had great PB to Nutella ratio, others not so much…
Refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes while your oven preheats to 350. Now, the next step is a bit messy, but what helped me was to spray my hands with Pam to make the dough easier to handle. I use the Pam trick a lot when I need a little bit of something to go a long way– like spreading sushi rice onto nori, but that is a different post…Roll tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheets.
Using a fork (also sprayed with Pam) press down the cookies in the center creating a criss-cross pattern and flattening out the cookies. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes (rotating oven position half way through) until cookies are just golden brown and slightly firm. When you take them out of the oven they might seem under-baked but don’t be fooled by them! Just let them rest for a few minutes on the cookie sheet and they’ll become the perfect consistency. Move to a cooling rack (if you have the self-discipline). These are DELICIOUS when they’re hot with a nice glass of milk (or soy milk!).
Aside from the slight increase on the Nutella and couple of additional minutes of bake time (original recipe called for 7-10 minutes) I didn’t modify the recipe. These are an excellent indulgence and its hard to eat just 1, so I would recommend sharing them with friends or co-workers. The recipe made 3 dozen cookies. Fun cookies to make with kids and perfect for beginners! Even my mom, who burns break and bake cookies could handle these! What a great tribute to a classic combo 🙂

Terry’s Apple Cake

This is my favorite fall cake recipe. In fact, it’s probably in my top 3 most delicious cakes (the other two being Erika’s carrot cake and a Turkish cake called corek). I don’t know where the recipe originated from but I learned about it from the family that lived across the street from us in Brooklyn. That’s why I call it Terry’s Apple Cake. What’s brilliant about this cake is that there are chunks of apples coated with cinnamon running throughout the center of the cake. It sort of gives you that feeling like you’re being healthy (which is what I think when I eat carrot cake), but don’t fool yourself. It’s a delicious cake, but it’s not really a healthy one.

So today, Geoff and I went apple picking and came back with way more apples than we know what to do with, so making Terry’s Apple Cake was a no brainer. In fact, I decided to make a double recipe so that we could bring some to each of our respective offices tomorrow. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll just talk about a single recipe, but if it looks like a ton of food in the photos you’ll know why.

The first thing you’ll want to do is prep the apples. Here’s what you’ll need

  • 4-5 apples, peeled and cubed
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
In a bowl, mix cubed apples with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Set aside. 
Here’s what you’ll need for the rest of the cake:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
Mix sugar and vegetable oil together. Add the rest of the ingredients, alternating wet and dry ingredients, mixing until everything is incorporated. The batter will be very thick.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 and grease (and flour if you want) a 9×13 baking dish. Pour 3/4 of the batter into the baking dish. Spread apples over the cake. I recommend doing this with a slotted spoon as the apple mixture probably has a lot of delicious sugary, cinnamony, lemony liquid which tastes good, but too much of it will make the cake too wet.
Drizzle the rest of the batter over the apples. It won’t all be covered, but that’s ok, just have fun with it! It will taste delicious so matter what. Before you put it in the oven it will look like this:
The cake will bake at 350 for about 60-75 minutes. This has never happened to me before, but for some reason when I was baking today, the edges cooked very quickly while the center was still uncooked. Both cakes were on the same level, so it wasn’t a matter of rotating them. What I did to fix this was lowered the temperature to 325 for the last 30 minutes of baking.
Here are some photos of the finished product:
Please make this cake so you can love it as much as I do. And happy fall!