Recipe: Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Cookies

Nutella is officially my favorite condiment, but peanut butter takes a close second. When I found this recipe, I couldn't not make it (was that a double negative? Shrugs). I mean, why wouldn't I pair my two <condiment> loves together and win at life? This is my second time making these and they are a synch to make. They come out soft and chewy and you may eat 5 before you even know what's happening.

Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Cookies
Recipe from Sweet Tooth
Yield: 40-45 cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (my PB of choice when baking)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup Nutella (plus 1 tablespoon to sample...quality control people)

Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a medium bowl, beat together butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
3.  Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
4.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until just combined.
5.  Microwave Nutella for 20 seconds and then drizzle over the dough. Fold in Nutella with a spatula until well-distributed throughout the dough.
6.  Chill the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes and then roll small balls by hand.
7.  Place about an inch apart on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and use a fork to press down the balls slightly. Pro Tip: My ball layout was 6 balls x 4 balls...and that's the first and probably last time I'll ever say "ball layout" in my life.
7.  Bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Pro Tip: Mine took 6.5 mins, 8 mins+ made them too dry, but it really depends on your ball size <insert joke here>.
9.  Allow cookies to cool on the pan for 2 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Nutella-marbled

Forked

Ready to be consumed in 3, 2, 1...

Dessert Guilty Pleasures

Dessert guilty pleasures. We've all got 'em. Sometimes they originate from childhood, sometimes they sprout out of no where. I'm talking about that one dessert you're embarrassed to love. You may or may not feel shameful about it, but it exists and you're mostly ok with it.

What's mine? I've gotta go with ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins (or as I like to call it, Raskin Bobbins). The first time I had it was probably at one of my single digit birthday parties at the local bowling alley. I probably brattily insisted that my slice had to have the pink rose in it too. My favorite flavor is Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream with Chocolate Cake. Last year, my hubs got me this exact cake for my birthday and I just about died. Kept it cool on the outside of course, but was as giddy as a school-girl on the inside.

Time to out some people's DGPs (dessert guilty pleasures). Lets start with my sister's: vanilla Costco cake with vanilla frosting, more specifically, the corner piece because it has the most frosting. I admit, it's pretty tasty, if you like average cake. My other sister's is Ding Dongs. I literally just saw a pack of these on her kitchen counter yesterday. #noshame My husband's DGP is Betty Crocker's yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Not bad, but not good. My coworker's is chocolate/vanilla Costco frozen yogurt. The irony is that she doesn't have a membership but has somehow managed to get her fro-yo on. She told me she was denied only once for lack of a membership, which drove her to tears. Apparently it had been a long, bad day and all she wanted was a happy little $1.25 Costco fro-yo. Long story short, she ended up driving to the next nearest Costco, which was an hour away, and was luckily able to fulfill her hankering.

A few others I've heard: Nutella by the spoonful (ok, but who hasn't done that), Hostess Powdered Donettes (craptastic!), Nutrageous (hello 80s candy bar), and lastly a friend insisted that all dessert is a guilty pleasure <shakes head>.

Ok, now that I've shared mine, and outted several people's, what's YOUR dessert guilty pleasure? I promise not to mock you...much.

Wedding Cake Tasting

The day was finally here. WEDDING CAKE TASTING! Naturally, I was beyond excited about this. Giddy even. One of my good friends, Amy, happens to be a kick-ass baker and kindly agreed to make our wedding cake. I've had several of her desserts before so was stoked to try out the cakes she made for us. When we walked into the tasting, she had made not one, not two, but FOUR cakes that were all gorgeous and beautifully presented. We were blown away. Keep in mind, in normal cake tastings, I'm told you usually only get a few slices to share, not actual full-on cakes. Amy rocks.

Our first slice was a golden yellow cake with orange zest and orange/Grand Marnier buttercream frosting. This cake was killer and the citrus kick made it delightfully refreshing. The Grand Marnier was a clever twist too, well played Amy.

Second up was a dark chocolate espresso cake with espresso buttercream frosting. While Amy was describing this cake to us, I was inwardly cheering and outwardly trying to keep my cool. After my first bite...I was in love. Decadent, moist chocolate cake paired perfectly with the light, espresso buttery frosting. Swoon.

Third round was a golden yellow cake with Nutella filling and Nutella buttercream frosting. Man oh man. This golden cake and I should be friends. Close friends. I loved the little pocket of Nutella too which happens to be one of my favorite condiments (yes it's a condiment, ask any Brit). You know what else should be a condiment? Buttercream.

Lastly was a marble cake with chocolate ganache and hazelnut praline with vanilla buttercream frosting. I loved how pretty the slice looked with its marble swirlies. I also enjoyed the crunch the hazelnuts gave.

After we polished off all 4 of these slices each (can you say, cake coma?), my fi and I decided to blurt out our favorite at the count of three. We are very dessert compatible, but if we both said something different, heads would have rolled. Luckily, we both said the same cake and also agreed on our 2nd tier as well. Crisis. Averted.

I've been savoring the to-go slices we were given all week- yes, we even got to take half of the cakes home with us! Can't wait to revisit these beauts on our wedding day (inwardly cheering again).