“Nutella Dream Pocket Cookies”

Hi guys!

Today I’m live-baking these amazing looking things called “Nutella Dream Pocket Cookies,” a term which seems to be coined by this blogger: http://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2013/09/19/nutella-dream-pocket-cookies/

I came across Carla’s blog post on Pinterest of course, because as you guys know I find all of my projects on Pinterest. She was making these cookies as a tribute to her friend who passed away from Leukemia. I don’t have quite as noble a cause, but then again you don’t really need any sort of cause to make cookies, especially when Nutella is involved. Nutella is enough of a reason 🙂

Well, I think that I have this brilliant idea for how to make this recipe even easier than it already is. You see, Carla has her readers making the dough themselves, but I happen to have a box of pre-made puff pastry sheets in the freezer. I’ll make both kinds to see which one is better, because one is significantly easier and one is well, the right way.  

OH well considering the puff pastry needs 40 minutes to thaw, I guess I’ll start with the other kind. I guess I wasn’t supposed to try to unfold it yet…

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I think it should still be okay. The cookies shouldn’t be wider than that strip anyway. I set my oven timer for 40 minutes and set the puff pastry to the side so I could focus on the correct recipe.

For the right version, you need all this stuff: 

  • 6 tablespoons butter- you definitely need to soften it because the original recipe doesn’t say to, but then it tells you to mix it with both kinds of sugar and there’s no way that’ll work unless you soften it. I like, liquefied it, and I was worried it was too much, but it worked out fine. 
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar- try to break it up as much as possible
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Nutella- I feel like that’s hardly anything. I might be a little bit more generous with my Nutella. 

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Okay, so I softened the butter and I mixed it in with the two sugars until (essentially) smooth. The next step is to add in the egg yolk and the vanilla. Remember when I separated an egg for the first time? I love when new skills come in handy! 

Now I’m running into a slight issue because my brown sugar was really hard and chunky when I put it in the mixture, so there are still little chunks in it even though the rest of the mixture is light and fluffy like the recipe says it should be. I think I’m going to ignore it and move on…

Now I’m gradually adding in the flour. It’s getting more dough-like, exactly as it should, and I just tasted it. It’s DELICIOUS. I don’t even think it needs Nutella, I would eat it just like this. I gathered all the dough into a ball and flattened it into a disk, and now it’s in the fridge for an hour to chill. That’s actually a little annoying because I didn’t realize I was going to have to do that, but it gives me some time to focus on the puff pastry version of the recipe, which is ready to get started now that it’s defrosted. 

I tried to put the broken piece back together, but I’m not sure that it worked very well. Either way, like I said, I’m not sure that it really matters.

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I’m using a wine glass to get my circle shape, because I’m very resourceful, but I suggest using the lid of a mason jar. It’s equally resourceful but I just have more wine glasses available than mason jars. Somewhat odd but also somewhat fitting. If you have a circle shaped cookie cutter then that’s obviously ideal, but less resourceful. Now, make two circles, like this:

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Then, spread some Nutella on one of them, and sandwich them together so they look like an Uncrustable. Use a fork to make the pretty edges like the picture. 

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EXCUSE ME?! You don’t know what an Uncrustable is?? What kind of sad childhood did you have? I had two of these every single day for lunch in middle school. I would rip off the “crust” and eat it, and then eat the sandwich part. Love those things. OMG I want one right now. 

Sorry, I’m back from memory lane. My oven is at 350, and my cookies are formed. I’m putting them in the oven for 12 minutes to start; it says 12-15. 

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Well. It’s been 12 minutes, and they’re definitely done -____-

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That little half one that I made popped right open and another one just fell apart. I guess they call it “puff” pastry for a reason, duh. Okay, so that wasn’t my most brilliant idea. But actually, if you squish them down a little, they don’t really look that bad. Definitely not ideal, possibly a little sick looking, but not inedible. 

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And they taste pretty delicious, too. It tastes like a chocolate croissant; like a fresh version of the one that they have at Starbucks. I consider this a modest success. 

Now, since the dough I made by hand has been chilling for about an hour, I’m gonna go back to the original recipe. I spread some flour all over a rolling pin, and rolled out the dough so it was preeeetty thin. I used the wine glass technique again to cut out circles, and then did the same thing that I did with the puff pastry version. Spread Nutella on half of the circles and then put the rest of the circles on top, then smooshed the edges down with a fork so they look like Uncrustables.

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Now the second batch is in the oven!

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And they’re done! I may have overcooked them a little bit, because they look a little dark around the edges, but they look pretty good to me!

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I actually like the taste of the first ones better, but I like the look of these better. These are great too, don’t get me wrong, but the taste of the cookie seriously overpowered the taste of the Nutella. They taste like sugar cookies with a hint of chocolate. For my next batch, I think I’ll be even more generous with the filling for my fellow Nutella-lovers 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think of it. I always love getting messages and comments 🙂

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Day 11: Candy Cane Heart Lollipops!

So Day 11 is dedicated to an easy little recipe that you can do not only for Christmas, but also Valentine’s Day, or any other day if you happen to keep candy canes in the house year round 😉 

You’ll need:

Mini candy canes

White chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate because I already had them in the house…my car was in use by my dad because it’s only my car when he says it can be my car…I think white chocolate is prettier and more delicate looking though)

Sprinkles- in any color or shape that you feel is Christmas-y or appropriate for the occasion

Some sort of stick that should be oven safe for three minutes

It’s really simple, but the result is pretty fragile. Here’s what I came out with in the end:

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But here’s what I came out with when I was actually just finished. It’s honestly really cute, and it can definitely be done the right way if you’re a little more careful with it than I was:

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Even in this picture though, you’ll notice it’s a little cracked at the bottom. It’s okay though. Like I said, it can be done but you have to be more talented and patient than me. Well either way, here’s what ya do.

First, preheat the oven to 300. Put your two candy canes on a tray, and have them touching either side of the stick so they’re shaped like a heart. Melt your chocolate chips, and fill up the whole center. Then, stick it in the oven for just three minutes! When you pull it out, add your sprinkles and put it in the fridge until it hardens. BUT make sure your candy canes are touching the stick before it cools! I put mine away to cool for like a half hour, and it was rock solid, which was good, but probably most of the reason why it cracked. And after all that effort I put into making a place for it in the fridge…

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When it had hardened, I used a toothpick to kind of scrape it off of the pan. There was probably a better method, because that’s how I broke it, but I don’t know what that better method might have been. Maybe using parchment paper instead of the plain tray. It probably would’ve peeled right off. You live and learn, I guess. 

In the end, I wouldn’t call this one a complete failure. It looked cute for about 30 seconds, and when it broke, my sister ate half of it and said it was good. I consider that a win. 

So, let me know what you think! If you try it, I always like to hear how it came out for you! 

See you guys ASAP!

Love,

Nicole♥

 

Creamy Pumpkin Pie Dip

Hello Lovelies!

First, I have to give a shout out to my friend Taylor and her new blog. A few days ago she posted this seriously awesome idea about walnuts and I literally cannot wait to go back to my room and try it with every kind of nut I have available to me. (well, almost every kind available to me…) If you’re interested in a different take on college cooking (I live in a dorm and she lives in an apartment, so she has a different variety of things available to her) you can check her our here: http://letallfoodiesunite.tumblr.com/

Next, let me show you what I tried out this week. The pin was a general pin for easy Thanksgiving recipes that a college kid could make if they were staying at school, or if they were coming home at the last minute and still wanted to have something to offer to the table. I looked through them all, and oddly enough only one of their ideas was actually doable, and it was this one.

Actually, that’s not really true, I’m just a pretty picky eater and all of their other ideas grossed me out.

Anyway, the recipe calls for these ingredients:

8 oz spreadable cream cheese

1 cup canned pumpkin (didn’t know that was a thing)

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar (is a liquid 3/4 cup different from a dry 3/4 cup? If so I screwed that one up)

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (didn’t know that was a thing either but it certainly made my life easier)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup sour cream

If you’re anything like me, you were thinking that this was going to be a dessert dip until you saw the cream cheese and sour cream. I planned on making this recipe for Thanksgiving and just posting about it then, but I decided I should probably try it out first before I subject my whole family to something that could be horrfying. So, here we are.

The instructions say to cream together the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. I started by stirring with a spoon and when I wasn’t even getting to what my loose interpretation of “smooth” was, I moved on to a whisk, which worked much better, duh.

Now, I’m home for the weekend, and this whole time my mom was standing over my shoulder making me nervous about how it was going to turn out. She wasvery skeptical about everything I was doing. She had me let her try it after this step, and she proclaimed that it was “just okay.” I was like mom, that’s probably because you’re eating a mixture of cream cheese and pumpkin. Luckily, as we found out through this preemptive taste test, the pumpkin greatly overpowers the cream cheese, and you don’t taste it at all. It’s most definitely a dessert dip.

After that’s “smooth,” whatever that means to you, it was time to add in the rest of the stuff. I say that it doesn’t have to be completely smooth because you still have to stir all of these things in. It’ll be really smooth by the time you’re done. Anyway, in this next step you stir in the cinnamon, vanilla, ginger and sour cream. I’ve never had sour cream before, just because there’s nothing at all about it that sounds appealing. I almost forgot to put it in, and I think it’s because I had a mental block preventing me from doing it. Of course though, mommy dearest was still over my shoulder, and she convinced me that sour cream isn’t really sour, and it’s kind of like plain yogurt. I don’t know if that’s true, because I still didn’t try it. I also don’t know what plain yogurt tastes like, so I don’t know why that was a comfort to me. Either way, I added it in with the rest of the ingredients and mixed it all up again. However, after another taste test, it was still deemed “okay.” I thought it was really good.

The last step is to refrigerate it before serving. It requires at least two hours of fridge time, but you can leave it in as long as you want. I left it in overnight (I forgot about it) and this morning I gave it one more taste test to see if it was any good. I don’t know if she was in a better mood today or what, but it moved up from “just okay” to “pretty good.” I don’t know. I thought it was good the whole time.

One thing I’d like to note is that the taste of pumpkin is pretty strong. Obviously, it’s a pumpkin pie dip so it should be, but to me it’s stronger than it is in most pumpkin pies I’ve had. I don’t dislike it, but if you’re not crazy about the sound of that, you might want to cut down on the amount of pumpkin yout put in. NOT BY A LOT but maybe 3/4 cup instead of a full cup. Overall, I actually think this was one of the least eventful recipes I’ve tried. The ingredients were easily accessible, it didn’t require any baking or any complex equipment, and it actually came out good (by my standards). I’m going to bring it back to school and get a better verdict there.

Lastly, you may be wondering what to dip into this wonderful dip you created. I have no clue. The pinner who pinned the original pin (…that’s obnoxious isn’t it?) said to try Stacey’s cinnamon sugar pita chips, so I bought a bag of those. However, when my dad tried the dip he said “what are you gonna dip into it? Apples?” and I thought hmm…that’s a great idea. So try apples. Let me know what you think!

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I hope you liked this post, and Taylor’s blog, and this recipe if you decide to make it. And I want your feedback! If you like my posts, or even if you don’t like them (but mostly if you like them please) leave me a comment! I’d love to hear from my readers so I know what I’m doing right or wrong. I couldn’t do this without you guys!

Happy Sunday!

Love,

Nicole♥

S’more Bites

Before you say anything, I know I’m a slacker. I ended up getting sick this week, and then of course it was homecoming and I was very tied up with lots of wholesome, school sanctioned events.

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Don’t worry, there will be a bonus post right after this to make up for my absence last Sunday. I know you’re all terribly angry and missed me deeply. Another reason that I’m posting a second thing though, is that this one is going to be pretty short. Seriously, I picked a recipe that was so easy that there isn’t much to say about it.

This week’s recipe was S’more Bites. If you’d like to see the original pin, feel free to visit my board just for this blog! 🙂 It has all of the pins I’ve posted about, and also some ideas for new ones that I might do. If you’re the curious type that liked to try to find their Christmas presents before Christmas, then you might also be the type who might be interested in this link:

http://www.pinterest.com/paranormal627/for-the-blog/

Mostly I’m just desperate for new followers…ANYWAY S’mores Bites. Super cute and super easy. Here’s a picture of all of my ingredients. I made the mistake of buying semisweet chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate, and that was the downfall of these guys. There’s always a downfall when I do something, I think. Also, don’t worry if you don’t have a scruffy, marshmallow-loving dog. You can still do the recipe without one. Actually, you might be better off -____-

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So as you can see, you only really need three ingredients. First, you melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, and then you crush your graham crackers. Side note: have a better method than me. I had this really clever video of me pounding graham crackers in a little plastic baggie with my fists but I would have to post it separately and it’s not worth it. Just use some sort of utensil or meet an unfortunate fate. After you have your melted chocolate and your safely crushed crackers, here’s a pictorial description of what you do. ImageImageImage

And that’s it for me today, guys! Last but not least, I’ll post my top five pins for this week, and be on my way 🙂 Don’t forget to come back in a little while for your bonus post. It’s not autumn-themed, but I think you’ll like it!

Stay Wonderful♥

~Nicole

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Bite Sized Apple Pies

Hello darlings!

I want to start by showing you my five favorite pins from this week. I think I’m going to start doing this with all of my posts, because it might inspire you! 🙂 These aren’t going to follow my pattern of easy things that I can show you how to make (or how NOT to make) but they’re still fun! I’ll do a food one, a clothing/accessory one, a home decor one, a wedding one (my very favorite even though I’m a good five years from acceptable marriage age) and maybe a random, like a cute puppy. Or Channing Tatum. We could all use some Channing Tatum in our lives.

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As we recover from the fainting that I’m sure we all just did, here are my top five pins this week 🙂

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Hotline in Nude by Chinese Laundry $70 pinned from Heels.com

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Glen Oaks pinned from Houzz.com

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Cilantro Lime Shrimp pinned from Lanascooking.com

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Elegant Sweetheart Ball Gown Wedding Dress $299 pinned from weddingdressbee.com

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Pinned from “Best Earth Pics” on Twitter

Those are the pins from this week that made my heart hurt I wanted them so badly. Yes, I even want the elephant. Better get rich quick. And move to Africa.

Anyway, the challenge this week was Bite Sized Apple Pies, as you may have deduced from the title of the post. I thought I would make a fall-themed dessert to celebrate the beginning of October 🙂 Each week this month, I’ll be taking on a Halloween or autumn themed pin. I have them all mapped out already and I’m so pumpedddd!

This week’s apple pie pin took me to this link: http://cookinupnorth.blogspot.com/2011/09/bite-size-apple-pies-from-taste-of-home.html and it’s a cute blog by a lady named Laurie who really REALLY enjoys her home “up north.” Now, care to venture a guess as which end result belongs to me and which belongs to Laurie?

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Honestly, even though they aren’t exactly pretty, they tasted pretty delicious. The most amazing part of the whole thing is that when I brought all of my ingredients down to the kitchen in my dorm building, I neglected to bring the recipe. And the dorm kitchen has the weirdest assortment of useless items that I’ve ever seen. There’s no peeler and no brush thingy to spread stuff, but you better believe there was a whole drawer dedicated to grill utensils. There’s no grill anywhere near my building. So, I had to spread my melted butter like this:

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and peel my apples like this:

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And the counter space that you see here is the only counter space in the whole kitchen. And I thought my room was small.

Anyway, let’s start at the beginning. Here’s the recipe Laurie used, with my edits.

  • ½ c sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • If the grocery store happens to somehow be out of cinnamon, (what?!) just substitute cinnamon sugar. It eliminates a need for sugar, and you don’t have to mix them together so in the end it saves time.  
  • 1 pkg refrigerated pie crust (mine came with two 8-inch round crusts, worked perfectly)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter divided (Don’t know what “divided” means- didn’t bother with it)
  • 2 medium tart apples sliced into 8 wedges each (I got green apples because I heard they’re “tart” but Laurie used red ones)

If you do it my way, you can just unroll the pie crust on a lightly floured surface. What’s that? You didn’t get any flour because that wasn’t in the list of materials? Join the club. It’s okay though, it didn’t make a difference to me. Then, melt your butter and brush it all over the crust. Next, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over it, and slice it into 8 slices, about one inch thick. Now, you can set that aside.

BUT DON’T SET IT ASIDE ON THE STOVE BECAUSE THE OVEN SHOULD BE PREHEATING (at 425, by the way) AND THE STOVE WILL BE HOT ENOUGH TO MELT YOUR CRUST! Yeah, it’s a good thing the package came with two pie crusts. I only got to make half the recipe though, which meant that an apple went to waste.

Next, you need to deal with your apples. If you have a handy dandy apple slicer like I have at home, this should be a piece of cake. At school though, it was a little bit harder because I had to use an old dull knife to cut through the core of an apple. Since there was no peeler, I also had to use that same knife to peel the skin off. Laurie said that she kept the skin on because she liked the color, but I was worried it would make the texture a little tougher or something, so I peeled it off. Then, all you have to do is roll each little apple up in the slices of dough you just made, and brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with some more cinnamon sugar. If you’re me though, and you’re brushless, you’ll find a slotted spoon and dip each pastry in a bowl of butter. I actually thought it was pretty clever of me.

Then you just pop them in the oven for 13 minutes! If everything had gone as planned, which it never does of course, this would have been done in under a half hour. Regardless, they were delicious and easy. Look at these cute little guys!IMG_1597

Well, I hope you enjoy your Bite Sized Apple Pies, and I hope you have an absolutely fabulous October! Keep track of how many days are left until Halloween with my nifty countdown in the sidebar 😉

Stay wonderful ♥

~Nicole