“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…

Image

 

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. 

Image

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.

Image

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:

Image Image  Image

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. 

Image

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. 

.

..

..

.

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

Image

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. 

Image

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.

Image Image Image

Now the second batch is in the oven!

.

..

..

.

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!

Image

 

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 🙂

Advertisements

Day 21: Copycat Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice

This recipe is too sweet for most people I know, but those words are not in my vocabulary, so naturally it’s one of my favorites 🙂 If you’ve never tried it, it’s worth at least one try, and this copycat recipe is a great way to do that.

Today my Christmas present from Lindsay, my best friend at school (you guys remember Lindsay; she knows how to make peanut butter cookies) came in the mail. It presented the perfect opportunity for me to make a nice hot drink for a cold winter day 🙂 

Actually, it’s about 60 degrees Fahrenheit right now, in the middle of December, but who’s really paying attention. 

Look how cute it is!

Image

 

It was so funny because when I was online buying her present, I saw this mug and I put it IN my shopping cart but I decided that I didn’t have enough money for it at the moment, so I just bought her gift. I was upset though, because not only does this mug make a super cute tired face, IT TURNS INTO A HAPPY FACE WHEN YOU PUT A HOT DRINK IN IT :O Sure enough, this little guy showed up on my doorstep a few days later 🙂 It was a Christmas miracle 😛 And in her card she wrote something like “this was so cute and just a little bit corny so I knew you’d love it.” She knows me too well.

Anyway, since I now have an adorable coffee mug, I knew I had to make this recipe. All you need is apple juice, water, cinnamon, brown sugar, whipped cream and caramel sauce. 

You take the 1/2 cup of water, teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of brown sugar and simmer them in a pot for five minutes to make a cinnamon-y syrup thing. Mine looked like this:

Image

 

Then, you heat up your apple juice. I could have heated it up on the stove like I was told, but I didn’t want to get another one dirty so I did this instead:

Image

 

Whatever works, right? So once your apple juice is heated up, you add the syrup to it. The ratio they gave me in the recipe was 3 tablespoons of syrup for 12 ounces of juice. 12 ounces didn’t quite fit in the mug, so unfortunately I had to wake up my math brain, but it ended up working out. Once that’s all mixed together, you add your whipped cream and caramel syrup on top, and that’s it!

I’ve had three pins in a row work out for me. I think this is a new record. Here’s the final product, in my new favorite mug ♥

Image

 

See you soon!

Love, this happy girl 

Image

Day 18: Christmas Tree Meringue

Well, I learned a few things today while trying to create this:

Christmas Tree Meringues

1. How to separate an egg– WkiHow has several methods. One of them was to use a funnel because the yolk will stay and the white will drip through. This is true, but only if the yolk doesn’t block the hole WHICH ALWAYS HAPPENS. There’s a better method, and it’s to break the egg shell in half, or as close to half as possible. Keep transferring the egg from one side to the other until all of the white has dripped out into a bowl underneath you. You need a bigger bowl than you think you do, because two egg whites fluffs up A LOT when you start beating it with an electric mixer.

2. “Meringue” is a fancy, french-sounding word for fluffy egg white and sugar- Once you’ve beaten two the eggs literally to death, you start gradually adding “finely granulated sugar.” I thought that meant confectioner’s sugar, so that’s what I used. I don’t really know if that’s what it means. Then you add half a teaspoon of green food coloring for the Christmas tree color. After you beat the eggs, they’ve already expanded to fill a lot more of the bowl than I thought they would. When you start mixing in the sugar, it just changes from a bubbly light consistency to a thick paste. The directions said to keep going until it forms “peaks” that are solid. I don’t know what that means, and my hand was getting tired, so I decided that I saw solid peaks and moved on to the next step. Mine looked like this, but I think that it’s not supposed to look like that. I can’t tell you what the right way is, honestly.

Image

3. When they say you need a piping bag, they’re not lying- The next step was to transfer the mixture into a piping bag. Well, if I knew I needed a piping bag I probably wouldn’t have even taken on this recipe because I don’t own one. Or maybe I could’ve gotten one while I was at Michaels like an HOUR before I started this project. I plowed through this dilemma though, and used a Ziploc bag as a piping bag. I just cut a hole in the corner. Then I read on and found out that it was supposed to be a star shaped hole. I said “screw it” and started piping. This is my piping bag:

Image

4. Meringue is a pointless, irritating recipe- Well, maybe all of those things that I neglected or changed turned out to be important, because when I tried to start piping out my cute little Christmas trees, I got this:

Image

Beautiful, right? I missed my calling as a chef, I think. I didn’t even bake it, although if you want to try, you need to do it at 250 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour. Although I’m telling you now that apparently you need to be a talented baker to pull this off. Oh well, better luck on my next recipe.

That’s a wrap for day 18, (no pun intended but…wrap…hah…like wrapped presents…) so I’ll see you tomorrow!

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♥

Baked Apple Bowls

Hi guys!

So the idea was this: Baked apple bowls filled with ice cream. Here’s the pin

Image

Looks cute, right? Well it’s a lie. Those apples in that picture are most definitely not baked, because if they were, they’d look like mine, wrinkly and gross.

Image

The instructions simply say: “hollow out apples, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, bake at 350 for 20 minutes.” So that’s what I did, and I got this. And after I spent like 20 minutes hollowing out apples for zero reason and then waited another 20 minutes for them to be done baking, I went to the freezer for my ice cream and saw that it looked like this:

Image

Soooo yeah. Lets just hope I do better next week. Honestly, I just threw everything in the garbage. If I were to try this atrocity again, I would really just keep the apples raw. They look raw in the original pin anyway, and if the apples were refrigerated it would keep the ice cream cold for a little bit instead of making it melt. So there’s what I got out of this project. Baking apples makes them soft and un-bowl-like. And you should probably check to see if the freezer is cold before you put things in it.

Anyway, judging by the fact that you’re back this week, I guess you made it through Halloween relatively disaster free. Natural disasters, that is. If your school is anything like mine I can only imagine what kind of shenanigans went on. The next challenge, for me at least, is getting into the Thanksgiving spirit when I’m SO READY for Christmas. I went to the mall on Halloween, yes, literally October 31st, and this is what I saw:

Image

Like, are you freaking kidding me? I mean don’t get me wrong, I love it. But holy crap it wasn’t even November yet. No wonder its so hard for Thanksgiving to get any love. But not to worry, I have some ideas for the coming weeks that’ll get you in a turkey and cranberry sauce mood 🙂 And then holy crap, you better look out because there will be so much Christmas you won’t even be able to handle it.

GET EXCITED!!

~Nicole ♥

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.

Image

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

Image

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

Image

Glen Oaks pinned from Houzz.com

Image

Cilantro Lime Shrimp pinned from Lanascooking.com

Image

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

Image

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?

Image   Image

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:

IMG_1595

and peel my apples like this:

IMG_1596

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