As I have already blogged about, this week the Best Husband Ever and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. I wanted to get him a special present, but could not think of what the perfect gift might be. Then it dawned on me -- he doesn't like how I tweak baking recipes to make them healthier, and wishes I would could more with real butter, plain sugar, and the like. So I decided to make him cookies, untweaked and "unhealthy."
But what to make? I thought about some sort of peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, but I wanted to try something a little more adventurous. Besides, he could buy peanut butter cookies if he really wanted them. No, I wanted a special recipe. I got to thinking about the open jar of Nutella that has been languishing rather forlornly in our kitchen for quite some time. Now, don't you think Nutella cookies with white chocolate chips would be fun and fancy? I did, so I got to Googling recipes for ideas.
I found a good-sounding recipe for Nutella Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. However, that recipe definitely makes a healthier brand of cookie than my husband enjoys. It calls for wheat flour, which he can taste, as well as a sugar substitute. I used regular flour and sugar instead. I did use Smart Balance for butter and an egg replacer instead of a regular egg, though, since that's what I had on hand, and because I'm lazy about egg-beating. Also, I used white chocolate chips instead of the semi-sweet chips that this recipe calls for.
The cookies turned out quite well! I had two trays of cookies baking at the same time, and I think that the bottom rack was too close to the oven's coils so that tray of cookies turned out some cookies with crispy undersides. They still tasted great to me, though, and I think that the Best Husband Ever enjoyed them, too. He took them all to work and I haven't seen them since Tuesday, so I'll take that as a thumbs up!
It was an interesting trying to baking secretly, though. I had to tell my husband to come home extra late, and I was afraid that he would think that I just didn't want him around. But I think I managed to keep the cookies a secret without hurting his feelings. I did confuse him a bit, though! It was also challenging to find a good spot to cool the cookies in after baking them, but I don't think he spied them hiding up on top of the fridge Monday night. And if he did, he was wonderful enough not to mention it, so I can feel secure in the execution of my sweet surprise!
Secret Anniversary Cookies
1.25 cup AP flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 T Nutella
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vanilla chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the butter (I used Smart Balance) sugars, cocoa, baking soda, salt, egg (I used an egg replacer), and vanilla. Stir until fluffy, then add the Nutella. Stir again. Slowly mix in the flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Add the chips and stir until well-distribued.
Spoon the batter onto an ungreased cookie sheets, with each cookie "plop" averaging the size of a heaping tablespoon. Place on a centered rack in the oven and bake for twelve minutes. Allow to cool for at least three minutes before removing to a cookie rack to cool completely (if you can resist munching them all down while warm, that is!).