Baking cookies is fun, no matter the time of year. They are easy to make, pleasing young and old alike. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes from which to choose.
But there’s something about baking cookies at Christmas time that is extra-special. Maybe it’s a special recipe you only make that time of year. Maybe it’s the Christmas music playing in the background. Maybe it’s the aroma of baking cookies mixed with the scent of fresh pine and crisp winter air.
For me, it’s knowing that the cookies I’m baking will be shared with others. One of my favorite ways to show I care for others is to cook or bake for them — to nourish them. I love watching others bite into something I’ve made and hear them say, “Wow!”
I can’t wait to share this experience with Liam when he’s a bit older. Right now, his idea of “helping” is to steal my utensils and nom on them.
Maybe next year, he can stir the dry ingredients or scoop a few cookies with me.
My love of sharing food is partly why I signed up for not one, but two cookie swaps this year! Yes, the other reason is because I would get yummy cookies, too. The recipe below was made for a swap among some members of an online cooking board on which I post (the other swap is the second annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, which I’ll post about on Wednesday).
My swap recipient expressed a preference for nutella, caramel, and chocolate, among other flavors. To be quite honest, I don’t remember exactly how I found these cookies from My Kitchen Addiction but I knew they’d be perfect.
I halved the recipe, and still got a LOT of cookies (I sent more than the dozen that were required, and probably had even more left over!), which was a good thing, because they are addicting! They are moist and soft fresh out of the oven, but as they cool, they crisp up on the outside, but remain tender on the inside.
I had a little cookie dough left over after I ran out of Milk Duds, so I made a few without the candy center, and they were still delicious! If you’re not a fan of caramel, feel free to leave the Milk Duds out. The baking time will remain the same.
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ⅝ cup Nutella
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 (5 oz) box Milk Duds
- ¼ cup sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, Nutella, sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until creamy and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes).
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated and scraping the bowl between additions.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into the dough on low speed, mixing just until incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour, up to 48 hours.
- When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Place the ¼ cup of sugar in a shallow dish.
- Scoop tablespoonfuls of cookie dough with a cookie scoop. Press one Milk Dud into the center of each ball of dough, and roll until the Milk Dud is completely encased in cookie dough. Roll each ball in the sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Place the dough balls at least two inches apart on the sheet — these cookies spread a LOT! Bake the cookies for 9 minutes. Place the bowl of cookie dough back in the refrigerator while the cookies bake.
- Let the cookies cool on the sheet pans for about 3 minutes, hen transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat with remaining dough,continuing to refrigerate the dough while cookies are baking.