I’ve mentioned on here a few times that we didn’t really ever have processed junk food growing up. No chips, no sodas, no cookies or Little Debbies. My Dad would make us dinner on weeknights because he was a high school teacher and got home early in the evening and my Mama would make us dinner on the weekends. Even when I hit that time as a teenager where you sleep until noon, I’d come downstairs from my bedroom and see a bowl of oatmeal waiting for me on the stove be reheated from my parents’ 6am breakfast. We were cooks. And, of course, that family culture is the foundation for my current love of cooking (and eating).
When we did want a treat at home, that meant we had to dust off our apron and make them ourselves. We’d bust out the red and white gingham Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and flip through until we landed on something that (a) sounded good and (b) we had all the ingredients for. The closest mega mart was about 30 minutes away from my parents’ house at the time, and we sure as hell weren’t going to drive “to the city” to get Dutch-processed cocoa.
More often than not, the only cookie recipe that fit the bill was the recipe for peanut butter cookies. We always had those staples on hand and they were always a hit with the family. I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times I flipped to this recipe in this cookbook as a child. I remember making these cookies before we had a mixer and trying my hardest to stir in the flour with a wooden spoon, but eventually needing my Dad or Mama to take over. I remember giggling when Dad would take a cookie fresh out of the oven and say he had to eat it because, “It looked like a bad one.” You know, quality control.
He still uses that joke, by the way.
In other words, these cookies have history. And like any good American does with something of historical value, I went ahead and bastardized the crap out of it.
Okay, that’s a lie. I just added some city folk ingredients like whole wheat flour and Nutella. And it turned it into an equally amazing cookie. If you are a fan of the classic peanut butter and chocolate combo, you’ll love these cookies. But if you are living out in the country like my parents do, and Nutella is hard to come by, just leave it out. You’ll still get the peanut buttery, soft cookie of my youth. Tastes like a happy childhood.
Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies
These cookies come together in almost no time. You can go from mixing to eating in less that 30 minutes. And considering they use ingredients found in most pantries, these cookies are a great project for when you get the spontaneous baking bug.
Makes two dozen cookies
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg OR 1 flax egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup Nutella
- Granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine peanut butter and butter and mix on medium-high until pale and well-combined.
- Add in sugars, baking soda, baking powder, egg and vanilla. Mix until just combined.
- Add in flours and mix on low until just combined.
- Remove bowl from mixer and add Nutella to the dough. Stir until just distributed throughout dough. You want a “swirl” effect.
- Form the dough into 1-2 inch balls, roll in granulated sugar to coat and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Using a fork dipped in water, press cross-hatch marks on the cookies to flatten.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes or until edges are just slightly brown. Let cool on sheet for an additional 5 minutes and then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will be very soft when warm.