Things I'm appreciative of:
1. How easy it is to make a solid Aperol spritz at home [2 parts Aperol + 3 parts Prosecco. You're supposed to add a splash of club soda, but let's face it, that just gets in the way of things.]
2. Old movies. We grew up without television, and on Friday nights my dad would take us to the closest Blockbuster (when you live on a farm, that's a 15 minute drive), and he'd pick out a movie, which we'd tote home in its blue plastic Blockbuster cover. The four girls, in our matching pjs, would snuggle up and watch things like Casablanca and old PJ Wodehouse films and Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris. Our favorites were Doris Day and Fred Astaire movies and they still make me feel so comforted and happy.
3. The fact that while my rhythm (and, okay maybe general lack of famousness) prevents me from being on Dancing With the Stars, I can still dance to it on my couch. And I can give myself all 10s, score-wise. (Side note, the bull rider on the current season is extremely dreamy. Who is with me?)
4. This song: Orbit by SŸDE and this one: Oceans Away by ARIZONA.
5. How simple it was to adapt last week's soft & chewy brown sugar cookie butter cookies to a Nutella version. I just swapped the cookie butter out for Nutella. I wasn't sure how the texture of the baked cookies would compare, as cookie butter and Nutella aren't entirely similar in composition. It turns out that, while both incredibly delicious, the Nutella version of these cookies are flatter and less thick than the cookie butter ones.
They crackle satisfyingly on the top, and they remind of me of Pepperidge Farm soft baked cookies in the best way. Don't skimp on the sea salt! And take them out of the oven when you think they are still undercooked, because this keeps them wonderfully soft and chewy once cooled.
Soft & Chewy Nutella Cookies
3/4 cup Nutella
3/4 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
flaky sea salt, to garnish
In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the egg, Nutella, sugar, and vanilla until very light and fluffy: a minimum of 3 minutes. Don't skimp on this step.
Scrap down the bowl and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and fine sea salt. Mix until the dough comes together -- it will be quite soft but it shouldn't be overly sticky. If it is, add a bit of flour, one teaspoon at a time.
Use a cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the dough (I do about 2" balls) onto a parchment-lined sheet, leaving some space between each. Sprinkle each cookie liberally with flaky sea salt.
Slide the entire baking sheet into the freezer and freeze for 30 minutes, or into the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are set but the center still feels quite soft. Don't overbake! They will likely seem underdone to you, but they'll firm up as they cool and this is what will make them so nice and chewy.
Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for a few minutes. Let the cookies finish cooling on a wire rack.