Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Thank Yous Part 2

You know what I hate the most about winter? The Bellvale Creamery closes from December to April. I have to go months without my weekly visits.
...they sell by the quart and the gallon. Is this enough to carry me through to the new year?

(I know the bit about ice cream has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but I just had to photograph all of that beautiful ice cream.)

I was stuck at home with the nastiest of nasty colds for a couple of days, which makes me want to eat more than I want to cook, but there had to be some baking on the agenda. Christmas is coming and my barn is throwing it's annual holiday party and gymkhana (for the laymen, the means mounted games). The barn has an extensive staff of trainers, grooms, feeders, muckers, and groundskeepers (many of whom do most of those jobs), so of course they get a tip.

Two members of the barn staff, Kenny and Leroy, are getting a special treat this year. Kenny and Leroy handle both groundskeeping and a lot of the barn maintenance chores. They are also real characters. If you were going to make a sitcom about a pair of goofy guys who work in a barn, it would be about Kenny and Leroy.

A few months ago I had some leftover cream cheese swirl brownies from a party and I brought them to the barn for the riders and staff to enjoy. Kenny and Leroy went nuts for them. Kenny kept telling me I had to come home with him (I don't know what his wife would think of that, but Kevin said he'd let me go for the right price). They loved those brownies so much, and I was just so darned flattered, that I knew that their Christmas tips had to include more than just cash in a card. Cookies were store for them.

I know I want to poach from blogs this season, but boy is it hard to choose. There are cookies featured on almost all of my favorite blogs. Just going to Susan's Eat Christmas Cookies event is overwhelming. Which one would I choose?

After much deliberation, I finally chose Mansi's Nutella cookies. Fun and Food is a great blog when I need a nice, easy dessert recipe. I chose these for one major reason.

Come to Mama!

I don't know how Kenny and Leroy feel about Nutella, but if they don't like the cookies, I will be happy to take them off their hands.

The recipe, although easy to make, was a little weird. It warned that the dough might be too wet, but I had the opposite problem. It was a little dry. The cookies were sort of like sables. The dough was so dry in fact that I added a little water to help the dough hold together to form the cookies.

I also did something really dumb. I bought the wrong chips. It wasn't until I was about to make the cookies that I realized that I had bought milk and not dark chocolate chips. As the snow which is burying much of the country was piling up outside, I was not about to go out and correct my mistake, particularly as I was sniffling and hacking all day. I decided to just experiment. I've been staunchly defending milk chocolate these days. I might as well go with it.

The cookies had a nice crumbly melt-in-your-mouth texture and good flavor. The only thing wrong with them was that the chocolate flavor was not as intense as it would have been if I had bought the correct chocolate. What's even dumber is that I had some semi-sweet baking squares in the cupboard and I didn't think to use them.

Yes, I saved a couple for Kevin and me.

I probably won't be making it to the Christmas party tomorrow because I don't think I can hang around in the cold all day and I certainly won't feel like riding, so I'll be home from the barn. Kevin will have to report on how much the recipients like them.


Emily said...

I LOVE Nutella. I've been craving it lately. It's so expensive though...

Hope you feel better soon. Eat some chicken noodle soup. That's what I eat when I have a hangover.

The Blonde Duck said...

It's a shame you can't see how your treats are received! They look fantastic.

Bellini Valli said...

I can only imagine the wonderful hazelnut flavour of these cookies. What an innovative way to use the Nutella!!

noble pig said...

Oh how yummy, I hope you feel better!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Em - thanks. That turkey soup I made came in very handy. I ate the entire potful over last week.

Blondie - I did end up hitting the barn on Saturday even though I couldn't do much more than stand around. Kenny ate almost all of his share of the cookies in one sitting!

Val- Flavor was awesome, but would have been better if I had used the right chocolate.

Cathy= Thanks.

Darius T. Williams said...

LOL - hilarious. BUT, I know what you mean about your favorite place closing until the new year!

Bunny said...

I'm not showing my hubby the picture of the ice cream, we're out of it and it's his PASSION!! I've never made cookies with nutella, but I can only imagine how good they are! Thanks for reminding me of Susan's event!

Sue said...

Merry Christmas!
I hope you're feeling better by now. That talk of Nutella made me go to the freezer and stick a spoon in some leftover ganache. (We won't talk about whether there's any leftover now.)

Those cookies sound good!