I don’t bake nearly as often as I aught, considering how much I missed having an oven for the year I didn’t have one, but recently for a work event I had volunteered to bake some cookies, so I hunted for a recipe, found one by Cooking Classy, preheated the oven and got to work.
Ok, I lie, I found the recipe a good week before I actually made the “test batch”…which was the first batch of the night when I was making them for the event. I’ve been busy and just didn’t find the time to make a bunch of sweets just for me and the cat to nibble at.
Of course, I also decided that I wasn’t satisfied with just making “peanut butter” cookies, but instead wanted to use up some Nutella I had bought and never opened.
Oh, and I didn’t actually go shopping with the list of ingredients, glancing at it and assuming that so long as I grabbed butter and peanut butter everything else was already in my cabinet.
The first problem was that that was wrong — I had maybe a tablespoon of brown sugar — nowhere near enough for the doubled recipe I was making. Sadly, I didn’t even have molasses, which I might have been able to sub in taste wise.
So, first substitution: 1/2 cup of brown sugar became a healthy squirt of honey.
Second substitution: one batch had the 3/4 cup of peanut butter replaced with 3/4 cup of Nutella.
For those of you who have done such things before, you have surely found my error: Nutella and peanut butter have no where close to the same consistency. Where the peanut butter batter was sandy, also dry to the touch, the Nutella batter was a gloppy mess.
So of course, being me, stubborn and filled with visions of unearned successes, proceeded to plop down a few spoonfuls of each on a try, split the piles in half and rejoin them so that each dough parcel was half peanut butter and half Nutella, pressed down with a fork (with some effort as the Nutella kept sticking, and baked.
They came out uneven, the Nutella halves having flattened out far more than the peanut butter halves, and even under-baked in places. Undeterred, I did it again, this time baking them for slightly longer, but following the same construction.
They’re fine? Fine. But I knew, I knew in my heart of hearts that I could do BETTER. At this point I was tired, it was after 10pm due to a Dungeons & Dragons game going way later than it was supposed to, and I maybe should have asked for advice.
Instead I plopped down the spoonfuls of peanut butter batter, slapped some Nutella batter on top of those and smooshed ’em down with a knife to try to make a layered cookie, than baked.
It worked! Mostly! They were quite uneven, and prone to falling into disarray in the assembly, so I took a gulp of water, told my cat I loved her, and made one final batch.
As you might be able to see from the pictures, I put all of the peanut batter down, folded the silicon mat over it and pushed down to flatten and spread it out, than added the Nutella batter and repeated the process. Once baked and cooled, I cut it in rough squares and packed it up to bring to the office.
Lesson 1: Maybe try a test batch of an untested recipe BEFORE the night before the event.
Lesson 2: Different batters bake at different speeds; when doing this sort of layered nonsense bake the bottom layer for a minute or so first (maybe? hopefully?) and then put the more liquid batter on top for the remainder of the time.
Lesson 3: Apparently the base recipe is pretty good cause on a day where we have literally a dozen varieties of cookies to eat my coworkers ate like, three dozen of these things.
But yeah, that was my Tuesday night. I wrote it up as a post because after the second time I started to tell the story to an uninterested party I realized that I needed to get it out of my system, and why not do so here?