Friday, December 19, 2008

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time....

Growing up in California (and being frightened of most athletic activities as a child), snow was not something I encountered regularly. I read about it, saw it in the movies, but rarely came across it in my life. And so, as I enter my eighth winter in New York City, the first big snow possesses a magical quality to me. This morning, I pulled my shades up to find this view looking back at me:

I felt as giddy as a schoolboy (as Ebenezer Scrooge might say)! I knew it was going to be a wonderful day. After a short walk out in the snow, I hunkered down indoors, to watch Miracle on 34th Street and make cookies. Best. Day. Ever.

These cookies are a big hit - I've made them three years in a row and everyone always loves them.

Chocolate Hazelnut Smooches

1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
red or green sprinkles
Chocolate Kisses!

1. Cream together the butter and sugars and Nutella. Yum. Taste it. It's good.

2. Mix in the egg and vanilla.

3. Add the dry ingredients, about a 1/3 at a time. You don't want flour to explode everywhere.

4. Once it's all combined, roll the dough (in your hands) into tiny walnut sized balls and then roll the balls in sugar.

5. Bake for 8 minutes at 375 degrees.

6. After the 8 minutes, open the oven and press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie and bake again for another 3 minutes.

Cool on a rack. That's it! These are remarkably good, especially on a nice cold snowy day.