Nutella Cookie Cups

Nutella. Ah, Nutella. Whoever thought of mixing chocolate with hazelnut, and creating a gooey spread, was an absolute legend. You may have guessed I like love adore Nutella. My kids have also inherited the Nutella gene it would appear – not from their father I may add, who doesn’t like it. Between that and his dislike for caramel, I do sometimes question the fundamental basis of our marriage.

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So these little cookie cups spring up a lot on Pinterest. Thus I could go no longer without trying them out. And I was not disappointed. I made them in a mini muffin tin, however there was excess cookie dough, so I made some standard muffin tin sized cups too. These are probably too big. Except they’re not. They’re decadent. But the mini muffin cups are a great size for kids, and if you’re being good (ha, whatever).

Ingredients

220g unsalted butter, softened
200g granulated sugar
220g soft brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
380g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 standard sized jar of Nutella (you’ll need every drop!)

1. Beat together the butter and both sugars, for several minutes, until slightly lighter in colour.

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2. Beat in the eggs, and then the vanilla. Then mix in the flour, baking powder and salt. Many recipes call for you to sieve the dry ingredients in. I didn’t. Just sprinkle them in, ensuring they get well mixed in.

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3. Grease your tin – I used groundnut oil as it has no taste, but you could use butter/margarine – and preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

4. Take spoonfuls of your mixture and roll into golf ball sized balls, then pop into your tin. The mixture should fill each hole, but only up to the top, not over.

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You’ll obviously need bigger balls (ha ha ha) for a standard muffin tin, but same rules apply – fill the hole but don’t overfill above the top of the hole.

This is rather messy. You could use an ice-cream scoop to make less mess and get more standard sized cups. I didn’t.

5. Bake these for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to golden – in my oven, the smaller size needed 10 minutes, the bigger size 12 minutes.

6. Once out of the oven you need to make holes in the middle of each cookie to make ‘cups’. For the small ones I used the end of an ice-cream scoop as it was the perfect size. For the larger cups I used a ‘cup measure’. A shot glass has been mentioned on other recipes as the perfect size. Basically find something that will make a good sized indent. Just don’t use your thumbs. The cookies are hot. It will hurt.

7. Then start to fill each cup with a spoonful of Nutella. You can choose the size of spoon, depending on how much Nutella you want in each. But if you don’t empty a jar of Nutella, you’re not putting enough in 😀

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The Nutella will melt into the warm cups. Leave to cool in the tins, or at least until they’re mostly cool. Eating whilst the Nutella is still slightly warm and squidgy is recommended for at least one. Or two.

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Whilst filling the bigger cups I ran out of Nutella – I might have overfilled. So I melted some milk chocolate and filled the last few with this, then let the chocolate cool and harden. This actually worked well, as the Husband enjoyed these and I wasn’t forced to eat all of the cookie cups . They’re also a great alternative to Nutella, if you fancied mixing them up – milk, white, dark; all would work well and be pretty darn tasty.

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Once again, when it comes to this recipe you can change it up and make all sorts of variations. Caramel would be a lovely filling. Mmmm. I might have to go try that. Maybe topped with a button, kind of millionaires shortbread-esque. Or a wee bit of peanut butter topped with chocolate. Oh wow, that could be immense. I think I might have to head off now…..

Happy cooking!

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Nutella Magic Bars

These are honestly, just like the title suggests, pure magic. I only came across them recently, from Pinterest, but they have made a big impression, and will feature in my baking repertoire from now on. A lot. If you like Nutella (or in this case, a supermarket substitute claiming to be the same), and gooey, sticky caramel, this recipe is definitely for you.

Nutella Magic Bars - A biscuit base topped with Nutella and chocolate morsels, encased in a gooey caramel, these Nutella Magic Bars are sublime! | thehecticcook.com

It would appear that ‘magic bars’ are a type of traybake from our friends across the pond. From what I can gather – and do let me know if I’m wrong – pretty much anything and everything can top a magic bar. The key ingredients appear to be a biscuit base and condensed milk poured over everything, then baked.

So let’s get down to brass tacks.

Ingredients

12 digestive biscuits
30g butter, melted
80g Nutella
100-150g chocolate chips
20g toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1 can of condensed milk

Note: The quantity of chocolate is really just a guide. Use as much as you want. It’s your arteries. Like I said before, the toppings are completely your choice. The sweetie aisle is your oyster. You could totally omit the Nutella if you’d like; use desiccated coconut; use white, milk and/or dark chocolate (I personally like a bit of each); use other types of chocolate like M&M’s or smarties (great for kids) or chopped up Mars bars etc. All that’s stopping you is your own imagination.

1. Either throw the digestives in a blender/blitzer, or bash the living daylights out of them in a bag with a rolling pin. Add this to the melted butter in a bowl.

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2. Line a baking tray with baking paper/parchment – by ‘line’, I mean ‘place in’. Nothing fancy. Just put the paper in the tray. My tray was 12″x7″, but a 9″ square would work, or anything of similar size.

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3.  Pour the biscuit mix into the tray and squish it down well and good. Get it really quite compact and into the edges and corners.

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4. Plop the nutella all over this base layer. Just plop it on, as random as you like. Or in nice straight rows for you OCD types.

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5. On top of this, sprinkle all the toppings you want to add. Spread them all over the biscuit layer and Nutella, no need to be fancy, just a nice even layer of loveliness. Then pour your whole tin of condensed milk over that. And then lick out the tin.

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6. Pop this in a preheated oven – about 170C fan – for about 25 minutes, until it’s bubbling and golden. I might have slightly over done mine (again I’m still using the excuse of a new oven, although that’ll get old soon). Let it cool pretty much completely before you take it out of the tray and slice it up. If you can. Mine was still pretty warm when I started into it.

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I might have eaten three squares in the process of cutting it up. It’s just that good. It can’t be helped. Well unless you’re weird like the Husband who, ‘doesn’t like caramel’ – weirdo. So I had to offload a fair bit of this to my friend Laura to save me from myself. Sorry Laura – she’s a lot skinnier than me though, so I don’t feel too bad.

Nutella Magic Bars - A biscuit base topped with Nutella and chocolate morsels, encased in a gooey caramel, these Nutella Magic Bars are sublime! | thehecticcook.com

If you don’t like this, I’m not sure I can be your friend (I have to let the Husband off as we have four kids together…). Enjoy!

Happy cooking!