Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Scourge Called Cafe World and Nutella Shortbreads

I promised myself that I would never grovel to my reader(s) if I
was a little less-than-frequent in my posts, but here I am, hat in hand and
head down, mumbling my apology.

I blame a certain woman in Ypsilanti who introduced me to CafeWorld.

This insidious time-gobbler is from the same lovable people
who bring you Facebook.

It's a game which allows you to set up your own cafe, complete with a basic
set of equipment and furniture and funds to cook a few dishes and then you
start and at first it seems harmless enough but soon you're plotting how to get
those long-cooking dishes finished and served so you can serve more customers
and get far enough ahead of the cooking so you can take a minute to breathe and then it's
back at it again, cooking more and more bacon cheeseburgers and fruit salads
so you can afford to expand and draw more business and then you expand again and
pretty soon you're planning your entire life around this dumb game, timing
your leisure hours around when your food is finished and can be served.

Friends who introduce you to this terrible time-waster are not
your friends at all.

I mean you, Carmen!!

And now, back to your regularly-scheduled program.


I thought I was raised in a cultured, well-rounded atmosphere,
traveling now and then, exposed to much of what life has to offer.

But never, never, did anyone tell me about this stuff.
This wondrous stuff.

It's quite a mystery to me because, as you know, I hate and loathe
nuts in any form or shape.
This marvelous goop is hazelnut-flavored.
So why do I like it?
Because it looks so much like chocolate?

I researched this product thoroughly (thank you, google) and
found surprisingly little information about it, other than the fact
that Nutella was developed during World War II to compensate for
the scarcity of chocolate in those lean years. Can it be that something
so good came out of something so bad?
Life is strange.

There are many recipes out there that include Nutella, so many that I had to
find out what the fuss was all about.

Now I know, and here's a delicious recipe for you, too. It's a softly crisp
shortbread that goes together so easily, you'll wonder why people would
ever buy shortbread cookies.
These are far superior.

Try them and see!

Nutella Shortbread Cookies
(adapted from a recipe from Besotted Gourmet)


3 sticks (or 3/4 of a pound) of butter, softened
1 cup sugar, white
1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1 cup Nutella


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In electric mixer, cream the but
ter, sugar, and vanilla. Mix flour, salt, and mix well. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, mixing well until blended.

Place dough on large piece of waxed paper. Cover with another sheet and roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness and using round biscuit cutter, cut out cookies and place on cookie sheets lined with silpat or parchment paper.

Sprinkle cookies with turbinado sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes*
Let them cool for 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

To make sandwich-type cookies**, frost one cookie with Nutella and cover with another cookie. Rinse, lather, repeat.

*When I tried this recipe, I found to my dismay that the baking time was woefully inaccurate--or I should say, probably, that for the thickness I rolled my cookies, baking time was way off (22-25 minutes!) My first tray was too dark, although still tasty.
I would suggest that you watch them closely while baking and dete
rmine length of bake time for yourself.

**These would also be pretty much delicious if you left them as singles frosted with Nutella, too.