Yesterday I mentioned that I had been failing forward, and though by pure mention it sounded like a one-off, when in fact it’s been a week of failing forward. Usually our days are pretty much as I write them… lively and busy and happily drinking in the universe with my littles, a constant reminder of the beauty of life.
This week it was hardly storybook, and by 10AM Monday morning I already didn’t know what to do with my cranky brood. We’ve been elbow deep in spring cleaning every closet and cupboard, bin and drawer, which means tripping over things to donate, clothes to wash, toys to sort, and though the coast is pretty much clear now…. the beginning of this week was a whole different story. So while I’m tripping over cars and blocks and Brayden is pooping out of his outfit (something that’s happened three times this week, must be from all that eating!) and Aliyah is dealing with an ear/sinus/eye infection that I had no idea was as bad as it was until today, I get a call from my dad to join him and Nana for a trip to Ikea. Lightbulb! I needed to get the kids out of the house. I needed to get ME out of the house. And that’s just what we did, even though I left the water and extra snacks sitting on the counter.
Note to self: Become the mom that has it all together.
You know what though? We had a great time, and that’s what matters. Oh, and Nana brought water and snacks.
My babies smiled and played, soaking in the presence their grandparents all they could. My heart never fails to swoon at the sight of my parents loving on the little ones that I birthed, it’s nothing short of beautiful.
And I scored a little something pretty for my home and didn’t even have to mention stopping for Starbucks on the way home. Thanks daddy!
And while we’re on the theme of redemption, I thought I’d try my hand at Ivory Hut’s Nutella Chip Cookies with Homemade Nutella Chips, knowing full well that I’ve never successfully melted chocolate chips to the perfect consistency with my glass bowl and saucepan in lieu of a double boiler. But hey, inspiration never finds fulfillment without experimenting. So, experiment I shall… and I did.
I pulled my hair back, slid into my favorite red apron and was ready for a hot date in the kitchen.
But the cute red apron failed to improve my fledgling culinary attempts and though just as delicious, the consistency of my Nutella mixture wasn’t up to par.
Failing? I was beginning to think so, but instead of giving in, I decided to use that just-as-delicious mess and make Nutella chunks out of it instead of cute little chips.
Failing forward? Definitely.
What makes these cookies delicious, besides the mouth-watering hazelnutty goodness that is Nutella, is the browning of the butter to a rich nutty flavor. And having a completely adorable, independent helper that wants to do-everything-for-you doesn’t hurt either.
Redemption number two, these were diet-breaking worthy.
Homemade Nutella Chips
(Adapted from Ivory Hut’s Homemade Nutella Chips)
6.5 oz. Nutella
2 oz. butter
In a double boiler or a glass bowl set over a pot of simmering hot water, melt all the ingredients until you have a smooth, glossy mixture, about 3 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. Take the mixture off heat.
To make chunks, spread in a 1/8-inch thick layer on Silpat or foil and freeze for at least 2 hours. When frozen solid, break into chunks with a knife (try not to handle the chocolate too much or the heat of your hands will start to melt it). Store in the freezer until ready to use.
Nutella Chunk Cookies
(Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies)
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 sticks butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups homemade Nutella chips
3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted (optional)
Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk and set aside.
Melt 1 1/4 sticks butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Keep swirling until butter has a dark golden brown color and a nutty aroma, about 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl and mix in the remaining butter until melted.
Add the sugars, salt, and vanilla to the butter and mix well. Add the egg and the extra yolk; whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds. Let it rest for 3 minutes, then whisk again for about 30 seconds, before letting it rest again. You’ll want to whisk this about 4 times, until you have a thick, glossy, and smooth mixture.
Gently stir in the flour and baking soda just until combined. Make sure dough is cool before stirring in the Nutella chunks.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Form dough balls about 3 tablespoons in size (I use an ice cream scoop) and place them on a lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 14–16 minutes (mine took 15 minutes), then put the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let the cookies cool on the sheets.