Every Christmas, my mother bakes dozens of cookies – we’re talking at least eight dozen different cookies each year, from seven-layer to snowball to jam thumbprints. I inherited a deep love for holiday baking, and an even more profound love for holiday eating. When I still lived in Tennessee, I would spend the season baking with Sue, delivering cookies to neighbors and friends.
Once I moved to Boston, I kept the desire to bake a disgusting amount of treats, but never had a reason to – there’s no way my roommates and I could get through 72 cookies, and I didn’t really have any neighbors I spoke to (in fact at this point, I still lived in an adjoining apartment to my landlord, who thought I was H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S). Until finally, Christmas 2015, I had a noble reason to bake.
His name is Matthew, and I needed him to fall in love with me.
Yes, I had developed the hots for a boy, and he remains my favorite human on the planet. He seems to enjoy my presence too, but honestly it’s probably because I still force-feed him all of my baked goods, and since our relationship was essentially forged on a foundation of cookies, I think this means that I can literally never stop baking ever.
By Christmas, we had been speaking almost constantly on G-chat every day, and I was like 62% positive that he liked me-liked me, but I needed a surefire way to seal the deal. And then the solution hit me –
I’m gonna bake so fucking hard.
I would win his hand in love with chocolate, Nutella, and lots and lots of butter. I pulled a true Sue Trout and baked six different types of cookies, a series we will call “Make You Fall in Love with Me Cookies,” and yes friends – I will share these secrets with you so you too can win the boy or girl of your dreams, and also probably get a good excuse to join the gym once it hits January and you remember that you still need to come up with a resolution.
I spent two full days baking and one very painful night trying to arrange them in a way that said, “love me forever, I am competent and can tie bows real pretty,” and not, “please God provide me pity and maybe just sit across from me at dinner sometime????” which is more along the lines of what my baking presentation seems to communicate.
Spoiler alert, it worked. He loved the cookies and now he even loves watching The Great British Bake Off, too.
So now let’s talk about one of these cookies – my Nutella blossoms. Peanut butter blossoms have been in my mother’s Christmas cookie rotation since I was a baby, but being a hip millennial in a big city who went to Europe one time, I was REALLY crushin on Nutella in 2015. This recipe swaps out the peanut butter in a traditional blossom for Nutella, increases the flour content, and cuts back the sugar. Spring for kisses that have white chocolate so you get that fancy contrast – these pictures show the white/brown chocolate swirl kisses, but we also made a batch with cookies and cream kisses. The cookies and cream tasted better, but the striped batch looked better. If I didn’t need to take pictures for this blog, I would have only made a second cookies and cream batch instead of a striped batch. <<shrug emoji>>
Yields 2 dozen cookies
- 1/2 c. butter (softened)
- 1/2 c. Nutella
- 1/3 c. sugar (plus another 1/4 c. for coating)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 c. flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 24 Hershey’s kisses w/white chocolate (recommend cookies and cream or striped)
Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and Nutella. Gradually add 1/3 c. sugar, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until combined.
Shape dough into balls. Roll balls in sugar set aside for coating. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Open the oven and press a kiss on top of each cookie, then return to the oven for an additional 2 minutes.