Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ricotta Cookies with Peanut-Nutella Swirl

Considering my family in general buys and drinks so much milk, you'd think we never struggle with excess 1% or 4% kicking around the house. Likewise, you'd never assume Nutella or peanut butter would be left to slowly pass away in the pantry... but on all three counts we're sadly guilty. Well, not me, perhaps - I can't have dairy and peanut butter has too much oil for my system - but our household in general sure is. 

Ricotta Cookies with Peanut-Nutella SwirlAs a result of the extra milk (which seems to constantly be nearing expiry) and the shame I'd feel throwing out sour cartons, I've been making a lot of ricotta. This, in general, works for the family, since my mom loves almost any cheese under the sun and "the Italians" love anything "Italian". Even with 4 people eating the cheese, we always seem to have a lot of it around too since my stepdad will come home from Costco with a giant tub, having forgotten that the good stuff is in the fridge. That's fine by me, though. When I'm gifted anything that I can possibly use to cook or bake, I get my greedy little self into the kitchen and start churning out whatever I can - from the usual suspects (i.e. lasagna and cheesecake) to the surprising hits (these cookies, their partners which I will post soon, or
caramels). 

This time around, I adapted a Weary Chef recipe to use up not only the ricotta, but the ends of some Nutella and peanut butter jars that had been forgotten in the back of the pantry in favour of the new jars bought on the weekend. I used half oat flour for extra tender (and flavourful) dough, nixed the egg in favour of my Homemade Egg Replacer, cut down the sugar drastically by using a stevia baking blend and mixed a filling of peanut butter, Nutella and chopped peanuts. Rolled up and wrapped, I popped them into the freezer to solidify for easier cutting - one log for the weekend, the other for later in the year. Hey, how can you go wrong with ready-to-go gourmet cookies? 

Ricotta Cookies with Peanut-Nutella Swirl

Ricotta Cookies with Peanut-Nutella Swirl
Makes 26
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oat flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
¼ cup sugar
½ cup cup-for-cup stevia (I used Pyure)
Homemade Egg Replacer for 1 egg, prepared
1 tbsp vanilla
8 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
⅓ cup chocolate hazelnut spread (i.e Nutella)
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup chopped peanuts

  1. In a bowl, beat together coconut oil, sugar and Pyure together until light.
  2. Add egg replacer, vanilla and ricotta, beating smooth.
  3. Stir in flour mixture until combined.
  4.  Roll half the dough between two sheets of waxed paper into a rectangle about ⅛” thick.
  5.  Mix the chocolate hazelnut spread, peanut butter and peanuts together and evenly spread half the mix over the cookie dough, leaving a 1” border on one long side.
  6. Starting with the long side with the filling, carefully roll the dough into a cylinder. 
  7. Roll in the waxed paper and then in foil*, place on a baking sheet and freeze until needed, at least 2 hours. 
  8. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  9. After dough has chilled, remove it from the plastic wrap and slice into ½” thick cookies. 
  10. Place 1″ apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. 
  11. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes.
  12. Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool before enjoying. 
*If baking within a day or two (but not the same day), wrap the logs in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 48. Skip the freezing step. 

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 120.7
Total Fat: 7.1 g
Cholesterol: 4.8 mg
Sodium: 21.7 mg
Total Carbs: 11.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 3.1 g