I received an email from my next door neighbour yesterday. It read like this: Debi, we have strawberries that are ready for picking, help yourself to what you want in the backyard”.
I love locally grown produce ….especially when it’s as close as NEXT DOOR.
Now, I had to think quick. It was the middle of the afternoon, I had no solid and defined plan for these berries and no recipe in mind. As I stood there, thinking and picking and tasting the sweetness of the crop – an idea came into my overcrowded mind. What’s better than strawberries + chocolate? Not much. What’s even better than that is strawberries + chocolate + sugar cookies + nuts.
The basics to this creation was all in my pantry. I had sugar + butter + nutella + flour. I grabbed my recipe book and took out my all time favorite sugar cookie recipe and got to work.
But hang on a second….the recipe called for softened butter. I always seem to want to make cookies and NEVER have the patience to wait for my butter to come to room temperature. There are a couple of tricks to get this accomplished. One is to cut your butter into chunks and microwave them in 4 second intervals. The problem with microwaving anything is you may end up with a melted mess. If you are going to give this a go, keep checking the texture every 4 seconds. The next trick which always works for me is taking the cut chunks of butter and placing them between some plastic wrap or a zip bag – now grab a rolling pin and roll, roll, roll your butter until it becomes flattened out and miraculously soft. Today I did the rolling trick, only I was an idiot and used wax paper instead of the plastic wrap. Needless to say, it stuck to the paper and I ended up scraping off the butter with my fingernails. Not an ideal situation.
Let’s get down to business. This is one super easy recipe and I’m in the middle of scarfing down my second slice of cookie pizza as I write this blog. I’m also humming the song “Strawberry Fields Forever”…and my husband just left the room….because….I can’t sing.
- for the sugar cookie crust
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the work surface
- for the topping
- ½ cup nutella, microwaved for 30 seconds - to make it spread easily
- fresh strawberries
- sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Beat in the egg, then the vanilla and salt.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour, mixing until just combined (do not overmix).
- Press the cookie dough into a round casserole dish - I used a 10 inch but you can use a pie plate too.
- Your dough should be about ½ inch thick. It's a nice heavy base.
- Bake cookie dough for 20 -23 minutes, until lightly browned
- Cool completely
- Spread nutella over cooled crust and top with fresh berries and almonds.