Saturday, February 5, 2011

February 5 is World Nutella Day

This week I bought a grilled cheese sandwich and a drink (on existing credit) at the rink, and a candy bar. As I was eating the candy bar, I thought, well, crap, I just bought something I don't need.

Which is what this is about--I just never thought about it. It was only a buck, I was bored, and I didn't even think. I knew that I would have to eat dinner at the rink; I could easily have packed a dinner here. I just never thought of it.

A bigger dilemma came from my husband, who wants to buy a jacket that's on sale right now. Nope, I told him, you agreed to do this with me. He argued that it's the perfect jacket, and it's on sale. It won't be on sale in March. I don't know if he bought it or not; I guess I'll find out when the credit card bill comes.

This is how we talk ourselves into things we don't need--it's just a dollar, it's on sale, I didn't know about this perfect jacket when I agreed to do this. Our culture is relentless in its quest to get us to acquire things.

Not buying things, oddly takes more forethought--make the nutella, plan the purchase, use what you have. Joe Salatin and others call our economy and culture "extractive"-- we take things out of it without putting anything in. It's very easy to acquire in our culture, much harder to create, harder still to forego.

Oh, and in case you don't believe me: World Nutella Day.

Nutella-Filled Sandwich Cookie Recipe
Adapated from 101 Cookbooks

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup natural cane sugar
2 large egg yolks + 1/2 the egg white
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream

Homemade nutella

Preheat oven to 350 - racks in the top 1/3 of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until it is fluffy and creamy. Add the sugar and mix some more, scraping the sides of the bowl once along the way. Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla extract, scraping the sides again if needed. Add the flour mixture a little at a time. The original recipe said do this by hand, but I used the hand mixer and it was fine. The dough will be dry, so add the egg white and dribble the milk in alternately with the flour.If the dough is on the dry side stir in the milk as well. With your hands, form the dough into a large ball , then divide it into four equal pieces. Chill for about 10 minutes (again, original said 30 minutes, but this made the dough too stiff to roll).

Flatten each ball and roll out the dough wafer thin, about 1/8-inc. Stamp out using the cookie cutter into bite-size or larger cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter (I used a donut cutter, so mine are a little big). Arrange cookies 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheets before sprinkling with a small pinch of salt and sugar.

Bake for about seven minutes or until the cookie edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.

Smear about a 1/2 teaspoonful of the nutella on a cookie, then sandwich it with another. Don't use more chocolate than that, it overwhelms the cookie flavor.

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