¾ cup oil
¾ cup dairy or nondairy chocolate-hazelnut spread
½ cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¹⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
1 cup coarse pretzel crumbs (see Note)
1 cup chocolate chips
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling, if desired
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat together oil and chocolate-hazelnut spread until smooth. Add sugars; beat until smooth and creamy.
Add baking soda, vanilla, and eggs; beat until smooth.
Reduce mixer speed to low; add cocoa and flour. Beat until just combined; do not overmix.
Add pretzel crumbs and chocolate chips, turning the mixer on and off quickly until they are evenly distributed.
Use a medium cookie scoop (or a heaping tablespoon) to drop dough onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if desired.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Note Make pretzel crumbs by crushing pretzels in the food processor. Don’t process them to a fine powder, though – you still want to have some pretzel texture in the cookies.
Variation Replace some or all of the chocolate chips with nougat chips for an extra burst of flavor.
Plan Ahead These cookies freeze well in an airtight bag or container.
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Bakery Style Cake Donuts
Dairy or Pareve
Yield 18-20 donuts
If you read “cake donut” and think “baked donut,” think again. These donuts are made using a dough similar to cake batter, which utilizes baking powder instead of yeast to rise, so if you’re intimidated by yeast (and even if you’re not), you’ll appreciate the simplicity of this recipe. My favorite thing about these donuts (as opposed to yeast donuts) is that while best freshly fried, these donuts stay fresher longer than yeast donuts, and they will still be great the next day!
¾ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3¾ cups flour
¾ cup milk or soy milk
¼ cup oil
oil, for frying
In the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat together eggs and sugar until smooth and creamy, 2-5 minutes. Add baking powder, nutmeg, and vanilla; beat to combine.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Add one-third of the flour, followed by the milk, followed by another third of the flour; add oil, then remaining flour. Beat until a sticky dough forms.
Refrigerate dough until firm, 1-2 hours or up to overnight.
Remove dough from the fridge (the dough will not rise until it is fried). Place it on a heavily floured surface. The dough will still be somewhat sticky, so it’s important to use plenty of flour to roll it out.
Roll dough out to about ¼-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out dough circles; then, with a smaller cutter or glass, cut a small circle from the center. Carefully pick up each donut to make sure it retains its shape. Reserve the small circles to fry as donut holes (see Variation).
Heat about two inches of oil in a medium saucepan or deep fryer over medium heat. Test the oil by dipping a donut into the oil; when ready, it will start to bubble immediately.
Fry two to three donuts at a time. Wait until you see the golden brown color start to creep up the side of the center before turning donuts. This will take about 1 to 1½ minutes. Flip the donuts and fry until golden brown on the other side, about a minute.