Friday, February 26, 2010

Week 25: Minestrone (Re-do) and Chopped Salad

After the oh-so-disappointing new Minestrone recipe, I needed to make my beloved, stand-by minestrone recipe. It always makes me smile.

And, a recent meal at Buca's rekindled my love affair with their Antipasto Salad - seriously delicious. A quick Google search yielded the recipe below.

My Minestrone Soup
Taken from Light and Tasty (now Healthy Cooking),
August / September 2003

Makes 8 servings (1 1/2 C each)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: about 30 minutes

4 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/4 C chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cans (14.5 oz each) vegetable broth
3 C V8 juice
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 C frozen cut green beans
1/2 C uncooked noodles
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley

Cook carrots, zucchini, onion, and garlic in oil for seven minutes or until onion is tender.

Add broth, V8 juice, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, green beans, noodles, and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Stir in parsley. Cook 5 minutes longer or until macaroni is tender.

1 serving = 166 calories, 3 g fat, 5 g fiber

Sunday is my favorite day to eat this soup because it yields a pot of left-overs that I can enjoy all week long. It's great with a salad (like the chopped salad below) or a big chunk of crusty bread.

Buca di Beppo Antipasto Salad
Served at Buca di Beppo
Recipe shared here

10 oz Iceberg Lettuce, chopped
1 oz Pepperoni, diced
1 oz Mortadella, diced
1 oz Red onions, diced
1 oz Provolone, diced
2 oz Roma tomatoes, diced
2 oz Cucumbers, diced
1 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled
1 oz Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 oz Pepperoncini, chopped
1/2 tsp Oregano
Italian vinaigrette dressing 4 oz.
3 whole Pepperoncini
Black olives
Green olives

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl except half of the tomatoes, the whole pepperoncini, olives, and dressing and toss.

Add the dressing and toss again until fully incorporated.

Mound salad mixture on a chilled plate, getting as much height as possible.

Place the remaining amount of tomatoes around the outside of the salad.

Garnish with olives and pepperoncinis and serve.

I didn't combine the ingredients for this salad. Instead, I chopped everything and put it in little bowls in the fridge. Brad and I can't eat the whole salad at one time, and combining the ingredients and letting them sit hasn't worked for us in the past. This way, we could put together little salads as we were ready to eat them. Also, I really struggled with what kind of dressing to add to this recipe. I ended up going with Marzetti Roasted Garlic Italian Vinaigrette. It worked, but I'll try a different one next time around.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Week 25: Minestrone Soup

Minestrone is definitely one of my favorite kinds of soup. I love it from the Olive Garden. I love a recipe I found a long time ago from Light and Tasty magazine.

This recipe caught my eye for a couple reasons. It has "real" beans in it. I've never made anything with "real" beans. It has cabbage in it. I've never tried minestrone with cabbage in it. It doesn't have noodles in it. I'm used to minestrone with noodles in it.

Hearty Minestrone

Taken from: Cook's Illustrated, January / February 2010 (p. 11)

Serves 6 to 8
Soak beans overnight
Cook and prep time: 90 minutes

Table salt
1/2 ol dried cannelini beans (about 1 C)
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for serving
3 oz pancetta, cut into 1/4" pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2" pieces (about 3/4 C)
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces (about 3/4 C)
2 small onions, cut into 1/2" pieces (about 1 1/2 C)
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2" pieces (about 1 C)
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced (about 2 tsp)
1/2 small head green cabbage, cut into 1/2" pieces (about 2 C)
1/8 - 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
8 C water
2 C low-sodium chicken broth
1 piece parmesan cheese rind, about 5" x 2"
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 C V8 juice
1/2 C chopped fresh basil leaves
Ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Do ahead: Dissolve 1 1/2 Tbsp salt in 2 quarts cold water in large bowl. Add beans and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.

Heat oil and pancetta in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pancetta is lightly browned and fat has rendered, 3 to 5 minutes. You can substitute 2 tsp of olive oil for the pancetta. Next time, I would definitely do this. I didn't like the pancetta in the finished soup.

Add celery, carrot, onion, and zucchini; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 5 to 9 minutes.

Stir in garlic, cabbage, 1/2 tsp salt, and red pepper flakes; continue to cook until cabbage starts to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer vegetables to rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Add soaked beans, water, broth, Parmesan rind, and bay leaf to now-empty Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and vigorously simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are fully tender and liquid begins to thicken, 45 to 60 minutes. It's important that the soup maintain a "vigorous simmer" in order for the starch from the beans to thicken the soup. And, I needed to stir more than occasionally because the melting Parmesan made the beans stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add reserved vegetables and V8 juice to pot; cook until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf and Parmesan rind, stir in copped basil, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with olive oil and grated Parmesan.

Next time. . .
Use 2 tsp olive oil in place of pancetta. I didn't care for the texture of the cooked and then boiled pancetta in the finished product.

Use much more zucchini. The zucchini is my favorite part, and 1 C wasn't nearly enough!

Use 2 C low-sodium vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. This change, in addition to EVOO instead of the pancetta, would make for a great vegetarian soup.

Slice the Parmesan cheese off the Parmesan rind and just cook the rind. Cooking the rind with a little bit of cheese on it led to a cheesy, sticky mess.

Serve with a big ol' salad (like the California Pizza Kitchen Chopped Salad)
instead of a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week 24: The Feast

I really wanted to be a winner of The Pioneer Woman's Surf and Turf Weekend Giveaway. To console myself, I planned a monster feast and showed up at my BFFs house with all the necessary ingredients.

Salad: Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
Entree 1: Baked Shrimp Scampi
Entree 2: Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Side dish: Baked potato
Dessert: Ice cream sandwiches

Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
Adapted from an Alton Brown recipe
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

8 ounces young spinach
2 large eggs, hard-boiled and sliced
8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large white mushrooms, sliced
3 ounces red onion (1 small), very thinly sliced

Remove the stems from the spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Transfer the fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates or bowls and evenly divide the egg among them. Season with pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.

My notes:
This dressing was a lot lighter tasting (if dressing made with bacon grease can be light tasting) than the one from my favorite supper club. The combination of sugar and vinegar was delicious, though.

Baked Shrimp Scampi
Adapted from Ina Garten
Cook time: 13 minutes
Servings: 6

2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 extra-large egg yolk
2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.

Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

My notes:
Seriously, utterly, and completely delicious. I wouldn't change a thing.

Beef Tenderloin
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Servings: 8

1 whole (4 To 5 Lbs.) Beef Tenderloin, trimmed
4 Tablespoons Salted Butter, or more to taste
⅓ cups Whole Peppercorns (More Or Less, To Taste)
Lawry's Seasoned Salt (Or Your Favorite Salt Blend)
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Sprinkle meat generously with Lawry’s. Rub it in with your fingers. Sprinkle both sides generously with lemon & pepper seasoning.

Place the peppercorns in a Ziploc bag, and with a mallet or a hammer or a large, heavy can, begin smashing the peppercorns to break them up a bit. Set aside.

Heat some olive oil in a heavy skillet. When the oil is to the smoking point, place the tenderloin in the very hot pan to sear it. Throw a couple of tablespoons of butter into the skillet to give it a nice little butter injection before going in the oven. A minute or two later, when one side is starting to turn nice and brown, flip and repeat.

Place the tenderloin on an oven pan with a rack. Sprinkle the pummeled peppercorns all over the meat. Press the pepper onto the surface of the meat. Put several tablespoons of butter all over the meat.

Stick the long needle of the thermometer lengthwise into the meat. Place it in a 475-degree oven until the temperature reaches just under 140 degrees, about fifteen to twenty minutes. Stay near the oven and keep checking the meat thermometer to make sure it doesn’t overcook.

Let meat stand ten minutes before slicing, so the meat will have a chance to relax a bit.

My notes:
This was really flavorful, although I think we may have used just a little too much Lawry's. I'll also cook it longer next time. 140 was just a little too rare for my taste. It sure was a quick and flavorful way to cook a steak when it's too cold to grill.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Week 24: Southeast Asian Fried Rice

Thought I'd continue with the Asian cooking theme this week. . .

I get sucked into magazines while I wait in line at the grocery store. I browsed Cooking Light last time, found this recipe, and decided to take it home.

from Cooking Light January / February 2010 (p. 176)

Makes 4 servings (1 1/2 C each)
Prep and Cook time: 60 minutes

1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tsp sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste), divided
1/4 tsp salt, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 bunch green onions
2 Tbsp peanut oil, divided
2 1/2 C cooked and cooled brown rice
1/4 C vertically sliced shallots
14 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 C broccoli florets
1 C julienne-cut red bell pepper
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
Cooking spray
2 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
4 lime wedges

Combine first four ingredients, 1/2 tsp sambal oelek, and 1/8 tsp salt in a small bowl. Combine eggs and remaining 1/2 tsp sambal oelek in a bowl; set aside. Separate green tops from green onions, and diagonally chop; set aside.Cut green onion bottoms into 1" pieces; set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp oil to pan, swirling pan to coat evenly. Add rice; stir-fry 1 1/2 minutes stirring constantly. Transfer rice mixture to a large bowl.

Heat 2 tsp oil in pan. Add shallots to pan; stir-fry 30 seconds or until tender.

Add chicken; stir-fry 1 1/2 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add brown sugar mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute or until liquid thickens slightly, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken mixture to rice.

Wipe pan clean with a paper towel; return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 tsp oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add broccoli and bell pepper; stir-fry 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add the remaining 1/8 tsp salt, green onion bottoms,a nd garlic; stir-fry 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the chicken mixture to pan, cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heat; return chicken mixture to large bowl.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add egg mixture to pan, swirling to coat pan; cook 30 seconds or until egg is set. Transfer egg to a cutting board; chop. Stir egg and bacon into rice mixture. Top with green onion tops; garnish with lime wedges.

I made some changes to the ingredients. The original recipe called for 8 oz skinless, boneless chicken thighs and 6 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast. I just used 14 oz of skinless, boneless chicken breast. I also used more than 2 cups of broccoli. I love broccoli. And, I didn't garnish with the green onion tops. Oh, I should also confess that I used 4 bacon slices instead of 2. I love bacon.

I won't lie. . . this was time-intensive. I didn't make the rice ahead of time, so it took about an hour for this dish to make it from my countertop to the table. There were times when I thought, "Ugh. This is so not worth it!" But, the finished product was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. We garnished with lime juice, soy sauce, and some more chile paste. Really, really good. Two thumbs up.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week 24: Thai-Style Chicken with Basil

There is a great little Thai place in the super-adorable downtown of my city. (It's called Cy's Asian Bistro. They don't have a website but do have a menu online.) I love to get take-out from there when Brad is out of town. Thai basil chicken is my dish of choice. (And, I like to supplement it with a different appetizer each time.) It's not that Brad doesn't like Thai; he does. It's just sort of become this thing I do by myself.

I found this recipe in Cook's Illustrated and decided to experiment. The end result isn't quite the same as the take-out - me, in pajamas, eating take-out on the couch, watching TV on DVD - but it made for a really great dinner.

Thai-style Chicken with Basil
Taken from Cook's Illustrated February 2010
Servings: about 3 (or 2 hungry adults)
Prep and Cooking Time: about 40 minutes

2 C fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded
1 serrano pepper, seeded
2 Tbsp fish sauce, plus extra for serving
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp white vinegar, plus extra for serving
1 Tbsp sugar, plus extra for serving
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3/4 C)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Red pepper flakes, for serving

Process 1 C basil leaves, garlic, and peppers in food processor until finely chopped, 6 to 10 one-second pulses, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once during processing.

Transfer 1 tablespoon basil mixture to small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon fish sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar, and sugar; set aside.

Transfer remaining basil mixture to 12-inch nonstick skillet. Do not wash food processor bowl.

Pulse chicken and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in food processor until meat is chopped into approximately 1/4" pieces, six to eight 1-second pulses. Transfer to medium bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.

Stir shallots and oil into basil mixture in skillet. Heat over medium-low heat. Mixture should start to sizzle after about 90 seconds; adjust heat accordingly. Stir constantly, until garlic and shallots are golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add chicken, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring and breaking up chicken until only traces of pink remain, 2 to 4 minutes. Add reserved basil-fish sauce mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly until chicken is no longer pink, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining cup basil leaves and cook, stirring constantly, until basil is wilted, 30 to 60 seconds.

Serve immediately, passing extra fish sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, and vinegar separately.

The original recipe called for six green or red Thai chiles, stemmed. I checked two stores and could not find even one - much less six - Thai chiles. Upon reading the recipe closer, I learned I could substitute two serranos or one medium jalapeno. I'm indecisive like that, so I opted for a small jalapeno and one serrano. It worked.

Also, I didn't wilt the full cup of basil leaves called for in the final steps. Finding two entire cups of basil that actually looks edible in Wisconsin in January is quite a feat, and I fell a little short of the goal. I wilted only 1/2 C in the final step. The basil flavor was still strong enough. The whole cup might have been too over-powering.

I was a huge fan of the condiments (sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, and hot sauce) with the dish. It was fun to experiment at the table with ways to change the flavor.

We served the chicken with brown rice and broccoli. I'm super glad we added the vegetable. I like vegetables with my stir fry.

We will make this again. It will (like the Spaghetti Puttanesca and the Stroganoff Hamburger Helper) become part of our regular rotation.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Week 23: Chocolate Nutella Molten Lava Cake

My love affair with Nutella desserts continues. . .
Heart Sandwich Cookies
Chocolate Torte with Nutella Mousse

I don't really feel like I need to say anything more than that.

Chocolate Nutella Molten Lava Cake
Taken from Tasty Kitchen (posted by bell'alimento)

4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

11 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 oz (weight) bittersweet chocolate chips
3 whole eggs + 3 additional egg yolks
1/4 C sugar + 2 additional tsp
6 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons Nutella
1/4 C chopped hazelnuts (garnish)
Strawberries, sliced (garnish)

Place butter and chocolate chips into a double boiler and allow to melt completely. Stir frequently.

While the chocolate butter is melting, place the eggs and sugar into the bowl of your mixer. With the whisk attachment, mix on medium-high speed until they become light and thick (about 8-9 minutes).

When light and thick, add the flour and mix together. Slowly and gradually pour the chocolate/butter mixture into the egg mixture, mixing on low until well combined and mixture develops a glossy sheen (about 5-6 minutes).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While the mixture is finishing its final mixing (turning glossy), generously spray 4 small ramekins with cooking spray. When the batter is finished, it’s time to assemble.

Place your sprayed ramekins onto a cooking tray. Ladle batter halfway up the side of each ramekin. Then, spoon 1 tablespoon of Nutella into each ramekin. Finish ladling the remainder of the batter into each ramekin (do not overfill).

Bake ramekins for 10-14 minutes until the outside is solid and the top appears to be soft (but NOT jiggly).

While cakes are cooking, chop your hazelnuts and cut your strawberries. When cakes are ready, carefully remove them from the oven, place a plate on top of each one and quickly invert it. With a kitchen towel, remove the ramekin; cake should fall right out. Garnish with nuts and strawberries. Serve immediately.

For some reason, I thought these little babies needed to bake for 25 minutes. So, the centers of my version weren't quite as gooey as I anticipated. But, they were absolutely delicious.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week 22: Shredded Beef Tacos

Tacos are part of our regular meal rotation, but I was starting to get bored with just regular beef tacos or chicken tacos or shrimp tacos.

That's what led me to this recipe.

I wanted a different type of taco.

Shredded Beef Tacos
Taken from Tasty Kitchen

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 8 - 10 hours
Servings: 12

3 lb top roast
2 whole onions
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp cumin
1-½ Tbsp oregano
1/2 of a small can of chipolte in adobo sauce
1 C chicken broth
1 Cup water
1 Tbsp bay leaves
2 Tbsp white vinegar

Put all ingredients -- except the roast -- in a blender. Blend until onion is finely chopped.

Add some of the sauce to bottom of a crock pot. Place roast in crock pot and pour the rest of the sauce over meat.

Slow cook for 8-10 hours on low.

Use fork or tongs to shred the beef once cooked. It will essentially fall apart.

We made soft-shell tacos with shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, green olives, and tomatoes.

The recipe more more than enough food for a two meals for two. The batch that we froze was really watery when defrosted, though.

This would make a great meal for a taco bar dinner party. It would sit great for a long period of time and could withstand lots and lots of snacking.

It would also make a great Superbowl meal.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Week 22: Crockpot Asian Barbeque Chicken

Truth: As a mom, I heart the crock pot. Anything that allows me to get dinner ready while the little dude is his happiest, first thing in the morning, is a huge help. Unfortunately, I find that some crock pot dinners have the "crockpot taste." So I was skeptical when I decided to try this meal that it might taste like all the other chicken dishes I have tried.

Recipe: Crockpot Asian Barbeque Chicken
Adapted from: 365 Days of Slow Cooking

2 pounds Tyson boneless, skinless chicken thighs tenders (don't use chicken breasts)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced

Place thighs into the bottom of a slow cooker. Lay as flat as possible. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour sauce over the chicken. Cover and cook on Low for 2 hours. Turn chicken over and cook 1 hour longer. Serve.

My notes: This didn't taste like it was cooked in the crock pot, perhaps because it only spends 3 hours cooking on low rather than a whole day. This worked out okay for me since I am home all day, but I can see where this would be a difficult recipe to make during the week if you don't get home from work until 5pm. The only real issue I had with the recipe is that the sauce wasn't as thick as I would like it to be. This could be in part due to the fact that I did not measure any of the ingredients and just kind of "tossed it in there." Next time I might consider adjusting the amount of liquid or cooking it down some once the meat is ready.

I will definitely make this again!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Week 22: Heart Sandwich Cookie

Thought I'd share this for three reasons.
1. I don't make dessert often enough.
2. Valentine's Day is coming.
3. It's another reason to use Nutella.

Everyday Food, January / February 2010, p. 124

1/2 C old-fashioned rolled oats
1 C all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/3 C whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp coarse salt
3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 C packed light-brown sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla sugar
1/2 C chocolate-hazelnut spread (aka Nutella)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; stir in flour and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium until fluffy. Add vanilla; beat to combine. Scrape down bowl.

Add oat mixture; beat until blended.

Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough 1/8" thick, dusting lightly with flour as needed. Cut out cookies with a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter; place 1/2-inch apart on two parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake until cookies are golden around edges, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat with remaining dough, chilling if too soft (re-roll and cut scraps).

Spread filling on flat side of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.

To store, cover and keep at room temperature, up to two days.

Makes 30 sandwich cookies.

My notes:
The final product was very tasty and really cute. There were some rough patches along the way, though. The recipe asks to chill the dough for two hours. This resulted in dough that was too chilled to even roll out. It was a big mess! And, I didn't end up with anywhere near 30 sandwich cookies - more like 15 cookies. It's also possible that I didn't roll the dough at 1/8" thick. The fact is, 1/8" is really thin, and the dough was already difficult to work with. The end results was thicker cookies which required more Nutella. And, more Nutella isn't really a problem for me.