3-Ingredient Nutella Cookies

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nutella cookies

I’ve been getting more into food photography lately. It’s been a slow journey with more than just a few bumps along the way. A few months after starting this blog, I bought myself a Canon Rebel XS dSLR and read everything about photography that I could get my hands on. I made myself a DIY Lightbox, bought lots of white posterboard (and some colored for backgrounds), picked up a sturdy tripod and prepared myself for widespread acclaim.

Instead, all I got was a big ol’ pile of frustration.

I’ve taken some decent photographs. Quite a few have made it onto Tastespotting and Foodgawker; recently one even made it onto The Today Show website. But the “pretty good” photos were much less common than the “not so good” photos. Each time a photo is published somewhere I feel lucky, not accomplished. I didn’t have a sense of control over my photography, because I didn’t have a solid understanding of it.

My frustration over getting a good photograph led me to all but abandoning this site in late 2009 for a full six months. I was just picking up speed, gaining followers and getting noticed by such large companies as POM Wonderful, who flew me to Fresno for their Harvest Tour in 2009. Then I completely switched gears and launched Refrigerator Soup, a photography site of all things, and spent six months building the community there from the ground up.

But it really didn’t have my heart. Of course it’s almost impossible not to love something you’ve built yourself, and I’d created many lovely relationships with some even lovelier food bloggers, but ultimately I knew that I needed to come back here, to my first, true love. And so I sold Refrigerator Soup to Laura from Laura’s Best Recipes (who, as far as I know, still owns it) and came back with a renewed spirit.

The truth is, blogging is far from easy. It’s on my brain almost 24 hours a day in one form or another. There are long hours, disappointments and the occasional nasty comment. My blog is sort of like my third child; it consumes all of me and doesn’t always behave the way I’d like. But I would never give up on it, no matter how difficult the struggle. And it took a six-month detour in late 2009 for me to figure that out.

So when I came back, I gave myself permission not to feel the pressure of taking perfect photographs. I was always to try my best and continue to learn and grow, but perfection was not my ultimate goal. I ordered myself to relax, have a laugh, enjoy the process and the relationships I was cultivating. Most importantly, I was not allowed to compare myself to other food bloggers and their perfect photographs. Best advice I ever gave myself.

So here I am, two years past my hiatus, still not taking amazing photographs – but I get better every day and I’m finally  enjoying the process! I’m learning as I go, always trying to improve. I’m having fun with it. The ironic thing is that blogging is now my full-time career, yet I feel less pressure than I did two years ago. Just this year I’ve spent some time and money buying props, invested in a better lens and started reading about food photographyagain. It’s been a long road getting here, but it’s finally a fun hobby instead of a frustrating necessity. Oh, happy day!

I had fun playing around with some of the techniques from that new photography book with these cookies. And I enjoyed eating these cookies after the photography part was over. So did my kids. And their friends. And some huge mouse that keeps getting into our kitchen late at night (yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, Mr. Noodle). I’d like to say I enjoyed baking them but the process was so quick that I’m not entirely convinced the cookies didn’t just magically appear on my kitchen counter.

But I did make them. And they’re darn good. Very crispy and thin and a little chewy. Loaded with Nutella flavor, they’ll make a nice addition to your Nutella recipe box. I did miss the soft texture that flour brings, but there’s definitely a place for these on my cookie tray.

nutella valentines cookies

I decided that I needed to give mine a little Valentine’s flair. I pulled them out of the oven about two minutes before they were done and gave them a little sprinkle. Cute, don’t you think? And that is one amazing less-than-perfect photograph, if I do say so myself.

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Comments

  1. says

    Ohhhhhhh, I totally hear you on this one! Blogging is a Huge Time Hog. I wish it was full time job, but sadly it isn’t. Every waking spare moment is either spent on blogging or social media tied to blogging. I believe it is a love/hate relationship. Good tip on not to compare yourself to another bloggers photography. I am guilty of that too!

  2. says

    I have half a jar of Nutella that I’m currently hiding from my husband (it’s his Kryptonite), and I think I know what to do with it now (besides eating it with a spoon now and then, which is what I have been doing). These cookies sound amazing – instant gratification.

  3. Raquel says

    Kristy,
    I am a huge photography buff, though I hardly ever get to take pictures anymore. I used to subscribe to Popular Photography, and they had some amazing articles. I just popped over to their website, and they seem to have an amazing array of information. If you haven’t heard of them, which you probably have, you should check them out. http://www.popphoto.com/

  4. says

    Are you kidding me?!? You are doing great with your photography. There’s no need to compare. Being proud of your personal achievements are the best feeling. Ever :)

    And now, I need to wipe off the drool from the nutella cookies deliciousness :D

  5. Virginia says

    Just made your Nutella cookie. You definitely need to leave them on the cookie sheet a few minutes to let them set up. Great taste.

  6. Britt says

    Gluten Free Cookies! I cant wait to try these. It’s so hard to find gluten free baked goods recipes for Megan. She loves Nutella, so I am sure will love these. They look amazing!

  7. Mary Ruth Johnsen says

    These sound great. I make an almost identical recipe peanut butter cookie. 1 cup peanut butter, 1 egg, 1 cup sugar. Mix together, roll in balls. I do flatten these with a fork as you usually do with peanut butter cookies. Bake at 350 deg for 12 to 14 minutes. Yum! They’re my go-to, when I need a cookie fast recipe. Happy to add the nutella ones to the list.

  8. Lannie says

    thank you so much for posting this, it was really lovely to read. i have not been blogging very long, and already feeling a little frustration at trying to get my photos onto tastespotting and the like.

    like you did several years ago, i’ve started by getting basic equipment and lots of enthusiasm. but i do feel like blogging is taking over so much time, and, well its not that i’m surprised my photos are not good enough yet. it’s just frustrating to not know exactly how to improve them…

    anyways, this recipe sounds wonderfully simple and delicious. and thanks again for writing and sharing this post.

    • says

      Hi Lannie,

      You’re so welcome. Thank you for the comment! I wrote this post because I had a strong suspicion that there are others out there who have felt the same frustration with photography. It can feel as if all the other food bloggers have been invited to the Tastespotting/Foodgawker party and you’re home doing your laundry. I really do recommend the book I referenced above, “From Snapshots to Great Shots”. She does a great job of speaking in layman’s terms and I had a lot of “AHA!” moments when reading it (and I’m not entirely through it). I picked up some great tips for post-production, too.

      Good luck to you, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need something.

      Kristy

  9. says

    I just tried this recipe. Sadly, it didn’t turn out very well. For my first batch, it just wouldn’t come off of the pan. And for my second batch, they were way too greasy. :(

    • says

      Gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that! They should come off as long as you lightly grease the pan and remove them after giving them a minute to set up. You definitely shouldn’t have to add so much oil that they get greasy :(

  10. says

    3 ingredients?? Are you kidding me?? I could make these! You know what I typically hate Nutella. I think it’s disgusting on bread.. but as cookies? Wow I never would have thought of that! Sounds d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.!

  11. tricia says

    Thank you for your comment on my blog today! Do you know what I am doing right now as I read this gorgeous and simple post? I’m eating nutella out of the jar. Healthy. I know. I am making these tomorrow. Just as soon as I buy another jar of nutella. :)

  12. says

    What a great and inspiring post! I’m a newbie blogger and find it very difficult with the photos. Some are ok, but as you wrote, I too feel lucky when they are accepted to different sites. I’m trying to not be frustrated but it’s hard, I too want lovely photos as those on tastespotting and Foodgawker, so thanks for the great and inspiring post!! I’m not the only one out there struggling. Btw your pics do look great!

    • says

      You’re so welcome!! Thanks for taking the time to let me know it helped you, too!! It’s so hard to not let it get to you, I know. But I believe that I’m proof that everyone can improve with practice. Go back to my first posts and you’ll cringe at the photos :-)

  13. says

    Kristy!
    You put into words exactly what I’ve been thinking/feeling/pondering for the past 2 years that I’ve been blogging.
    Food photography is drudgery for me. It is so frustrating that I occasionally think of abandoning the whole thing. Add a few nasty comments & emails into the mix and man, I’m on the edge.
    But, I need to be more like you and take a step back and try to enjoy the process.
    I feel lucky when a photo gets accepted. I never expect it.
    I don’t know if I’ll ever truly enjoy food photography. I take a lot of my photos outside and since I live in the country, I’ve been more drawn to photographing the landscape. I can’t explain why I’d rather take a photo of a 50-acre wheat field than a brownie square, but it’s just who I am.
    Gosh, I’m rambling, but I’m so glad to read this post!!!

    Take care (and your photography is awesome!)
    Christina

    • says

      Christina!
      Thanks so much for sharing all of that. It’s such a strange thing to feel pressure to be a professional at something that we’re not professionals at, isn’t it? But it seems that you have a great attitude! I think it helps when we all realize that we’re more alike than we think.
      Cheers!!

      Kristy

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