“All right, let me see if I can think of something else to distract you.”
“You really don’t have to. I was just teasing.” Faelen smiled. “I interrupted your evening. Wine and a book. And...are those cookies?”
Maxen choked back a laugh. He snagged the plate off the table and offered it to Faelen. “Have a cookie. And you didn’t do anything except improve my evening. I like your company.”
- The Merchant's Love
There actually are cookies in the book, as you can see in the snippet above. It's part of a scene I really love, especially for what it makes Faelen realize. I don't specify what kind of cookies they're eating that night, but it might very well be these. They're a favorite of mine, and I think Faelen and Maxen would enjoy them. I hope you do too.
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 2/3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Nutella (or other brand of hazelnut spread)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional; the Nutella gives a nice hazelnut flavor even without these)
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in Nutella, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture and incorporate at low speed until not streaks of flour remain. Stir in chocolate chips and hazelnuts (if using). Form the dough into 1 inch balls.
Before baking, I refrigerate cookie dough for 12-24 hours or freeze it at least overnight (You can make the dough much farther ahead and freeze it too. I always have cookie dough in my freezer for emergencies. Cookie emergencies are absolutely a thing). Chilling the dough makes the cookies puffier, but you don't have to with this recipe (The original recipe didn't call for it; this is just my trick for almost all cookie baking). If you do freeze the dough, there's no need to defrost it before baking.
Preheat the oven 375, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes (possible a few minutes longer if the dough is frozen) until the cookies are a light golden brown around the edges.
Let cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes about 2 dozen.
About The Merchant's Love
Maxen, second son of a wealthy merchant family, longs to leave Tournai and visit everywhere he can. All his life, he’s found places on maps and dreamed, planning out routes to get to them. For now, he’s tied to Tournai’s capital city by family obligations and his position in their shipping business. Someday, though, he’ll be able to travel. His sudden attraction to Faelen shocks him, but their friendship soon becomes a necessary part of his life. Love, however, has no place in his plans, especially not love for a royal cousin with secrets who wants nothing more than to stay in one place.
For Faelen and Maxen to build something real between them, they must resolve their differences, but when magic goes awry and all Faelen’s secrets are revealed, will Maxen remain at his side?
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