The Great Nutella Debate…

I had a junior high student who was kind of a loner and would spend many a lunch hour debating with me just for the fun of it. Not arguing with me, he would just pick what seemed to be random topics to talk about for debate. One day there was a jar of Nutella that a fellow teacher had picked up for me (it wasn’t so easy to find back then). The student asked me what that was (chocolate-hazelnut spread, in case for some reason you don’t know) and I told him that I used it for baking but that I knew some people put it on toast and ate if for breakfast. This sparked him right away and thus began our debate about whether or not Nutella is a good breakfast or not. Right away I was going to win this one, as this is the kid who half the time eats a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos and a Mountain Dew on the way to school, so odds were not on his side. After discussing for about 10 minutes he succeeded that if you can serve a kid a Frosted Pop Tart, Toaster Strudel, Frosted Flakes, or a donut for breakfast, then surely yes, you could have Nutella for breakfast.  And though he lost that one so to speak, he did his fair share of winning those debates.
People ask me if I go back to teaching full time will I go back to teaching junior high? My answer is most likely no. But not for the reason people think. Most think because junior high kids are a pain in the butt. Some are. But most are not. Junior High kids are funny, smart (way smarter than what they are given credit for), witty (with great sarcasm, which I fully appreciate), hormonal, and a bit mixed up. It’s just a tough age, and quite honestly the parents tend to make it even harder for them. Some still want to be a kid in junior high. Some want to be a grown up. Some are stuck in between. Then the kids who still want to be kids get picked on for not wanting to be more grown up. And then you add the hormones and it’s all a big mess.
One reason why I did so well with the junior high students was because I was honest with them. I had no problems coming in and telling them I had a headache and wasn’t in the mood to deal with anything that day. Or when I broke up with a boyfriend and was feeling emotional I would tell them, and let them know that I was extra sensitive so it was best not to misbehave because what might not normally bother me, would that day. The honesty was always appreciated and rewarded so to speak. I think parents think of their junior high kids as children still. And they are. But they aren’t as dumb as most of their parents seem to think they are. They know why you are fighting. They just want to hear it from you. Yes having to tell your child that daddy lost his job is hard and will probably make the kid nervous. Though no more nervous than him/her sensing something is wrong and you won’t tell him/her what is wrong so as not to upset him/her. Great plan. Then you have the parents who swing the opposite way and try to be the best friend. Don’t get me started on that. They already have friends, they need parents.
So if I love junior high kids so much, why not go back? Plain and simple…single subject. I don’t like teaching the same subject over and over again. It gets old real fast for me. Some teachers love that. They love that they don’t have as much planning, that part is nice, but I still think it is way more fun to teach all the subjects. Which in this state, if I want to do that the highest grade I can teach are 5th graders, who I also like as well.
Today’s simple Nutella cookies are in honor of my debating student. He got engaged over Christmas (wow, that makes me feel way old) and I got an announcement about it (congrats to you S) These are basically peanut butter cookies, but I took out the peanut butter and used Nutella instead. Hard, I know. :) All I know is that they make for one heck of a breakfast treat. :P Or do you not thing Nutella makes for a good breakfast?

*Oh and totally random is the sad but funny Crazy Cocker Spaniel in her new inflatable collar that she has to wear thanks to all the chewing she is doing. I tried the spray that is suppost to deter her, she thinks it’s a topping or something. :) Dogs.

Nutella Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F.
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup Nutella or other hazelnut chocolate spread
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars in a mixer on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl often.
Beat for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
With the mixer on low, add the egg and vanilla. Then add the Nutella and mix well.
Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix on low speed until all the ingredients are incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and mix just until the dough is smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.
Using a small ice cream scoop (or a teaspoon) form the dough into balls and place on greased cookie sheet.
Bake 6-7 minutes. Let cookies cool about 5 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool completely.


  1. Teaching the same subject would definitely get boring.

    Aww, CCS :D

    DEEELISH cookies!

  2. Oooh, I adore Nutella!

    It’s funny that you write about this debate, since I was just thinking about that topic the other day. Since I only use Nutella for baking I never really paid attention to the nutrition label. I happened to look at it the other day and was shocked that people consider it a breakfast food! Not that I’m one to judge, since I’ve been known to eat refried beans, pizza, and macaroni and cheese for breakfast.

    These cookies look fabulous!

  3. I taught 13 and 14 year olds too.
    They made me laugh a lot.

  4. You so eloquently described all the reasons I LOVE junior high kids. I can’t believe how many people look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I love teaching 12-14 year olds!

  5. Oh my stomach is just rumbling at the thought of these! I’m definitely one of the Nutella for breakfast people, nothing beats the melty chocolate on a piece of toast! Have you tried Nutella in crepes? YUM!

    I can’t wait to make these, thanks!

  6. I suggest pairing these decadent cookies with a nice, juicy apple, rather than a glass of milk.

    Or just make the Nutella and dip the apple *in* the Nutella. Or pear.

  7. I must confess that I have spread Nutella on a Nutrigrain waffle for breakfast. It may be terrible, but Nutella is like spreadable crack and I love it so. :-)

  8. I had Nutella on toast for breakfast this morning!

  9. Funny, Just had Nutella and bread for breakfast yesterday.

  10. I have totally been known to be a nutella-for-breakfast girl in my day. Which may explain my hips…

    These cookies look super delicious! I wonder what would happen if I did a mix of nutella AND PB. Oh the possibilities.

  11. What a lovely story! Is it wrong I want to spread Nutella on top of these cookies? Didn’t think so.

  12. Love your attitude towards junior high kids. More people need to see them as smart and funny. They tend to act the way you expect them to, so why not expect smart and funny?
    Love your blog, and I’m on the fence about Nutella for breakfast. Good stuff though

  13. I have a feeling you were a favorite teacher of your students :)
    That picture of crazy cocker spaniel cracks me up!

  14. Love the photo of CCS and I also love Nutella…for breakfast!

  15. I think it could defiently be a breakfast item, but not for everyday, a treat maybe. I felt like a lot of my teachers in junior were sorta stuck on that whole thing on how to treat us, I felt like junior high was like a cattle ranch, we were just pushed through. I’m glad to read that you were different. I always want to bake with Nutella, I always end up eating it first but these cookies look terrific!

  16. Yummy – made these tonight in order to get rid of a 1/2 jar of nutella that was just sitting there -unspread. I added some extra salt, ’cause that’s how I am. Oh, they’re delicious and might not make it to the office tomorrow.

    Poor puppers, that is about the most pathetic thing ever (not quite as bad as those horrible cones though). Hope it does the trick.

  17. I’ll have Nutella for breakfast any day :) For lunch and dinner too while I’m at it ;)

  18. although i disagree with nutella’s commercials, i do enjoy a little nutella every now and then. that said, i enjoyed reading this post! debates make life more interesting, especially between students and teachers. (:

  19. I’ve made Nutella Cookies and they are one of my favorites. I add toasted hazelnuts to mine!

  20. I think this is the exact Nutella recipe I’ve been searching for, without success. YUM!

  21. My kids have finally worn me down into accepting Nutella and toast as a valid breakfast food! :-)

  22. Cheers to you for being so great with kids at such a difficult age. And more cheers for Nutella cookies!!

  23. Anything I consume in the early morning is considered breakfast, I don’t care if that happens to be ice cream or a piece of toast slathered in nutella… or both… it’s all breakfast and it’s all good.

  24. Nutella in the morning, Nutella anytime on a great crusty slice of bread… Nutella in the afternoon, Nutella in the evening and Nutella mixed with sour cream and cracked hazelnuts as a topping for cheesecake.

    I would have loved to have had a teacher like you when I was in Middle School…

  25. Okay, the inflatable collar is funny, though I am sorry your pup is clawing at her neck. And no, nutella is not a suitable breakfast food. There is a commercial on TV for Nutella that tries to sell it as healthy and nutritious. While very tasty, I would not consider it a part of a well-balanced diet.

  26. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe. I made these cookies this evening in celebration of World Nutella Day!

  27. Cant WAIT to make these


  1. […] Your last post about Junior High students was nice. Refreshing to see a teacher who enjoys teaching that age group. However, I must encourage you to keep teaching math or science only, as I can not imagine you teaching the youth of America proper grammar that one needs to succeed in today’s society. Based on the excellent effort you put forth in your blog, I bet you are an excellent teacher as well. I just don’t think you should teach English. […]

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