Why so different?
These cookies are stuffed with Nutella (hazel nut spread) inside! And I’m not done yet. Brown butter* is added to the cookie dough, and after the cookies are baked, they are sprinkled with sea salt.
Yep, these cookies got it all. Great balance of flavors (that’s my friend John’s word).
Phew. Do I need to say more? Sometimes a picture is worth a thousands words.
This past weekend I gave these cookies as a little gift with party favors for my daughter’s 5th birthday party. My own children were crazy over these cookies so I hope other children enjoyed them as well. And I need to make these again soon!
*Brown butter, also known as beurre noisette in French, is a magical ingredient that has nice rich nutty aroma. It can be easily made by cooking unsalted butter which results in separating into butterfat and milk solids. The milk solids naturally sink to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown, releasing toasted nutty aroma. Here’s the video of how to make it.
- ½ cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
- 1 cup (16 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. coarse sea salt, plus more sprinkling
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 2½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Line a baking sheet/pan with parchment paper. Place Nutella in a plastic bag (I used a Ziploc bag) toward one corner of the bag (or use this method* - See Note). Twist so that it does not squeeze out of the top. Cut one corner off the end of the bag.
- Pipe small dollops of Nutella onto the parchment paper, about 1-1 ½ tsp. each. You will need about 2 dozen and make some extra just in case. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and let sit until firm, about 2 hours.
- Cut the butter into a few pieces and place in a large skillet or a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter completely stirring frequently with the spatula. As the butter heats, it will begin to foam and then bubble. After several minutes, the milk solids will start to become brown on the bottom of the pan (sorry no pics after this - I was a bit pre-occupied). Make sure that milk solids do not stick to the pan. Continue stirring until the butter is evenly browned, being careful not to burn. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes (see the video in the post).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugars and the brown butter. Mix on medium speed until well blended and smooth.
- Blend in the egg and egg yolk, vanilla and Greek yogurt, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.
- Fold in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough briefly, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (175C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper. We will work in 2-3 batches as the Nutella dollops soften quickly when they are outside of the freezer.
- Use a tablespoon, scoop a portion of cookie dough twice and roll into a ball. Place the cookie dough rolls on the prepared baking sheets, 2-3 inches apart. Put the remaining cookie dough in the refrigerator.
- Take out the frozen Nutella dollops from freezer. Press an indentation into the center of the dough ball to create a bowl shape. Place a dollop of the frozen Nutella in the indentation and pinch together the edges of the cookie dough over the top to completely seal it in the center.
- Make a couple of pinches on the top part of the dough so that the finished product will look more appealing. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, 2-3 inches apart. By this time Nutella dollops are too soft to pick up with your hand so put them back in freezer.
- Bake until the cookies are golden brown about 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. After you rotate the baking sheet, start working on the next batch with remaining dough as needed.
- When the cookies are finished baking, sprinkle lightly with additional sea salt. Let sit a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once they are completely cool, store them in an airtight container.
- You can rewarm the cookie(s) in microwave for a few seconds before you eat.
- If you don’t want to bake the whole cookie dough, shape the dough balls and flash freeze on a baking sheet. Then put in a freezer bag and store in freezer up to 3 months. When you bake in the future, thaw the cookies while preheating the oven and bake them about 2 minutes longer than the original recipe says.