I came across this recipe a few months ago and kept it in the back of my mind for a “rainy day” (or unusually hot September night as it turns out). After a rough start to the week, I figured my surgery team could use a mid-week pick-me-up in the form of sugar and these cookies immediately came to mind. As perviously confessed, I love all things nutella (see Chocolate Cake with Nutella Chocolate Ganache with Nutella Buttercream)): Nutella crepes, Nutella ice cream, Nutella cupcakes, Nutella by the spoonful… Needless to say, I was pretty eager to try out this cookie recipe.
While these cookies take a little more work than your average cookie, the payoff is worth every minute (even when you have to sacrifice sleep for those minutes!). The extra step of browning the butter creates a nutty, carmelized cookie that is then brought to a whole other level with the nutella filling. The cookie is finally finished with a touch of sea salt for the perfect salty/sweet combination. Luckily, my hospital colleagues helped me eat these or else I may have finished the whole batch myself!
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. greek yogurt or sour cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup dark chocolate chips
Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Place chocolate hazelnut spread in a plastic bag toward one corner of the bag. Twist so that it does not squeeze out of the top. Snip one corner off the end of the bag. Pipe small dollops of the spread onto the wax paper, about 1-1½ teaspoons each. You will need about 2 dozen. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and let sit until firm, about 2 hours.
Place the butter in a medium to large skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter completely. Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the butter foams, bubbles slightly, and begins to brown. Continue whisking until the butter is evenly browned, being careful not to burn. Remove from the heat, immediately pour into a bowl (to prevent burning) and let cool.
Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. 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, scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla and greek yogurt. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough, overnight (or at least 30 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Use a medium dough scoop (about 2 tablespoons) to scoop a portion of cookie dough. Flatten the dough in the palm of your hand. Place a dollop of the frozen Nutella in the middle and roll the edges of the cookie dough over the top to completely seal it in the center.
Place the shaped cookies on the prepared baking sheets, 2-3 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are just golden brown at the edges, 10-12 minutes. 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. Repeat with the remaining dough as needed. Be sure to replace the remaining Nutella dollops in the freezer while waiting for cookies to bake. It softens fairly quickly otherwise.