Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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!

Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Recipe originally from Ambitious Kitchen, adapted instructions from Annie’s Eats)

Chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella), about ½ cup
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
Directions

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.

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Oatmeal Rocky Road Cookies

The other week I was invited to a friend’s dinner party. I hate to show up empty handed and as you can imagine, I often like to contribute a homemade dessert.  Unfortunately, I did not have the time to bake an elaborate cake or tart and needed to come up with a quick dessert with ingredients I had on hand.  I immediately thought of cookies: the dough takes about 10-15 minutes to make and baking time per batch is only 10 minutes (which is idle time, aka time to do hair and makeup!).  While nothing is wrong with plain, old chocolate chip cookies, I wanted to make something more exciting. Luckily I had leftover marshmallows (from the Momofuku Cornflake, Chocolate Chip, Marshmallow cookies), chocolate chips, pecans and oats and hence oatmeal rock road cookies were born! (Fun fact:  Apparently Rocky Road ice cream got its name after the Wall Street crash of 1929 by William Dreyer and Joseph Edy  “to give folks something to smile about in the midst of the Great Depression.”).

This recipe is a blend of Joanne Chang’s Oatmeal Raisin cookies (disclaimer: I hate raisins in all baked goods except her carrot cake) and the Momofuku Milk Bar cornflake, chocolate chips and marshmallow cookies.  The result is a soft, gooey cookie with hints of caramel (from the marshmallow as it bakes).  The chococolate chips and toasted pecans add a great flavor and texture contrast.

Of note, the dough can be made several days ahead of time for an even speedier dessert (or two months if you freeze it).  When I do this, I like to scoop the dough into 1 Tbs portions before refrigerating as opposed to just refrigerating the dough as is.  It makes it a lot easier to bake when the time comes (refrigerated dough can be tough to portion out!).

Oatmeal Rocky Road Cookies

(adapted from Joanne Chang’s Flour cookbook)

1 cup (sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (200 g) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup (245 g) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 cup (175 g) old –fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
1 1/4 cup marshmallows
3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt, making sure there are no lumps of baking soda. Stir in the oats.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until thoroughly combined. On low speed, or by hand, gradually add the flour and oat mixture to the creamed butter, mixing until completely incorporated.  Add the marshmallows, chocolate chips and pecans and mix until just incorporated.

At this point you can portion the dough out into 1 Tbs balls and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  If time does not permit, this refrigeration step can be skipped (but does make for a better cookie).

Place the dough balls on the parchment lined baking sheet, an inch apart. Bake for about 10 min or until just starting to become golden brown.  DO NOT overbake!  Remove from oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container for up to three days. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, or frozen for up to two months.