Nutella chocolate chip cookies that will 'change your life' | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Nutella chocolate chip cookies that will 'change your life'

It wouldn't be a Pittsburgh wedding without a cookie table. But why keep the tradition exclusive to happy couples? In the spirit of the season, Pittsburgh City Paper is celebrating the holiday cookie table. We’re reviewing bakery favorites, family recipes, and grocery store staples until the table is full.
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: MAGGIE WEAVER
CP photo: Maggie Weaver
Since its inception in the 1940s, Nutella has blossomed from a war-time, chocolate alternative to a foodie and hipster icon. It’s become so popular that Feb. 5 is now World Nutella Day, and in 2020,  the U.S. will see its first Nutella-themed hotel (in addition to the already-existing Nutella cafes): Hotella Nutella.

It’s not for nothing that Nutella has earned this celebrity status. The spread is delicious, and though great straight from the jar, it really shines when added to pastries and desserts. So it comes as no surprise that brown butter Nutella chocolate chip cookies have been called cookies that will “change your life.”

Monique Volz, owner of the food, lifestyle, and health blog Ambitious Kitchen, calls these her “favorite cookies ever.” She’s not wrong. The butter, when browned, adds a caramelized, nutty flavor to the dough, which plays well with the Nutella. It’s a fun surprise to bite into a Nutella-filled center, and a bonus that even when baked, the Nutella stays soft.

There are two difficult parts to this recipe: browning the butter and wrapping the dough around the Nutella.

If you’ve never browned butter before, be prepared for a stressful five to ten minutes standing at a stove. It seems like a simple process – melt the butter and when it starts to brown, pull it off the stove – but it’s easy to mess up, and burned butter is a vicious consequence. (Pro tip: Google "browned butter" if it’s your first time. It helps.)

I’ve been the victim of many brown butter tragedies because of impatience and distraction. I’d recommend sticking by your stove until your butter is golden brown and releasing a nutty aroma. It’s worth it.

Fitting the dough around Nutella is tough to figure out at first. Volz recommends throwing the jars of spread in the fridge to chill before filling the cookies; it’s a little easier to work with when firm. Besides that, you just have to be willing to get messy. I’ve been making these cookies for a while, and every time, Nutella gets everywhere.

Set those two factors aside and the cookies are a pretty straightforward mix of flour, sugar, chocolate chips, and waiting forever for dough to chill in the fridge. But the end result is far from average. It’s nutty, gooey, sweet, and salty. As Volz says, “What more could you want in a cookie?”
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: MAGGIE WEAVER
CP photo: Maggie Weaver
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 jar of Nutella, chilled in refrigerator
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Brown the butter. While it cools, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and yogurt. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until fully combined, followed by the chocolate chips. Either refrigerate for two hours or freeze for 20-30 minutes.

Once dough is chilled, take small balls – around one tablespoon – and flatten them out in the palm of your hand. Fill with a spoonful of Nutella, then close the ball around the nut butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes.

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