Friday, November 1, 2013

Nutella Stuffed Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Men are simple creatures.

Chef Uy:  I want to send you a care package! What do you want? 
B: Can I have chocolate chip cookies?
Chef Uy: But that's so... simple. I wanna make something fancy!
B: Simple is good! You can't go wrong with classic chocolate chip cookies!

Ok so these are a teensy bit fancier than your average chocolate chip cookies for two reasons.

First, I browned the butter. You need to watch your butter closely as it heats up... nothing happens for a long time, than BAM, browned butter spontaneously arises. Usually butter is creamed with the sugar for fluffiness- but this butter is melted, so I'm not sure how it changes the end result. The nutty browned butter smells is quite spectacular though.

Secondly, these chocolate chip cookies are stuffed with Nutella (cappuccino Nutella to be exact!). It's really messy to "stuff" the cookies and the Nutella did not stay inside nicely. Some tips are to really flatten out the cookie dough before wrapping the Nutella, chill the dough and Nutella, and don't make them huge.

The cookies were an interesting texture; more like a shortbread than a classic cookie for some reason, neither crispy (how I like it) nor soft and chewy (how B likes it), so I'm not too sure what happened with the cookie part. Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

PS. Next time I would definitely add more Nutella and chocolate chips. 
PPS. Post office prices for shipping anything is really quite outrageous these days!

Ingredients
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/8 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 jar of Nutella, chilled in refrigerator

Directions
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Optional Step: To brown butter (step by step directions with photos here), melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. The butter will begin to foam and eventually brown on the bottom of the saucepan; keep whisking and remove from heat as soon as the butter turns brown (you'll see brown particles on the bottom and smell a nutty aroma). Set aside to cool.

Shortcut: You can also just use room temperature butter and proceed to the next step

With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat until just combined. Add chocolate chips.

Chill your dough in the refrigerator for a few hours (or freezer to speed things up if you're impatient like me).

Tip: Chilled dough (and Nutella) is easier to handle

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough is chilled measure about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the dough ball very thinly into the palm of your hand. Place 1 teaspoon of chilled Nutella in the middle and fold dough around it; gently roll into a ball. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and flatten gently.

Bake the cookies 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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