Don’t you just love birthday treats? I love the idea of something specific on a special day each year. My mom used to make “Crazy Cake” for our birthdays, which was a chocolate cake sprinkled with chocolate chips (CRAZY!). My cousin went nuts for angel food cake with chocolate whipped cream frosting. Another friend HAD to get a Rainbow Cone, which is a pretty amazing ice cream cone that includes not one but five flavors (chocolate, strawberry, palmer house, pistachio and sherbet!) of ice cream piled into a sugar cone.
For my friend Emily? Well for the past few years it’s been Nutella Chip Cookies.
About 5 years ago, when I first started getting in the kitchen and playing around, I came across a blog post for Nutella Chips, which were then folded into chocolate chip cookie dough to make Nutella chip cookies. Around that same time of reading that blog post, I was invited to a nail salon for a little moms-night-out and they encouraged us to bring food and drink. I took it upon myself to take a stab at the nutella chip cookies and sure enough, a favorite emerged. My Nutella loving friend Emily’s birthday is today, and ever since her, ahem, passionate reception of those cookies years ago at that nail salon, I have happily made them every year on June 15th.
The Nutella chips themselves are a stark contrast to my last post in which I wrote a recipe about semi-homemade easy peasy ready in 5 minutes kinda deal. This recipe…is not that. This is one of those “you did what?” recipes, but I’m telling you– it pays off. The Nutella chips can be made a few different ways, and if you have extra (which you will) you can put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer to be delightfully surprised 3 months later when you finally clean out the damn thing!
For the cookie part of the recipe, I went for my favorite recipe, which is America’s Test Kitchen’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. The brown butter (remember?? Beurre noisette (French pronunciation: [bœʁ nwazɛt], literally: hazelnut butter, loosely: brown butter!!) plays off so well with the hazelnut in the chips, and really makes for a pretty amazing cookie.
If you know someone who loves Nutella this is a great way to celebrate their birthday, or let’s be honest, really any day.
Nutella Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from ATK Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
1.75 C unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
14 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 C granulated sugar
3/4 C packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp table salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 C Nutella Chips (recipe below)
8 Tbsp butter
1/2 C Nutella
To make the Nutella Chips: In a double boiler (just a heatproof bowl set over saucepan on medium heat), melt the butter and Nutella, whisking together until homogenous. For Nutella chunks: Spread melted mixture onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment, and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. After one hour, use a pizza cutter or chefs knife/your hands? to break into chunks of desired size.
For chips, place warm mixture (if piping, you might need to allow the mixture to cool/thicken a bit) into large piping bag (or gallon ziplock), and carefully pipe little chips onto the paper. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
Note: Nutella chips must stay in the freezer until right before you are ready to use. They melt quickly!
To make the cookies:
Whisk flour and baking soda in medium bowl and set aside.
Place 4 Tbsp of butter in large mixing bowl.
Brown the butter: Heat 10 Tbsp of butter in large skillet set over medium heat until melted. Once it melts and it starts popping and cracking and smelling really good, start swirling the pan until you see all the little browned bits start to appear. Keep swirling the butter to prevent burning until you can’t stand how nutty and good it smells. Using a spatula scrape the hot brown butter into the bowl with the remaining 4 Tbsp and stir until it’s all melted.
Add both sugars, vanilla, salt, egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no lumps remaining. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture until combined. At the very last moment, take 1 Cup of nutella chips/chunks out of the freezer and mix into the dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate* for at least 1 hour and up to 8.
*Yes, you have to chill this dough. There’s so much butter in the dough and the Nutella chips if you don’t, the cookies will spread out too thin in the oven. I mean, you can still eat them, but they won’t be as good.
Once the dough is chilled, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375F. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside. Using cookie scoop, place dough at least 2-3 inches apart on baking sheet and immediately pop in the oven. Bake for 8 minutes, or until just lightly brown and the edges are set. Try not to eat them all at once!