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Let’s Stuff Cookies With Nutella

by christina posted October 24, 2012 category baking, christina

Today my heart is in Michigan. My mind is nostalgic with the fields of corn glowing white in the moonlight; the sound of Lake Michigan’s waves on the cold sand; trees baring their majestic limbs in an au revoir to summer.

Zach is in Michigan on tour as I write, texting me pictures of friends and babies and food that I’ve missed so deeply. He sent me a photo of the owner of my favorite restaurant, bustling away in the kitchen, moving fast and blurred. Immediately, I wanted a sweet potato quinoa burger and chocolate pudding. He ate pork tenderloin with my parents and got to hug my best friend and hear her son sing songs about babushkas while they ate breakfast.

My heart is so happy for my husband, yet envious in the same breath; veins of joy and jealousy are pumping into my heart side-by-side.

A few years ago, I was listening to a sermon and this question was raised: Are you envious because God is generous? I’m reminded of these words when something good that I want happens upon friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, and instead of congratulations! or I’m so happy for you! flowing freely off my lips, my words get trapped in incessant envy as I force a fake, stiff, not-quite-to-my-eyes smile. I immediately think of all the reasons I deserve it more than them.

Envy camaflages any gifts in our own life as mundane, boring, not-good-enough. It limits our ability for thankfulness; it provides us with enough discontent to be spiteful and mean in the face of other people’s fortune. It’s ugly and bitter and layers of resentment begin to build.

I want to feel deep gladness resonating in my heart when I hear about good gifts other people receive. When friends pay off their mortgage in five years, I want to feel pride for them, not jealousy. When my husband tells me about what fun he’s had in a day, I want his joy to be my own, in a real way. And when I am bursting to overflowing, I want to know I can go to him and he’ll celebrate with me, for me.

A few months ago, I made browned butter nutella-stuffed chocolate chip cookies with sea salt. That’s a mouthful (a mouthful of goodness, that is.) They’re the kind of cookie anyone in their right mind will like and they make a really great gift. If someone you know received good news today, or are just in a really great season of life, I hope you celebrate with them —not in a fake smiling but not sort of way, but in an I am so happy for you and I’ll show it through a hug and cookies sort of way.

In these cookies, browned butter provides a deep, rich, nutty flavor, pairing perfectly with studs of bittersweet chocolate, a generous dollop of nutella, and a coarse scattering of sea salt. My friend Chelsea nicknamed them “crack cookies” and everyone agrees: they are completely addictive. Make these today and share them with friends. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk and a reminder that we are surrounded by good gifts; there is no room for envy.

Slightly adapted from this recipe

Browned Butter Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

2¼ cup all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt (I bought 1 serving of Fage 2% and ate the rest for breakfast)
2 cups chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 60%)
1 jar of Nutella, chilled in refrigerator for easier stuffing

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

-Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly as it foams and crackles.  After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

-With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips.

-Chill your dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once dough is chilled, measure about 1½ 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 — it doesn’t have to be perfectly rolled! Make sure that the nutella is not seeping out of the dough. Add more dough if necessary. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and gently flatten the top (just slightly)

-Bake the cookies 9-11 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. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes.

-Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

6 Responses to Let’s Stuff Cookies With Nutella

  1. I’ve been thinking about Michigan a lot lately too, Steen. This is such a humble post and a great reminder.

  2. I can second that those are very yummy cookies. Norm is obsessed with all things Nutella, so they became his favorite as soon as I made them.

  3. Thank you, babushka.