Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

With sea salt. I figured the title was already long enough, but I didn’t want to leave those few extra words out completely because the salt? It really makes these cookies. There’s a lot of sweetness going on with the sugar, chocolate chips, and Nutella filling and the salt really helps to balance it all out. Don’t skimp :)

I pride myself on having self-control around cookies. I never worry about leaving a plate of them sitting on the counter, I can usually walk right by without a second glance. These cookies, however, were my kryptonite. The nutty brown butter, the chocolate chips, the Nutella surprise hiding in the center of each one – it just made for the most delicious and irresistible combination of flavors ever! The texture was perfect too, slightly crisp on the edges with soft centers. I’d intended to bake just a few to photograph for this post and freeze the rest of the dough balls, but I devoured them so quickly I had to go back and bake a second batch.

Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Let’s talk about the Nutella filling for a second. You’re basically going to dollop it onto a baking sheet and then freeze it. Be sure to plan ahead, the Nutella needs a few hours in the freezer to firm up. It will make your life *much* easier though, trust me – trying to stuff gooey Nutella into the cookie balls is a messy (and somewhat frustrating) endeavor.

These cookies have popped up on quite a few blogs in recent months so maybe this isn’t the first time you’re seeing them. If you’ve been thinking about it but haven’t actually made them yet, don’t wait another minute. They’re popular for a reason :)

Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Ambitious Kitchen via Annie’s Eats

{Note: I used significantly fewer chocolate chips than called for originally (1 3/4 cups). I don’t like a lot of chocolate in my cookies, but feel free to increase the quantity if you do.}

1/2 cup Nutella
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dollop teaspoon-sized mounds of Nutella onto the baking sheet (about 2 dozen total) and pop in the freezer until firm, at least a few hours.

Add the butter to a medium skillet set over medium heat and let it start melting. Continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter becomes golden brown and smells nutty (be patient and watch carefully, it can go from brown to burnt quickly). Pour the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Allow to cool.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and sea salt together in a medium bowl. Add both sugars to the bowl of the mixer along with the cooled brown butter. Beat on medium speed until blended (mine never really came together, but I continued on anyway). Add the egg and egg yolk, mixing until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla and sour cream. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two additions, beating just until incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a small cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoons), portion the dough into balls. Working with one ball at a time, use your thumb to create a well in the center of the ball. Add a dollop of the Nutella to the well then seal the cookie dough around it so it’s completely enclosed. Repeat with all of the dough and Nutella, placing the balls of dough about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. (Note: the Nutella may soften as it sits at room temperature. If necessary, you can throw it back in the freezer to firm up.)

Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and set (the centers may look underdone). Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and immediately sprinkle the cookies with additional sea salt. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then remove to the wire racks.

These cookies really are best warm from the oven or the same day made. To enjoy them on subsequent days, microwave for 15-20 seconds first. (Or, alternatively, freeze the balls of dough after prepping them and bake as needed.)

Makes about 2 dozen