Pumpkin Spice Nutella Chunk Pudding Cookies

Happy Friday! We made it to the weekend, I think that deserves cookies, don’t you?

All Fridays are pretty awesome, but this one is even more exciting than usual. The Bruins got a big win last night (against their former teammate to boot) and the Red Sox are one win away from the World Series. Who would have believed that was possible in the middle of the disaster that was last season?!

Pumpkin Spice Nutella Chunk Pudding Cookies

But best of all – it’s a certain special someone’s birthday!!

I love birthdays and I love making a big deal about them, especially when it comes to Shane’s birthday. This is the 11th birthday I’ve spent with him, isn’t that crazy? I’m going to make sure the celebration lasts all weekend :) I’ve got a million and one things on my to-do list before the fun starts after he gets home from work today, so I’d better hop to it!

Pumpkin Spice Nutella Chunk Pudding Cookies

But first, let me tell you about these amazing Pumpkin Spice Nutella Chunk Pudding Cookies. Have you guys tried pudding cookies yet? I raved about them last fall, and my feelings haven’t changed. They’re perfectly soft and chewy, and best of all, they stay that way for days and days after you bake them.

For this version I used pumpkin spice pudding mix, and then added extra pumpkin pie spice to make sure the cookies were packed with amazing fall flavor. I knew I wanted to add a mix-in, and after some deliberation ended up remembering these awesome Nutella chunks I first experimented with in cookie bars last year. They’re so easy to make, and crazy addictive! Luckily the recipe makes more than you’ll need for the cookies so snack away :) The combination of pumpkin and Nutella is one of my favorites and these cookies did not disappoint. In a pinch you could definitely substitute chocolate chunks here instead, but I highly recommend planning ahead for the Nutella ones!

Pumpkin Spice Nutella Chunk Pudding Cookies
adapted from Mini M&M Pudding Cookies

{Note: Be sure to plan ahead, the Nutella mixture needs to freeze for a few hours before you can cut into chunks. You will probably end up with more Nutella chunks than the cookies call for – save the extras in the freezer for another baking project, or enjoy them as a snack!}

Nutella Chunks
6.5 oz Nutella
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package pumpkin spice pudding mix
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Nutella chunks

To make the Nutella chunks: Add the Nutella and butter to a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second bursts on 50% power, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. (Mine needed 1 minute and 30 seconds total.) Spread the Nutella mixture into a rectangular shape on a parchment-lined baking sheet – it should be about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to the freezer for at least 2 hours, or until firm. Place the Nutella rectangle on a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, cut into small chunks. Try not to touch them any more than you need to. Once chopped, place them in a bowl and put back in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the pudding mix until combined and then add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, beating just until combined. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir in the Nutella chunks – you want to try to avoid breaking them up too much.

Using a small cookie scoop (mine measures about 1 1/2 inches across), portion the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 9-10 minutes (rotating the baking sheets halfway through) or until the edges of the cookies are set. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool for a few minutes then remove the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough.

Makes about 4 dozen