Sunday, January 27, 2013

chocolate chip cookies with nutella, brown butter, and sea salt

Bauble of the Day:  Gold Geo Bib (BaubleBar), Wishbone Charm Necklace (Gorjana), and Vine Ring (Gorjana). BaubleBar + Gorjana just go beautifully together, don't they? Statement pieces always seem to look better paired with simple, dainty jewelry. Clearly this comes from the mind of someone who is indecisive and sickly obsessed with jewelry.
 shirt: Madewell Laid-Back Tee in Stripe || jeans: J Brand Legging in Starless || shoes: Sperry Top-Sider A/O 1 Eye in Brown || nailpolish: Essie lapiz of luxury

Okay, I'm back. Well, in case you were wondering, I started throwing things at the t.v. during the Thunder/Lakers game. I really don't want to talk about it. I even wore my blue and orange striped shirt to support OKC! The only NBA update that matters at the moment is that Rajon Rondo tore his ACL, which means the Celtics are not getting anywhere close to the ship this year. Wasn't counting on that anyway. Le sigh, All-Star weekend cannot come any sooner..

The rest of my day was productive-- if you're like me and consider worthy productiveness to be shopping and baking. I popped into Anthropologie, not because I actually needed anything but it happened to be on the way to the grocery store. My intention was to make a quick return and leave, but then I tried on a few things. An hour later, let's just say I ended up in the negative. Don't care, new clothes makes me happy. But, for the record, I would totally judge me, too.

I got a little off track, but I was still on a baking mission today. So, here's the deal. I spend oodles of hours on Pinterest. I would consider myself to be an avid repinner. I'm not sure what any of it really means (I feel more like a stalker-- constantly admiring the fashionable and DIY savvy) but damn it's fun. Admittedly, I've also never actually made any of the recipes I've stored away on my pinboard.. until today.

Dear Annie (whoever you are), I wish I were you and could take credit for creating this Godly creation of a cookie. Alas, I am just a baker who had the honor of successfully fulfilling all my hopes and dreams that were unknowingly wrapped up in single cookie. Brown butter. Nutella. Chocolate chips. And OMG, the sea salt. This cookie is my new favorite (really, how could it not?!). It blew my mind and then slapped me in the face for waiting this long to make it. Sorry S'mores cookie-- I still heart you, though.

Here it is.. You're welcome.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nutella, Brown Butter, and Sea Salt
Recipe by Annie's Eats, adapted from Ambitious Kitchen
Yields about 2 dozen

Chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella), about 1/2 cup
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp greek yogurt or sour cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Prepare nutella coins. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Place chocolate hazelnut spread in plastic bag toward one corner of the bag. Twist so that it does not squeeze out of the top. Snip one corner off the end of the bag. Pipe small dollops of the spread on the wax paper, about 1 1/2 tsp each. You will need about 2 dozen. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and let set until firm, about 2 hours.

2. Prepare brown butter. Place the butter in a medium to large skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter completely. Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the butter foams, bubbles slightly, and begins to brown. Continue whisking until the butter is evenly browned, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. Put the dough together. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugars and brown butter. Mix on medium speed until well blended and smooth. Blend in egg and egg yolk, scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla and yogurt. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Fold int he chocolate chips. Chill the dough briefly, about 30 minutes.

4. Assemble. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use a medium dough scoop (about 2 Tbsp) to scoop a portion of cookie dough. Press an indentation into the center of the dough ball to create a bowl shape. Place a dollop of the frozen Nutella in the indentation and pinch together the edges of the cookie dough over the top to completely seal it in the center. 

5. Place the shaped cookies on the prepared baking sheets, 2-3 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and set, rotating the pans halfway through, about 14 minutes total. When the cookies are finished baking, sprinkle lightly with additional sea salt. Let sit a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough as needed. *Be sure to place the Nutella drops back into the freezer while waiting for cookies to bake. It softens fairly quickly otherwise.

I promise all the work is worth it. The instructions are very thorough, but I absolutely love the method outlined by Annie's Eats. Piping and freezing the Nutella dollops-- genius.

This is one sweet cookie, with the excessive chocolate and all, but the sprinkle of sea salt on top takes this cookie to the next level. It orchestrates all the flavors and balances out the sweetness to perfection. In all seriousness, if you don't make this cookie, you will never forgive yourself and I might slap you for being so ridiculous.

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