Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nutella and Sea Salt

Friends, I don't know that I've emphasized enough how much I love Nutella. Truthfully, I like to pretend that it's a healthy addition to every meal so that I can consume it multiple times over the course of a know, like kale. Also, side note here: I think as a nation, we need to tone down our kale obsession. If you need convincing, or just a good laugh, take a gander here.

Convinced? Ok, good. Now back to my Nutella addiction. Sometimes I make an attempt at portion control and spread a bit on an English muffin. Sometimes (ok most times) I just grab a spoon and the jar. You have your pint of Ben and Jerry's, I have my pint of Nutella. No judgments please. Unless it's that you don't feel I consume enough Nutella during the day and need to consume more. 

Back in grad school, when I had newly discovered Pinterest (and then began sitting in the back of the class so that I could peruse at my leisure without conjuring up any suspicion), I stumbled across a recipe for nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies and probably squealed out loud in excitement in class. These cookies are by far my favorite to make and are an instant crowd pleaser. When you make these fancy treats, you'll basically be one-upping all of those meager plane jane oatmeal raisin or sugar cookies at the dinner party. So, you're welcome in advance for all of the new friends you're about to make. 

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nutella and Sea Salt
Makes 24 cookies

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

2 sticks (1 c) unsalted butter
1 1/4 c packed dark brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp plain greek yogurt
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
1 jar of Nutella

Coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)

Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam and after several minutes, will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan. Make sure you whisk constantly during this process. Continue to whisk the melted butter and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma (process usually takes 5-6 minutes). Transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

Once the butter has cooled, in an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg and yolk (one at a time), vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips. **Note: at this point, your dough should more elastic than your average cookie dough – similar to that of taffy. Cover and chill your dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the dough has chilled measure about 1 tbsp of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the dough ball into the palm of your hand. Place 1 tsp of nutella in the middle. Take another ½ tbsp of dough, roll, and flatten to cover the nutella. Pinch the top of bottom pieces of dough together to seal the edges to prevent nutella from seeping out of the dough. Place dough balls on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn a golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool for 2-3 minutes, and then sprinkle them with a bit of sea salt. Remove the cookies from the pan and allow them to finish cooling on a wire rack.