|Nutella-Stuffed Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Vanilla Bean Fleur de Sel|
For the Cookies:
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, Melted & Browned (and then chilled to solidify)
¼C Gourmet Raw Bourbon Vanilla Sugar
¼C Granulated Sugar
1C Light Brown Sugar, Packed
¾C Dark Brown Sugar, Packed
2 Eggs + 1 Egg Yolk
1t Sea Salt
2C Cake Flour
1C Bread Flour
½C AP Flour
1 ½t Baking Soda
7oz of Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate, Roughly Chopped by Hand (two bars of chocolate)
3.5oz 70% Dark Chocolate, Roughly Chopped By Hand
4oz of 60% Dark Chocolate, Roughly Chopped by Hand
8oz of Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Finely Chopped by Hand (two bars of chocolate)
1oz Unsweetened Chocolate, Grated
Nutella Spread (store-bought or homemade), Scooped into Small Teaspoons
Vanilla Bean Fleur de Sel, For Sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with Pam, then set aside.
2. To Brown the Butter: Heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add the butter, making sure to whisk it frequently. Continue to cook the butter. Once the butter has melted, it will foam up a bit, and then subside. Watch it carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. You should smell a nutty aroma and it should be golden brown in color. Remove from heat and let it completely cool and set before adding it to the cookie dough.
3. Cream the 2 sticks of butter & chilled brown butter with the gourmet vanilla sugar, granulated sugar, and brown sugars until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the mixer then add the two eggs and egg yolk one at a time, incorporating each one completely before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl. Mix in the vanilla and sea salt.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, bread flour, and baking soda.
5. With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just incorporated (don’t over mix).
6. Fold or beat in the chopped chocolates until it’s completely incorporated and the chocolate is evenly dispersed throughout the dough. Lastly, lightly beat in the grated chocolate (don’t beat it too much or the chocolate will melt and you will not achieve the speckled chocolate look). Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 24-48 hours. Scoop the dough into large balls (or I used a large ice cream scoop), and then using your fingers, break the cookie dough balls in half. Smash one half of the dough into a flat disk in the palm of your hands and scoop about 1t of Nutella into the center. Flatten the other piece of dough and place it on top of the filled dough disk. Seal and crimp the edges and roll into a ball. Because the cookies are quite large, I only put 6 cookies per sheet tray, so that when they cook & spread, they will not touch each other.
7. Sprinkle the vanilla bean fleur de sel on top of the cookie dough balls, then bake the for 12-14 minutes (cook them for 6-7 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees, and cook for another 6-7 minutes), until it is slightly golden brown on the edges, but still soft (slightly undercooked) on the inside. Leave the cookies on the sheet tray for 10 minutes, so that the cookies will finish baking.
8. Once the cookies have rested on the sheet tray, move the finished cookies to a cooling rack, and let them completely cool completely before eating.