Gluten free browned butter nutella chocolate chip cookies are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and stuffed with little dollops of Nutella hazelnut spread. Or skip the Nutella stuffing and just make these cookies alone. They're anything but plain!
I can't wait to tell you all about these gluten free chocolate chip cookies made (again) with browned butter and stuffed in genius fashion with Nutella hazelnut spread (I can say that because this recipe was not my idea). They're crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, then soft and velvety in the very center. Before we go on, I thought we could talk about the cooking and baking I do generally. You game?
I do four, maybe five, types of cooking and baking. They are (in no particular order): 1. Recipe-testing for a book (painstaking, repetitive, failure-failure-success-success-success). 2. Recipe-testing for the blog (painstaking, repetitive, failure-failure-success). 3. Successful straight-up everyday cooking and baking for family and friends eating (dinner success!). 4.Unsuccessful straight-up everyday cooking and baking for family (dinner failure *whomp whomp whomp* where first I try to pretend that it wasn't a failure and then I come around and want to cry).
I think there might be a 5th type but for the life of me I can't recall. Anyway when it's recipe-testing of the the Type 2 variety (recipe-testing for the blog), I find that I can be pretty heavily influenced by how beautiful the food turns out. I'm testing it, baking it, then styling and shooting it all myself, and the styling and shooting are infinitely easier when I can adapt a recipe from someone else and even borrow (*ahem*) some of the food styling (with credit of course).
So you can see why I am so in love with my Must Make Gluten Free Pinterest Board, which not only gives me a window into your food soul (you vote!), but gives me a bit of a head start in all things for the blog. And believe me I am not complaining because busy is good for my soul, and hustling is a natural state for me, but with freelance work here and there and writing cookbooks (my heart and soul) that demand rigorous testing and retesting (and more retesting), a head start in blog recipes is a beautiful thing.
Chocolate chip cookies do tend to be relatively beautiful … when they are stuffed with something deep and rich-looking like Nutella hazelnut spread. Oh, and we're back to browning butter. If you just don't want to brown butter, you could try just using it straight-up—although you most likely wouldn't need the 2 tablespoons of milk in the ingredient list as they are there mostly to balance out the moisture that is lost in browning the butter.
Be sure to follow the instructions carefully for how to prepare the Nutella. I swung and missed 3 times before I got it right. If your Nutella is at all stiff when you scoop it out of the jar (which mine always seems to be in some pockets in the jar), you must heat it slightly so that it can be stirred. If you can't stir it, you can't pipe it into cut little mounds that you'll then freeze on a baking sheet. And if you can't pipe it into mounds that you'll freeze, you'll drive yourself mad trying to use it to stuff these simple-but-glorious chocolate chip cookies.
A few more baking notes:
- Read the directions carefully, paying particular attention to the consistency of the dough. It should be thick but soft, which will make quick work of stuffing and closing the cookies.
- Resist the urge to add more chips (or chunkier chips). Trust me. That will make shaping the dough nearly impossible—and overload the cookies with too-much-of-a-good-thing.
- If you don't want to brown the butter, remember the note above about how I recommend you experiment with replacing it with regular unsalted butter.
- If you are dairy-free, you can try replacing the butter with butter-flavored Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening—but you will likely need the milk even though you won't be browning the fat, as shortening lacks the moisture of butter.
Gluten Free Browned Butter Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
About 1/2 cup Nutella hazelnut spread
12 tablespoons (168 g) unsalted butter, chopped
2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (164 g) packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg (60 g, weighed out of shell) + 1 egg yolk at room temperature, beaten
2 tablespoons milk at room temperature, plus more by the half-teaspoonful
Coarse salt, for sprinkling
First, prepare the Nutella filling. Line a rimmed baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper, and set it aside. If the Nutella seems at all gloppy, place it in a small heat-safe bowl, and warm it in the microwave for 10 seconds or just until you can stir it easily. Transfer it to a pastry bag or sturdy zip-top bag, and snip off the end or corner. Pipe the Nutella onto the prepared baking sheet in small mounds, each about 1 teaspoonful. You will need 20. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the Nutella is firm (about 15 minutes or up to a few days ahead of time).
While the Nutella is chilling, brown the butter. Place the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. First, the butter will melt, and then it will boil and foam. Continue to stir, and watch carefully. The protein solids will separate and drop to the bottom of the pan. As soon as you begin to smell a nutty smell and begin to see a golden brown color start forming around the edges of the saucepan, remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir. Once the bubbles clear, you will be able to see whether the protein has begun to brown. If not, return to the heat briefly, stirring constantly and remove once the butter has begun to brown. Continue to stir, as it will continue to brown off the heat. Pour the brown butter into a large, heat-safe bowl and set it aside to cool until no longer hot to the touch.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
Make the cookie dough. In a medium-size bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, salt and baking soda, and whisk to combine well. Transfer about 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients to a separate small bowl, and place the chocolate chips in the bowl. Toss to coat the chips in the dry ingredients, and set the two bowls aside. Once the browned butter has cooled, whisk to loosen it and evenly distribute the browned bits through the butter. Add the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, vanilla and eggs, mixing to combine after each addition. Add the dry ingredients, and mix to combine. The dough will be thick. Add the chocolate chips and reserved dry ingredients, and mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Add the milk, and mix to combine. The dough should be thick but soft. If it is at all crumbly or hard to stir, add more milk by the half-teaspoonful until the dough has reached the proper consistency.
Shape and bake the cookies. Divide the cookie dough into 20 equal pieces, each about 50 grams in weight. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, make a deep indentation in the center and place 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheets. Remove the portioned Nutella from the freezer and place one in the indentation in each piece of dough. Working quickly so the Nutella does not defrost (which will happen fast), wrap the cookie dough over the Nutella to enclose it, press the filled piece of dough into a disk about 1/2-inch thick and return to the baking sheet. Sprinkle each piece of dough lightly with coarse salt. Place the baking sheets in the center of the preheated oven, one at a time, and bake until golden brown all over and just set in the center (about 13 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes or until stable before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.