Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Nutella


Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Nutella
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup Nutella or hazelnut paste
2 large eggs, room temperature
Scrapings from 1 split vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
3 cups (12 oz.) bittersweet chocolate (60-66%), coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces or larger
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts, optional (I used 14 oz. of a large dark chocolate bar with almonds, chopped up in big ol' nice hunks)

1.  Position oven racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat to 375.  Line two or three rimmed baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.

2.  Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper.

3.  Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer; beat on medium speed until creamy.  Reduce the speed to medium-low, then add the Nutella and beat until smooth.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition, then add the vanilla bean scrapings, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.  Reduce the speed to low.  Gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until the dough comes together.  Stir in the chocolate pieces and, if desired, the nuts.

4.  Drop heaping tablespoons of the dough 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets, flattening them slightly by hand as needed.  (At this point the mounds of dough can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to a month.)

5.  Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back*.  Bake for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned.  Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely before serving or storing.  Repeat to use all of dough.  Makes 38 to 42 cookies

*If you like a chewier cookie, underbake them a little.  If you like crispy, then bake away.

Recipe from The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark