There are days when everything goes perfectly in my kitchen-- when I'm surprised at how easily a recipe has come together, there are no crazy set-backs, the food tastes great and is insanely photogenic, and the sun has decided to be on my side for the day and the natural lighting is perfect. Those days are rare, and they are never when I decide to bake. Never.
I like to tell myself that "cooking is an art, baking is a science" in order to make myself feel better about my cookie/brownie/cake disasters, but when it comes down to it, I just am entirely inept when it comes to baking. I measure all of my ingredients out precisely, I follow directions, I research techniques until I am sure I have them down pat, but none of it ever seems to matter. My cookies come out all sorts of strange consistencies, my cakes sink, and my brownies remain partially liquified no matter how long I leave them in the oven. Baking-savvy friends, I need you to come to my kitchen and teach me your secrets.
Despite being well aware of all of these things, I decided to give cookies another go because it's nearly Christmas and people want cookie recipes and I like to give the people what they want. The first cookie recipe I tried out was caramel-stuffed soft snickerdoodles. They wound up coming out of the oven in one gigantic flat-as-paper cookie. They tasted good (just ask Nigel, Lu, and James, who ate every last broken-off bit), but they were hideous. I couldn't put them up here. I just couldn't.
Luckily, as you can tell, I didn't give up there. Well, I nearly did, but when I read a recipe for nutella cookies in a gigantic cookie exchange thread, I realized that I just had to give it a shot, with some tweaking to suit my own cookie cravings of course. I mean, it was a cookie made with nutella. Who wouldn't attempt it? Let me repeat-- it's a cookie made with NUTELLA.
So I tried it out, with some caramel bits, malted milk powder, and chocolate chips mixed in, and a little sprinkle of sea salt on top. I prepared for the worst, but what I wound up with was quite possibly the best cookie I've ever eaten. It was also my first ever cookie victory! Woo hoo!
Just look at that cookie, oozing warm caramel and chocolate goodness, the malty nutella-y flavor amplified by a few sprinkles of sea salt, just begging to be eaten... I can't go on. I'm torturing myself here.
I really need to make another batch of these.
Anyway, yes. These cookies are foolproof (really, because I'm a baking fool), and they're incredibly delicious. I got so many compliments on them that I know I'm not crazy when I say they might be the best cookie ever. Also, if you make a big batch and freeze them, they reheat wonderfully with 30 seconds in the microwave. James can attest to that. We won't begin to guess how many he ate warmed up that way.
Okay. I ate a lot of them warmed up in the microwave too. Sometimes I didn't even bother to warm them up, just left them frozen. They're addictive; don't judge me. I couldn't help myself.
No, really, these cookies are addictive. If you could make these right now and ship a couple to me, or drop them off for me at work, that'd be great because I've got this craving that won't go away. In fact, I'm not above begging. PLEASE OH PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF THE HOLIDAYS, GIVE ME MORE OF THESE. I HAVE A BUSY WEEK PLANNED AND I WON'T BE ABLE TO MAKE ANOTHER BATCH UNTIL THURSDAY AND I CAN'T WAIT THAT LONG. I CAN'T. WAIT. THAT. LONG.
Quite possibly the best cookie ever. No more needs to be said.
- 1 and ⅓ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup malted milk powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- ⅔ cup nutella
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup caramel bits (or baking caramels cut into tiny pieces)
- Sea salt, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt until well blended.
- Use a hand mixer to cream together the butter and both sugars in a separate bowl until completely smooth.
- Add the nutella to the butter mixture and mix with the hand mixer until fully combined. Add in the egg and vanilla and continue to mix. Then, slowly add in the flour mixture. Mix until it all is just incorporated, but don't over-mix.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and caramel bits until evenly distributed. Take tablespoons of dough and drop them onto the parchment paper-covered baking sheets, spacing them out about 2 ½ inches apart and away from the sides of the sheet. You may have to do multiple batches-- don't try to squeeze them all in.
- Bake 10-13 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. They will still be very, very soft. Leave them on the cookie sheet for about 15 minutes, or until they are solid enough to eat.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins