Why do I bake when I am in France? Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies of course!

The French are well known for producing a vast array of deliciousness, there are many stores filled with chocolates, pastries and freshly baked loaves of bread.  This last weekend we didn’t go out to dinner so I decided to splurge on a sampling of desserts from a pastry shop around the corner that I’ve been wanting to try.  I bought a Linzer tarte, a chocolate cookie sort of thing covered in almond slices and a ‘Paris Brest‘ which even has it’s own wiki page and was apparently created to commemorate a bike race. All pretty good, I think I liked the chocolate cookie thing the best, as I had a more delicious linzer cookie last week from one of my favorite bakeries (Aux Pain de mon Grand-père).

I have also been lazy about baking bread, it’s so easy to grab a warm baguette on my way home, for a mere 0.95 euros, I spend my time planning trips in Alsace instead.  Soon I’ll have some posts on the Alsatian Christmas markets which will be in full swing starting November 24th of this year (vin chaud here I come).

I bought a balance for the kitchen this week, as there is a lack of measuring cups around here and recipes use grams anyways.  In an attempt to mix my love for chocolate chip cookies with my serious obsession with Nutella, I made THESE  delicious / best cookies ever.  I would not make this statement without very good reason, I have baked a lot of cookies.  I  converted everything to grams and made a few changes to the recipe (see below).  I can attest to the amazing-ness of the original recipe on it’s own as well, so weather its this version or the one on the link, MAKE THEM because you will not regret it.

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (280 grams)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter (170 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (250 grams)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (225 grams)
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (~60 grams)
  • 1-1.5 cups dark chocolate bar chopped up (about 100 grams is what I used, add to your liking!)
  • 1 jar of Nutella, chilled in refrigerator (you don’t actually need a whole jar, can scoop some into a bowl and chill)
Method (remember you have to chill the dough, this is not a fast recipe!)

  • Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl
  • Melt butter in a saucepan, whisk while it melts and eventually browns a little and remove from heat
  • Mix the butter and sugars and then add in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined
  • Add  dry ingredients slowly until combined
  • Mix in the chocolate chips
  • Chill the dough for 2 hours in the fridge (or freezer for 30 minutes)
  • Preheat the oven to 350′ F (175’C)
  • When dough is chilled, bust it out and make balls which you flatten and shove a scoop of Nutella in there
  • Wrap the dough around the Nutella and bake about 10 minutes (keep an eye that they don’t burn)
  • Remove the cookies and let cool

The only drawback is that this takes some planning (the dough must be chilled).  Also, the Nutella should be chilled too, so plan accordingly.  I have used this recipe to just make plain chocolate chip cookies as well and they are the best ones I’ve ever made, literally.  I brought a few into give to my office mates and they even met their approval.

As a side note its getting cold around here (mid-high 30’s (F) in the morning) and the rows of green leafy trees I can see from my lab bench have decided to all turn intensely yellow within the last week, fall has officially arrived!


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