Espresso, chocolate, caramel, and Nutella…these are a few of my favorite things, friends. Never mind apple strudel, sleigh bells, and schnitzel with noodles (I really hope you all got that Sound of Music reference). Anyways, when I was brainstorming new recipes to try out, my mind was on chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Why? I don’t know, probably because they are a few of my favorite things. So why not combine all these flavors into one delicious package, preferably in cookie form?
I started with my favorite chocolate chip cookie dough base from Cook’s Illustrated, but added in ground espresso. The espresso flecked dough with the chocolate chips was tempting enough, but I decided to up the ante a little and stuffed the cookies with Nutella and caramel. When stuffing the cookies, simply flatten your ball of cookie dough into a disc, place a dollop of Nutella and then the caramel in the center of the disc, fold the sides of the disc up around the Nutella and caramel, and then roll into a ball. The cookies are best warm when the centers are oozing with melted Nutella and caramel.
On a side note, I used those wrapped, square, chewy caramels in the center of the cookies. The cookies are fantastic when they’re warm, but as they cool, the caramel ends up getting chewy, so I warmed the cookies up anytime I ate one to remelt the centers. The cookies were still wonderful in doing this, but if you don’t feel like reheating your cookies or eating a cookie with a chewy caramel center when cooled, you certainly can use chocolate covered caramels like Rolos, instead, which has a softer caramel center. It’s up to you!
Although “Nutella and Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Espresso Cookies” may be a mouthful to say, you’ll also have a mouthful of cookie when talking about these. (Aha, see what I did there?) Whether you’re talking about these cookies or eating them, the chocolate/espresso/caramel goodness will speak for itself. Why? Because they’re Just. That. Good.
Nutella and Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Espresso Cookies
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant espresso granules
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips
Square, chewy, caramels, cut into fourths (I used 5 or 6 squares total, or 20 to 24 quarters)
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso granules together in a bowl, set aside.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugars together until blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Roll roughly 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball. Flatten the ball thinly into a disc in the palm of your hand. Place about 1 teaspoon (or just a small dollop) of Nutella in the center of the disc, and top with one of the quarters of the caramel. Make sure you’re not putting too much Nutella in the center, or it’ll ooze out of the cookie when baking. Bring the sides of the disc up around the Nutella and caramel, making sure to completely encase the center with the dough. Roll into a ball. If desired, press a couple of chocolate chips on the outer surface of the ball (this is purely for aesthetic reasons, but hey, a little more chocolate never hurt anyone).
Bake 10 – 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
Makes: approximately 18 – 20 cookies
*Recipe adapted from The Best Recipe.