Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies

Christina Lorrey, a member of King Arthur Flour's human resources team, took home first place with these cookies in our first annual Crunch Time: The Great King Arthur Flour Cookie Challenge, a fund-raiser for our local medical center. Dense, flavorful, and totally irresistible, these cookies belie the simplicity of their ingredients.

Prep
20 mins
Bake
8 to 10 mins
Total
3 hrs 28 mins
Yield
about 1 dozen cookies
Nutella Sea Salt Stuffies

Instructions

  1. To make the filling: Scoop small balls of Nutella (chestnut-sized, about 1" diameter) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. A teaspoon cookie scoop, filled level, is the perfect tool for this job; your goal is about 2 level measuring teaspoons of Nutella. You should have about 12 small balls.

  2. Place the baking sheet into the freezer (uncovered is fine), and freeze until the balls are completely frozen, about 3 hours; or up to overnight.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

  4. To make the dough: Mix together all of the dough ingredients; the mixture will be cohesive, fairly soft, but not sticky; think modeling clay.

  5. Scoop out heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough; a slightly heaped tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

  6. Flatten a ball of dough. Place one of the frozen Nutella balls in the center. Wrap the dough around the Nutella like a dumpling, enclosing it completely. Roll the ball of dough between your palms to seal any cracks and round it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and frozen Nutella balls.

  7. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet; they won't spread much, so should all fit on one sheet. Sprinkle very lightly with a bit of coarse sea salt.

  8. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes; when done, they will have lost much of their shine, and you may see a very faint lightening of color around the bottom third of each cookie.

  9. Remove the cookies from the oven; serve warm, or at room temperature. For the full melting-center, lava-like effect, serve warm; if they're at room temperature, the centers will be solid. Reheat very briefly in the microwave to liquefy the centers, if desired.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Can you substitute some other chocolate-hazelnut spread for Nutella? You can, though results may vary. We tried Jif chocolate-hazelnut spread; the cookies were flatter, but still yummy.
  • What about substituting peanut butter for the Nutella? We found this worked well in the dough; but we preferred sticking with Nutella for the centers. A PB center enclosed in PB dough simply tasted like a big mouthful of PB, without much nuance of flavor.
  • Can you double this recipe to make 2 dozen cookies? Absolutely. They're so rich we can't imagine anyone really eating more than one at a sitting, but if you're serving a crowd, go for it.