Yes, loose ingredients. That's a perfectly good reason not to bake something! Flour poofing everywhere. Sugar granules falling on the floor and gathering on the bottoms of your feet. Nothing about that sounds fun.
But our most recent trip to Portland changed my mind.
Mirela made the best chocolate chip cookie I've ever tasted. And I feel like it should be stated that this is no outlandish claim. The feeling is mutual among many tasters of this cookie. My dad, who is totally responsible for me loving chocolate, loves these cookies. (Don't worry, dad. It's a good kind of responsible. Where would I be without chocolate??) All I'm saying is that all those other recipes that you think are the best are probably not.
After tasting this cookie, I knew my issues with baking had to be put aside. I had to make these. I whipped out my handheld mixer and got started. Towards the end of the mixing process, I'm pretty sure my mixer almost exploded. It starting smelling like fire and slowing down while making weird ascending and descending noises. So that was cool.
But I really have no reason to be surprised at this kind of behavior. After probably only using it 8 times in the past 5 years, I decided to suddenly use it 3 times in one week. Poor thing was exhausted.
But back to the cookie.
I'm not going to say that I tweaked the recipe and came up with something way better. I'm not going to brag about my baking skills (because we know I don't have them). I'm not going to show off my photos of slowly and gracefully pouring brown sugar into a bowl. None of this is happening. I just want to give you the link to this recipe and rest in knowing that you will try it. Please say you will. Your life is going to change.
Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yes, all of those words are necessary.
Here are a few miscellaneous thoughts/tips/observations on baking these cookies:
1. The prep time is kind of annoying, but these cookies are totally worth it.
2. Don't be nervous about the process of browning the butter. Wait for the nutty smell and then take it off the burner. It will come. And if you feel slightly insane after browning the butter, you probably are. You should've seen me do it. It was a fiasco and Colt was so ready for it to be over. I was a nervous wreck. But everything turned out juuust fine.
3. This dough is THICK, y'all. Which is probably another reason why my handheld mixer almost exploded.
4. Don't opt out on the 3 kinds of chocolate chips. (Yes, three.) NO cutting corners here.
5. Make sure you don't get wrapped up in social media while the cookies are in the oven. 9-11 minutes, as suggested in the recipe, is just perfect.
6. After the very intense process of filling the cookies with nutella and rolling them into balls without the nutella seeping out, the recipe then tells you to gently press them down on the cookie sheet. It seemed a bit counter-intuitive. After putting all my energy into keeping the nutella INSIDE the cookie, I'm supposed to press it down so all the nutella oozes out? For the most part, it didn't ooze out. But I asked Mirela if she pressed her cookies down and she said she left them as rounded balls on the cookie sheet. Her cookies were a perfect, round, puffy shape, so next time, I think I'll try that.
7. Don't forget to sprinkle the sea salt!
8. Tell Ambitious Kitchen thanks for creating the most glorious thing your mouth will ever taste.
And for those of you that entered the Spartan Race giveaway, the winner is RACHEL (Claire! I was going to comment on this before I even read the giveaway part at the end. My goodness, it makes my heart so happy to hear words that reflect my thinking. It's such a blessing to have crazy good runner friends that make me feel accomplished regardless of time or distance. Keep on keepin' on!). Congratulations! Please email me in the next 24 hours at Claire.L.Westbrook(at)gmail(dot)com to receive your free race code.