The town I grew up in lacked most of the typical teenage hangouts: a movie theater, a bowling alley, a mini golf course… Downtown consisted of a short Main Street with Quiznos, Cold Stone, and a few upscale eateries our parents dined at for business meetings and anniversaries. Although we did have a mall, the novelty of nibbling on Auntie Anne’s while wandering around Sears and JCPenney wore off before high school even began.
When we walked across the stage and accepted our diplomas, most of us sped off to separate colleges without a backward glance in the rearview mirror. (I was the weird one and still enjoy visiting home, but mainly to see my family!)
In our rush to escape, many of my friends and I lost contact for days… Then months… Then years. Despite promising to keep in touch through texts, emails, and Facebook, classes and jobs took over our time.
Until Instagram appeared.
Almost everyone from my generation signed up for an account and started sharing their square images. Dogs, cats, cookies, cupcakes, cars, shoes, dinners, dates… An eclectic collection of pictures filled my home feed, and my thumbs grew tired from double-tapping and commenting on them all!
Because I hadn’t baked cookies since my Spiced Oatmeal Raisin ones the first week of September, I scribbled down a recipe as soon as I set down my phone and sprinted to the kitchen for measuring cups and mixing bowls. (I know, I know. I posted a recipe for Cherry Almond Cookies last week, but I actually began testing this Nutella batch before I baked those!)
To make these White Chocolate Nutella Cookies, you’ll start with some flour—but only a little! You need ¾ cup (measured correctly!) and not a smidgen more. (I started with 1 full cup, which resulted in dry crunchy cookies. Exactly the way my guy likes them, but not the chewy kind I intended to make!) Whisk in some baking powder, salt, and cornstarch too. It may seem like a strange ingredient, but cornstarch keeps the cookies soft. Please don’t omit it!
You’ll only use 1 tablespoon of butter—melted, to make the cookies chewier—because you’ll mix in an entire ¼ cup of Nutella next, along with an egg white (skip the yolk to keep them healthier!) and vanilla. Then comes brown sugar, which also increases the cookies’ chewiness. To finish off the dough, you’ll add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in the white chocolate chips. I measured ¼ cup, but you could reduce that to 2 or 3 tablespoons instead for a more prominent hazelnut flavor.
You must chill the cookie dough before baking. It’s mandatory. Chilling allows the gluten to relax and butter to re-solidify, which produces chewier cookies. I wrote to chill for at least 2 hours, but I highly recommend 4 hours, if you can plan ahead! (You can also chill longer—up to a day—as long as you tightly cover the dough with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.)
Before baking, roll the cookie dough into balls and flatten them slightly to give them a “spreading head start.” Let them sit in the 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes—no more! They may look underdone, but you’ll leave them on the hot baking sheet, which allows the centers to set and finish cooking without turning the outsides crispy.
And there you have it—my super soft, extra chewy White Chocolate Nutella Cookies. A rich, decadent, and sweet treat for my high school Baking Buddy and cookie lovers everywhere!