This Brown Butter Nutella Skillet Cookie Is The Best Way To Eat Your Favorite Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, Hands Down

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When she has the kitchen all to herself, Phyllis Grant of Dash and Bella cooks beautiful iterations of what solo meals were always meant to be: exactly what you want, when and where you want them. Today: The only way to make a Nutella skillet cookie even better, and why the next bite is all that matters.

You lie shirtless on your belly, under my desk, on top of all the computer cords, with 12 stuffed animals and your favorite red blanket. Your tented fingers prop open French homework. Your other hand holds my ankle tight. You sigh with frustration.

Use the butter wrapper to grease the cast-iron pan.

Lately, you’ve been giving up or going wild.

Steady the pot when you add the brown sugar — the butter is hella hot.

You shoot arrows at the neighbor’s house.

Always scrape down the sides.

You throw rocks at cars.

Don’t overmix the dough or it will be tough.

You blow your bad breath into your sister’s face.

No dude, I don’t want to add chocolate chips. Feels like too much.

You lock the bathroom door and get in the shower. I yell and yell and you don’t hear me — I think you have slipped, hit your head, drowned.

Pour Nutella over the dough and then swirl it all the way through so that it’s in every bite.

You run through the living room, skitter across the couch, slam into the second story window.

No, my love, I don’t think there is such a thing as too much Nutella.

You say you hate me with all your heart.

Do you want to lick the paddle?

When I drop you off at school, you pause, grab my hand, and say mom, have a nice day, writing or cooking or cleaning or whatever it is that you do.

Dash, you must be so sick and tired of me telling you what to do.

You copy the way I chop parsley, the way I fold my pants, the way I add potato chips to my hot dog for extra crunch.

Will you dance with me?

When the numbers swim in your head, when writing a paragraph feels like it will take a lifetime, you punch walls, the fridge, your sister.

All you need to think about is the next minute.

I don’t want to control you. I don’t want to shape you.

All that matters is the next bite of skillet cookie.

Brown Butter Nutella Skillet Cookie

Makes one 12-inch skillet cookie

  • 1 1/3 cups hazelnuts (about 1 cup once pulverized)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Nutella

1. Heat your oven to 375° F. Toast hazelnuts on a sheet pan until they start to brown (about five to seven minutes). Be careful — they burn very fast. Place hot hazelnuts inside a dish towel. Gather up all sides of the towel and seal tightly with a rubber band, making a little package (like a beggar's purse). Cool for a few minutes, then aggressively roll the hazelnuts over each other for about five minutes. Take a peek. You want to remove about 3/4 of the skins. Pulverize in the food processor until the chunks are about the size of grains of rice. A bit of nut powder is fine.

2. Grease your cast-iron pan with butter or cooking spray. (It's not necessary to add flour.) Set aside.

3. Whisk together flour and salt. Set aside.

4. Place the butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Once it's melted, don't walk away. Take it off the heat once the sizzling stops (four to five minutes) and the brown bits drop down to the bottom of the pan. Pour into the bowl of your standing mixer. Whisk in the brown sugar, and set aside to cool (this takes at least 30 to 40 minutes, maybe more).

5. Once cool, mix on high speed until it gets light and fluffy (about three minutes). Scrape down the side. Add one egg. Beat for five seconds on medium speed. Scrape down the sides. Add the other egg. Beat for five seconds. Scrape down the sides. Add the vanilla. Beat on low for eight seconds. Scrape down the sides.

6. Add 1/3 of the flour/salt mixture. Mix on low speed for five seconds. Scrape down the sides. Add the second 1/3 of the flour mixture. Mix on low speed for five seconds. Scrape down the sides. Add final 1/3 of flour plus 1/2 of the hazelnuts. Mix on low speed until the last trace of flour disappears. Don't over-mix.

7. Warm the Nutella on very low heat in a pan or the microwave until it's a bit looser and easier to spread.

8. Scrape dough into greased pan. Spread out evenly with a spatula. Pour the warm Nutella all over the top. Using a butter knife, swirl the Nutella down into the dough. (Be careful not to over-mix it or the dough will get too sweet.) Sprinkle the top with the remaining pulverized hazelnuts.

9. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. It should be light brown all over but still quite soft in the center. That's what you want — it will continue to cook quite a bit as it cools in the pan.

10. Cool for at least 20 minutes. Then slice and eat. It's good for a few days at room temperature if it's stored in an airtight container. Or it freezes well for a few months.

Photos by Phyllis Grant