salted nutella cookie bars

A lot of my friends on Facebook will post food pics on my wall asking:

 "can you make me these?", 
"you HAVE to make me these",
and even, "PLEASE show me how to make these?"
The latter is usually when they are desperate.
Such 'case-in-point' recently was a photo of chocolate chip cookies stuffed with Nutella then sea salted crystals on the top.
Nutella with sea salt?  Seriously indulgence.
How could I even say no to that?
I was going to make the cookies, but I wanted to find an easier way to stuff the cookies since I know the Nutella, when hot, will ooze out--we can't leave that to chance.
So why not make them into bars and the Nutella is nice and sealed inside with no chance of escaping.
Plus bars were a HUGE time saver, instead of filling each cookie.
Of course if you want to make these into cookies feel free.
But the bars were a nice change, time saver, and perfect for a last minute holiday party.
I love that the clumps on top get crunchy, kind of like crumb cake!
Make sure to read my cook notes, for the changes I did.
salted chocolate chip bars with nutella
cookie base recipe from Jacques Torres

2 cups minus 2 TB (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 ts baking soda
1 1/2 ts baking powder
1 1/2 ts coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 TB (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 ts natural vanilla extract
4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips
4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips

¾ cup Nutella
Sea salt for sprinkling top of dough

Cook Notes:  
The chocolate chip cookie recipe is from Jacques Torres; I use this repeatedly because it truly is the very best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had.
In Jacques recipe he does cookies, you can do cookies if you want, I just was short on time and wanted to do bars as they would hold the Nutella much better.
Also, in Jacques original recipe, he uses 1 ¼ pounds of high quality bittersweet chocolate. I did not in this recipe, as I wanted the Nutella flavor to shine through.  I just used a small amount of chocolate chips, using a blend of bittersweet and semi sweet.  I do not recommend using milk chocolate chips in this recipe—it would be overkill sweetness. 
The whole ‘most important step’ of Jacques Torres famous cc cookie recipe is to let the cookie dough sit and marinate for at least a day or more (48 hours).  Please don’t skip this step.  I have gone as far as 96 hours and the dough was perfect.
Lastly, you all know by now I don't have a mixer so I did this recipe by hand. The dough is very tough and hard to mix, so I used my hands--great workout! But if you have a mixer, please go ahead and use it. 

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. 
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. 
Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. 
Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. 
Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. 
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick spray.
Divide dough into 2 piles: 2/3 and 1/3.
Take the 2/3 dough and line the bottom of the baking pan with it, making sure to get all the corners, making sure there aren’t any holes or gaps in the dough.
Spread a layer of nutella; do not spread it to the edges!
Take the 1/3 remaining dough and in clumps, place on the top. Also make sure to take any dough and close up any gaps you see in the corners.
Don’t push the crumble down into the dough, just leave it on the top—it’s ok to have spaces in the crumble—gaps are good on the top, it will let the nutella show through and the crumbles will bake up nice & crisp.
Sprinkle the top with sea salt.
Bake until golden brown but still soft, roughly 25 – 31 minutes. 
Look for golden brown edges, non-jiggly middle.
The middle will be a bit soft, but once it completely cools it won’t be as gooey; it sets up really nice.
You really have to let this cool at least an hour before slicing.
Slice with a sharp knife.
Makes about 20-24 bars depending on how you cut them.

Congrats to the winners of the Savory Cocktails Cookbook Giveaway.
#5 Cook In/Dine Out, #12 Averie, and #24 Katherine-Ivan.
I'll be emailing you wednesday!


  1. They look stellar! I have a couple cookie-dough bar recipes like this with cookie dough 'topping' but one uses Reeses Cups as the filling and the other uses Milky Ways. I LOVE your Nutella idea. Omg so perfect! Pinned :)

    And thanks for the win! I appreciate it!

  2. omgosh...I think I've told you that Josh won't even let me keep nutella in the house because he has 0 control around it haha. These? he'd go insane...maybe for Christmas :)

  3. Drooling! I will marry you if you make me these. That husband of yours had better watch out!

  4. Thank you! I'm excited about reading the book (and making cocktails from it). And these Nutella bars look amazing.

  5. I'm just stopping by to tell you how amazing these are how and much I love you for this recipe! YUM!

  6. It's like you're in my head and know exactly what I'd love.
    Will you talk to Santa for me? :)

  7. Wow, these look incredible! Wonderful sounding stuff here - thanks so much.

  8. Thanks for ruining my diet! Now I am going to have to have some salt and chocolate...haha.

  9. These look ridiculously delicious! I love the layers and the different types of chocolate (especially Nutella!).

  10. Divine! Those bars are terrific and ever so irresistible.



  11. Oh man these look AMAZING!!! Putting them on my list of things to make for this year's Christmas cookie bags!

  12. These look SO INCREDIBLE!! Ugh. I just died a little.

  13. it amuses me that so many companies are creating chocolate hazelnut spreads now. it's still nutella and nutella alone for this gal. :)

  14. these sound fantastic! anything nutella is the best :)

  15. nutella, cookies, salt!!! HEAVENLY!!!

  16. These are genius! That melty Nutella looks amazing! Totally agree on going with the ease of bars instead of cookies!

  17. i don't normally keep nutella in the house, but might have to make an exception for these...

  18. hmm i thought i was done with my holiday baking but now i'm thinking i need to go back and make these!

  19. oh my gosh, these look amazing!!! i'm a sucker for anything salted...

  20. Ummm Help. My grocery store doesn't have bread flour. What is the difference? Should I still refrigerate the dough if I use all purpose flour? Thanks!

    1. hello! this recipe is from Jacques Torres and I don't know if he's done with regular flour. I don't think he has. So I would say, try it and see what happens. As far as chilling, yes you need to chill it as this is what makes it so flavorful.

  21. Hi, I was wondering if I could use a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe for the base and not the one you recommended? Would it still come out okay?

    1. I don't see why not?
      Let us know how it turned out!

  22. Hi! I was (and am) so excited about making these, so excited that I forgot to put salt in the cookie dough :( and now it's all prepared and waiting in the fridge. I did a quick google search on this and it seems like the salt is essential. What do you think? Any way to salvage the dough? Thanks!

    1. Sprinkle the salt on top of dough before baking!

  23. Just wanted to stop by and say THANK YOU for this recipe. Although I did not follow the most importatnt part by letting the dough chill, everyone thought it was devine! I jumped the gun and bought all the ingredients and started following the recipe and then read your notes. Womp womp. I most certainly will plan ahead next time and I look forward to the results being even better!

    1. Oh wonderful! Man I do get asked to make these bars all the time now. And yes, something about a chilled dough makes them bake up a LOT more crisp. Kind of the same way when you keep the croissant dough always ice cold? They bake up CRISP!


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