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Nutella Swirl Brownie & Sugar Cookie Tart

Nutella Swirl Brownie & Sugar Cookie Tart

This recipe was inspired by an entry into this years’ Pillsbury Bake-Off, which I was lucky enough to be able to attend last month in Las Vegas. Called Sweet & Salty Cookie Pie, the recipe included basically 5 things: pie crust, nutella, chocolate chips, sugar cookie dough, and toffee bits. I tasted it and was immediately in love (and, I’ll say, disappointed it didn’t get a nod in the winners’ circle).

Of course, I had to give the recipe my own twist, adding a layer of fudgy brownie in the middle, along with homemade sugar cookie dough in lieu of pre-made, and a generous sprinkling of Maldon sea salt on top of the tart like culinary fairy dust.

Nutella Swirl Brownie & Sugar Cookie Tart

The biggest question though, was what do I call it? Nutella Swirled and Sea Salt Sprinkled Brownie and Sugar Cookie Crumble Tart seemed overly long and convoluted, but all of the aforementioned ingredients deserved to be highlighted. Alas, ultimately the sea salt got the boot as it’s the subtlest (but no less important) player in the game.

Nutella Swirl Brownie & Sugar Cookie Tart

The result of this ultimate dessert mash-up is a dense, brownie-like tart, with a flaky pie crust and slightly crunchy sugar cookie topping. It’s much more cookie-like than pie-like, so don’t be deceived by the name. While I didn’t add them, I think the toffee bits would be a very nice addition along with the sea salt and thus included them as an optional addition in the recipe. You could also swap out the nutella for peanut butter or cookie butter, and the sugar cookie dough for chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie dough, and even use a graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust if you so desired.

With so many possibilities, maybe I should have called it the “choose your own adventure” brownie tart.

Nutella Swirl Brownie & Sugar Cookie Tart

In other news, the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming to Nashville! Next year my lovely city will host this culinary competition, and I’m psyched. I’ll admit, despite the fact that I rarely use the kinds of pre-made products featured, there was no denying the creativity and originality of the competitors. The finalists came up with some extremely innovative recipes despite the limitations, using various frostings, fillings, and doughs in ways I never would have imagined.

Color me impressed.

And hungry. Very very hungry.

Nutella Swirl Brownie & Sugar Cookie Tart

Yield: 1 9-inch tart (12 servings)

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 9-inch pie crust (pre-made or use your favorite recipe)

For Sugar Cookie Dough:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For Brownie Layer:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark or dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Tart Assembly:

  • 1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (like Nutella)
  • flake sea salt (such as Maldon), for sprinkling
  • toffee bits (optional, for sprinkling)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out pie crust to slightly thinner than you would for a normal pie, and gently ease into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Run a rolling pin over top of pan to trim excess dough. Refrigerate crust until ready to use.

To prepare sugar cookie dough, place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until incorporated. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until dough comes together.

To prepare brownie layer, sift together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk melted butter with sugar and brown sugar until it forms a thick paste. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and fold until just incorporated and no dry flour remains. Pour batter into chilled pie crust.

Place Nutella in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 10-15 seconds or until just softened. Drizzle over top of brownie batter, then crumble sugar cookie dough over top. (You'll probably only need about 2/3 of the dough, as you still want some brownie peeking through. But don't waste the leftover - roll it out and bake some cookies to go with your pie!) Sprinkle with salt and toffee bits (if using).

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until brownie is puffed and set and sugar cookie is light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before slicing and serving. Tart will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.

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50 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 5:01 am

    UGH. Yes. This is amazing.

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 5:07 am

    mmmm, yes please!! I would have this as the main attraction at my next holiday party

    Reply

  3. 3
    Laura
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Oh my god, are you serious? This recipe is heaven and hell. All the best and most delicious things combined (heaven), death to my save-the-calories-until-christmas resolutions. Nevertheless: I love it and it will be made soon!

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 6:20 am

    How much fun that you got to attend the Pillbury Bake-Off!  Your twist on this dessert sounds amazing.  I like that you added the brownie layer – just decadent!

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 7:21 am

    This is so creative and beautiful!!

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 7:48 am

    this looks INSANE. in a good way :) 

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 7:55 am

    what the what!?! This is genius! I wish I had this recipe at thanksgiving!  I will be  making this tomorrow once I’m out of school for winter break! :) Thanks for sharing your genius with the world!

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 8:06 am

    This is dreamy!! Love the brownie-sugar cookie mix :)

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 8:07 am

    My family loves nutella. this looks like a great idea for Christmas dessert, or a snack

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 8:17 am

    So pretty! Love this idea!

    Reply

  11. 11
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Oh yes this looks amazing! 

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 8:34 am

    This is so pretty! Anything with a layer of brownie is going to be amazing!

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 8:51 am

    This looks amazing!  All of the layers are incredible–I could definitely eat a very, very large slice of this.  With a glass of milk, please. 

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 9:09 am

    This is so stunning I might pee a little.

    Reply

    • Posted On December 17, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      That’s the babes’ fault, my dear. :) Although I’m flattered. hehe

  15. 15
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Linds this looks incredible!!  I’m thinking this is acceptable for breakfast?  or dinner? or at midnight?  Yeah I’d say anytime of day sounds good…

    Reply

    • Posted On December 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      Breakfast? Heck yes. Most definitely ok with me. :)

  16. 16
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 9:38 am

    This looks amazing!  I think I will make this when no one else is home so, I can have it all to myself.  Thanks for sharing your wonderful creation!

    Reply

  17. 17
    Kathleen
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I just added the ingredients to my shopping list! Thanks for the great idea-can’t wait to try this out! :)

    Reply

  18. 18
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Beautiful tart, Lindsay. This one is right up my dessert alley!

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Talk about gorgeous! And talk about a razor sharp knife and surgeon’s hands! Your slice is perfect. Omg sooooo precise and neat and I want to just put big tooth marks into it. The density of the Nutella. And brownie fudgy factor. Pinned!

    Reply

    • Posted On December 17, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      I actually surprised myself with how cleanly this cut. Not messy at all like brownies can be. I chilled it overnight and photographed it the next day. Hooray for cooperative desserts!

  20. 20
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 11:01 am

    To echo Averie’s comment above, what gorgeous gorgeous slices! I can only imagine how awesome this tastes, I’m a sucker for nutella. I love the combination of three desserts in one – cookie, pie, tart, comfort food at it’s finest!

    Reply

  21. 21
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I could never eat just one piece of this tart. So pretty!

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    This looks insanely good and is so so SO pretty. You’ve got tart skills, girl!

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I feel like sea salt MAKES a fine dessert! It turns sweet things into amazing treats! Love!!
    Oh, and can I have a taste please??

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Just WOW! This is a perfect post for December – so indulgent!

    Reply

  25. 25
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Looks incredible!!

    Reply

  26. 26
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Get in my belly!!

    Reply

  27. 27
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    This tart looks so amazing! Maybe I can convince my family to add it to the christmas menu…  Thanks for running the Food blogger cookie swap again this year, it was so much fun!

    Reply

  28. 28
    Monica
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Can you make this ahead?  If so, how many days?

    Reply

    • Posted On December 18, 2013 at 7:31 am

      Sure, I think you’d be fine making it a day or two ahead of time. Serve it with some vanilla ice cream just in case it’s a wee bit dry. I have a feeling it’ll freeze well too if you wanted to make it further ahead of time, although I’ve never personally tried it.

  29. 29
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    OMG!  Never seen anything like this!  Amazing!

    Reply

  30. 30
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful, and full of so many good things! I need an excuse to make this asap – pinned :)

    Reply

  31. 31
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    This looks fantastic! I love that you have a homemade sugar cookie dough on top, that makes all the difference!

    Reply

  32. 32
    Posted On December 17, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    This looks like a dream and I love that you used cookie dough as a crust!

    Reply

  33. 33
    Posted On December 18, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Ugh. Your photography is impeccable! 

    Reply

  34. 34
    Posted On December 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    This tart is killing me, seriously.

    Reply

  35. 35
    Posted On December 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    This looks insanely delicious!  The flaky pie crust is just the icing on top of it all! Love this!

    Reply

  36. 36
    Posted On December 18, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    This is amazing. It’s all of my favorite things in one dessert. Do I have to share? I want it all!!

    Reply

  37. 37
    Posted On December 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    This is pretty much the best dessert ever!

    Reply

  38. 38
    Posted On December 19, 2013 at 12:58 am

    I thought this was beautiful from the moment I saw it. I can’t wait to try it out.

    Reply

  39. 39
    Julien
    Posted On December 20, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Thanks for the recipe, this looks amazing and tastes amazing. I made it last night and put peanut butter instead of Nutella (ran out of Nutella), which was also perfect. The brownie was a little runny, so might put a little more baking powder next time. Just one thing, I made the brownie using your indications, but ended up with a tiny amount that would not even fill my tart, so I doubled ingredients for the brownie part, which I think was more realistic.

    Reply

    • Posted On December 20, 2013 at 7:13 am

      If you doubled the brownie base it would have needed significantly longer to bake, hence the runniness. I’d recommend the toothpick test to be sure it is completely cooked. And the brownie layer puffs up quite a bit when baked, so even though the tart seems underfilled when it first goes into the oven, it rises to fill the tart pan perfectly by the time it’s done. If it doesn’t puff, I’d check your baking powder to make sure it’s still fresh.

      Glad you enjoyed it regardless, love the idea of using peanut butter! :)

    • Julien
      Posted On December 20, 2013 at 7:21 am

      Thanks Lindsay, maybe that’s the problem indeed. The tart was such a hit in my office today, I have to make another one this weekend ;) Will try a different baking powder. Also put a big spoon of peanut butter in the cookie dough, delicious. x

  40. 40
    Katie
    Posted On December 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I don’t have a tart pan… do you think I could make this in a springform pan and push the dough up the sides a bit? Or a pie pan? Just wondering. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Posted On December 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      I think a springform pan would work, just press the crust either just in the bottom, or maybe 1″ up the side of the pan. This tart definitely isn’t as deep as a cheesecake, so adjust accordingly.

    • Katie
      Posted On December 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Success!  I got my hands on a tart pan, so I was able to use that after all.  I used a really thin press-in tart dough which was the perfect neutral backdrop for this tart.  No Nutella on hand, so I used peanut butter instead, which was delicious.  I will definitely make this again and might play around with it a bit, perhaps a peanut butter cookie dough on top?  Or no cookie dough and add chocolate chips to the brownie batter?

  41. 41
    Francis
    Posted On January 18, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Is the base of it the cookie dough or just plain sweet pastry? It’s unclear, and I have a dying urge to make this asap! 

    Reply

    • Posted On January 18, 2014 at 8:51 am

      It’s pie crust, as listed in the recipe. I used pre-made but you could easily make your own.

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