Monday, April 4, 2011

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


I'm not sure if browned butter has officially become a baking fad or if I'm just now becoming aware of it. Either way I'm all too happy to capitalize on the dearth of browned butter recipes out there and incorporate it into as many of my baked goods as possible. I've extolled the virtues of browned butter in the past and all of that praise is equally well-deserved for the extra dimension it brings to what would otherwise be plain old chocolate chip cookies.

Aside from a few minor adjustments in the quantity of the ingredients, all of the basic ingredients are there with the big twist being the strong flavor of the browned butter. It's especially prevalent in the raw batter, not that I would know. ;) In fact, when doing a little taste test of the sugar mixture my first thought was that it tasted like caramel. A delicious sign of things to come!

I made the cookies a little smaller than the recipe calls for. I wound up with about 23 cookies not counting the 2-3 cookies' worth of cookie dough I ate as the first batch baked. They baked up nicely into cake-like morsels with crisp, lightly browned edges. I know there are all sorts of schools of thought as to what constitutes the perfect chocolate chip cookie but I'm not such a picky connoisseur. To me these contain everything I could possibly want in a cookie. You'll get no complaints from me!

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated via The Way the Cookie Crumbles

1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (I used nonstick pans and skipped this step). Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.

3. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whish for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use a #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.

5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10-14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

4 comments:

The Answer Is Chocolate said...

I will have to try this . Pinning to my recipe board on Pinterest. I use dark brown sugar in my choc chip cookies and know it makes a difference but w/ the browned butter I'll bet it's even better!

Bree said...

Between this & another recipe I found this morning (http://picky-palate.com/2011/02/21/smores-stuffed-chocolate-chip-cookies/), I'm seriously thinking about running to the grocery store & raiding the bakery department! Combine the two, and I would be in Heaven if I could eat some right now!

Meaghan Luby said...

browned butter does seem to be cropping up everywhere right now! i too am thrilled about that, ha. thanks for sharing, looks great!
-meg
@ http://clutzycooking.blogspot.com

Kara said...

Oh my goodness...this is such a tempting post for a preggo woman! Your cookies sound delicious!! I might have to try your recipe.

And your fabrics for your dresses are absolutely beautiful too!! Good luck with sewing it!