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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Even though I'm supposed to be taking a brief hiatus from rich desserts, I'm going to make an exception here. I feel like NOT posting these would be robbing you, and I'm pretty sure robbing a friend from sweet, toffee flavored treats is some seriously bad juju. So in the spirit of friendship, I offer you cookies. With melty chocolate. And browned butter.

If you've never tasted browned butter, you should know that it's heartily reminiscent of rich toffee or caramel. It'll lend your cookies a deep decadence without any added ingredients or flavoring. And it's really easy to make, too. Score one for easy, right?

Because the butter in this recipe is melted and browned instead of whipped, the cookies end up thick and chewy. They're the perfect recipe for someone who likes their cookies a bit less fluffy. Oh, and the best part? Your whole house will smell like toffee for days. It really doesn't get much better than this, lovies.

Browned butter:
Also known by the French as "buerre noisette", or literally translated, "hazelnut butter" for its distinct flavor.

What you'll need:
Recipe is kosher dairy

10 tablespoons sweet cream, unsalted butter, cut into chunks
4 tablespoons sweet cream, unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips

In a heavy, light bottomed saucepan, melt your 10 tablespoons of butter. You'll need a light bottomed pan (like stainless steel or white enamel) so you can see the butter darken. If you can't see what color it is, you won't know when to remove it from the heat. And that's kinda important.

Anyway, melt the 10 tbsp butter and bring to a light simmer. Stir often with a silicone spatula or swirl the pan around to keep the butter solids from sticking when the butter separates. Keep cooking and stirring. The butter will start to turn golden brown. Once it starts, it'll happen quickly, so keep an eye on it. When the butter has reached the color of a copper penny, remove from heat and add the last 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir to melt.

Add your brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Your kitchen should be hosting a serious aroma of caramel right about now. Isn't that just lovely? MMMhm. I swear, every time I make a new cookie, I say it's my new favorite. Whether or not these cookies remain a favorite as new ones are introduced, I WILL say that they are, by far, the best smelling cookie I have ever made. I'll be hard pressed to find another cookie that steals that particular title.

Okay, so. You've got this fantastic sugar/butter/vanilla mixture. Add your eggs.

You're going to take a heavy whisk or a hand mixer and beat the life out of it. Beat it silly for about 30 seconds, and then let it rest. Step away for a good 2-3 minutes. Make a sandwich. Check your email. Have a happy cookie dance in your living room. Now come back and do it again. Beat. Rest. After your third go-round with your beatin' machine (be it a whisk or a mixer), your batter should be MUCH more pale in color. It'll also be thick and shiny. Yum, right?

Stir in the flour and fold in the chocolate chips. This would also be a good time to add any extras if you feel the urge. You know, nuts or chopped cherries or ...stuff.

But I'm a purist. So just chocolate for me.

I used a little 1" scoop for uniformity. I sold these at a bake sale, so I wanted them bite-sized. I would totally support making larger cookies.

See how cookie dough makes babies happy? She was "helping" me bake. I'm teaching her early.

Anyway, scoop and drop balls of dough onto an ungreased sheet of parchment and bake at 375 degrees F until cookies are JUST set. Don't wait for them to be golden brown--they'll come out overbaked and crunchy and will lose that wonderful soft chewiness. The bottoms should be just firm and the tops still soft when you remove them from the oven.

Slide them onto a cooling rack to finish baking in their own heat. When cooled, they store well in a sealed tupperware container. Or your mouth. Whichever. Enjoy and happy eating!

1 comment:

  1. these cookies were amazing. i love it when you bake and i get to be a guinea pig.


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