Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been holding out on you guys (you? who are you talking to, Lisa? Nobody reads this thing. Yeah, I know, whatever.) These cookies are so good! SO GOOD! And I have been making chocolate chip cookies for a long time, trying to find the right mix of ingredients to get that perfect flavor and texture for me. Some people like a crispy thin cookie. This is not it. Some people like a cookie with an almost raw center. This is not it either. This is a perfectly soft, chewy, puffy chocolate chip cookie. And that is just how I like it. If that's also how you like your chocolate chip cookies, then please, read on.
Cookie tower

I grew up making the traditional Nestle Tollhouse recipe and they were OK. But the results were not always consistent for me, and I had a lot of trouble with the dough spreading and creating thin crispy cookies which is just completely unacceptable! Then I found the Smitten Kitchen recipe and they were finally the right consistency! Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, not at all flat! YES! Since finding this recipe about a year ago I've made it more than 20 times and every time I tweak it a little bit. I think I finally have it right where I want it and I am ready to share it with all of you!
The biggest changes I made to the recipe seem so obvious now. I started using brown butter instead of just regular butter. The recipe has you melting it anyway! So why not take the extra teensy step to add a ton more flavor. I also use salted butter because I like that contrast of salty and sweet in my desserts. I also don't like my sweets to be cloyingly sweet, so I reduced the sugar a bit as well. Finally I added just a toooouch of molasses to give it a bit more oomph. Brown sugar is just molasses and sugar, but the flavor of molasses straight from a bottle is still a lot stronger. I don't use more than a teaspoon or it would just take over the cookie.
But enough jibber the link to see more pictures with detailed directions and get the recipe!

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Adapted from Smitten

2 Cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons butter (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)*
3/4 Cup dark brown sugar **
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 Cups semisweet chocolate chips ***

*I use salted butter and salt because I like salty sweets. If you aren't a big salt fan then use unsalted butter but still use the extra salt.
**I don't actually measure 3/4 cup or 1/2 cup of the sugars. I simply don't fill the 1 cup and 1/2 cup measures all the way to the top. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar to your taste.
***I find the chocolate chips are hard to encorporate into the dough because it is so buttery. The original recipe calls for 2 cups, but I think that is overkill... use as much or as little as you like.

Step 1:
Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl with a wisk. Set aside. You can sift them too if you like, but I didn't notice a difference.

Step 2:
In a large bowl (or your stand mixer bowl) combine the brown sugar, white sugar, molasses, and vanilla. Set aside. Don't worry about getting it all mixed well, you will be adding the melted butter to this which will bring it all together.

Step 3:
Here is the slightly tricky part. Brown the butter and add it to the sugar mixture. Mix well for about 2 minutes.
melt the butter

If you have never browned butter before you should go slowly. Use medium to medium low heat on your burner and keep stirring. I prefer using a frying pan of sorts because I can see to the bottom of the pan in order to keep an eye on the butter. Once the butter melts it will start to get bubbles and then foam on the top. After it gets REALLY foamy the butter solids will drop to the bottom of the pan and quickly start to toast. Be sure to keep a very close eye on it and keep stirring. Once the color starts to get a little bit brown take the pan off of the heat and keep stirring. The residual heat from the pan should continue to toast the butter solids, and you don't want it to burn.
Your butter should not be browner than this! This is about 5 seconds from burnt.
brown butter

Step 4:

Add the egg and egg yolk, one at a time. Completely encorporate the first one before adding the next. Mix well until the mixture is light and fluffly. Like this!
after the eggs

Step 5:

Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix or your cookies could be tough. Your dough should look like this (very buttery!)
finished dough

Step 6:

Stir in the chocolate chips so they are evenly distributed. mmmm.
add the chips

Step 7:

Chill the dough at least 2 hours before baking. I find it to be much easier to scoop the dough before chilling. Then I just keep them in the freezer and they are ready whenever I want them.
scoop it

army of cookie dough

my army of cookie dough ready for the freezer
Chillin' out

after they freeze on the pan I keep them in a big plastic bag so they stay fresh.

Step 8:

Preheat the oven to 325 and bake your dough balls either chilled or frozen for about 17-20 minutes.
ready to be baked!

Step 9:

Cool a little bit and enjoy with a yummy glass of milk!

Now try not to be a cookie monster and share with your friends!
cookie monster

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  1. Oh dear goodness I need to try these. Make a few dozen so there are at least five left when I'm home in three days!

  2. I'm a chocolate chip cookie fiend and this was a great twist on SK's recipe. Can't wait to try!

  3. Alina&Reuel&Ariel&AyalaDecember 14, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    send us some,,,,PLEASE!!!!!



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