Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Like many other folks,  there’s a list of things in life that I’ve always REALLY wanted to do, but just haven’t  been able to for various reasons.

Living in a big city (at least for a short period of time). Skating in Rockefeller Center at Christmas.  Flying first class on an air plane. Going zip-lining and living to tell the tale afterwards. Having a book on the NYT Best-Seller list. Remodel and live in a three to four story brownstone house.

Those are some of my more “extreme” ones that are proooobably going to have to wait until circumstances in my life adjust– most notably the financial ones.

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On the other hand, I’ve got other less major ones that would probably be extremely do-able and realistic.

Attend an All-White Party AND a Black Tie Gala. Sing Karaoke (in public). Slow-dance to “The Way You Look Tonight” in the dark. Become completely fluent in conversational Arabic and Spanish. Take a salsa dancing class. Get tatted.

Those are all things I COULD do, but… procrastination+nervousness+introversion= unaccomplished goals for Jess.

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I think I’ve mentioned it before on the blog but apart from my general Bucket List, I’ve also created a separate one that’s solely dedicated to recipes, techniques and ingredients in the kitchen that I’ve yet to practice and try. That list is actually getting gradually shorter and shorter as cooking is not something that I’m particularly limited in by lack of cash, or something that I have to swallow huge amounts of fear or anxiety to do. Cooking and baking are my form of personal therapy so I actually try to do them as much as possible, even when it’s trying out new things.

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It’s  pretty wonderful feeling when you actually get to accomplish something you’ve always wondered, thought or dreamed about, and an even better one when it’s every bit as satisfying as you always hoped it would be. Today’s post is actually me ticking off one of the things on my baking Bucket List: making something with browned butter.

Browned butter baked goods is one of those things I’ve heard RAVE reviews about, but just never got around to trying for myself. I think I did have a small paranoia that in the process of trying to ‘brown’ the butter I would accidentally burn it. However, that was a silly fear. Browning butter is very simple, and so long as you don’t leave it alone on the stove to go take a shower or clean the house, then it’s pretty safe to say, you’re not going to let it burn. This is my first and only time using it, and prior to now I didn’t think there was anything else you could do to elevate the simple but classic chocolate chip cookie.

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Guys.

I WAS WRONG.

If there is anyway to make a chocolate chip cookie reach the level of pure nirvana, it isn’t nuts. It isn’t coconut. It’s isn’t dark chocolate chips or caramel. Nuh uh.

It’s brown friggin butter.

What makes browned butter different from regular? Well the first thing you’re going to notice after you’ve prepared it here, is that it has a particular smell. A nutty, ‘caramely’ rich aroma that almost reminds you of what the Nestle Tollhouse booths in the mall give off when they’re baking fresh batches of goodies. Or even, what the Keebler  Elf Treehouse would smell like inside if it were a real thing. At least that’s what came to MY mind when I took the saucepan off the stove to let the butter cool and stuck my nose down into it to get a whiff.

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Chocolate chip cookies usually come down to two things when it comes to stand out flavors: the chocolate chips and the texture of  the cookie itself. Some people prefer dark chocolate as opposed to milk, while others want chocolate along with other mix-ins like nuts and coconut. Some people prefer cakey chocolate chip cookies while others prefer them thin and crispy. I think what the browned butter mainly does to elevate these cookies is that, it makes the actual flavor of the COOKIE DOUGH itself the star of the cookie. It has a unmistakably rich, nutty flavor that marries well with the flavor of the chocolate, balancing out the sweetness.

I wouldn’t call the texture of the cookie cakey, but it’s also not crispy either. It’s a perfect balance between the two; crisp edges and soft chewy centers (provided you stick with a middling bake time, of course.)

Also, Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. Just throwing that out there.

Happy Fiesta Friday #131, co-hosted this week by Su @ Su’s Healthy Living and Laura @ Feast Wisely.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe Courtesy of Serious Eats

Print

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 standard ice cube (about 2 tablespoons of frozen water)
  • 10 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 5 ounces granulated sugar (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces dark brown sugar (about 1/2 tightly packed cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped with a knife into 1/2- to 1/4-inch chunks

Directions

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, gently swirling pan constantly, until particles begin to turn golden brown and butter smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and continue swirling the pan until the butter is a rich brown, about 15 seconds longer. Transfer to a medium bowl, whisk in ice cube, transfer to refrigerator, and allow to cool completely, about 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. (Alternatively, whisk over an ice bath to hasten the process.)

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Place granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high speed until mixture is pale brownish-yellow and falls off the whisk in thick ribbons when lifted, about 5 minutes.

Fit paddle attachment onto mixer. When brown butter mixture has cooled (it should be just starting to turn opaque again and firm around the edges), add brown sugar and cooled brown butter to egg mixture in stand mixer. Mix on medium speed to combine, about 15 seconds. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until just barely combined, with some dry flour still remaining, about 15 seconds. Add chocolate and mix on low speed until dough comes together, about 15 seconds longer. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate dough at least overnight and up to 3 days.

When ready to bake, adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 325°F. Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or a spoon, place scoops of cookie dough onto a nonstick or parchment-lined baking sheet. Tear each ball in half to reveal a rougher surface, then stick them back together with the rough sides facing outward. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown around edges but still soft, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through baking.

Remove baking sheets from oven. Let cool for 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat steps 3 through 5 for remaining cookie dough. Allow cookies to cool completely before storing in an airtight container, plastic bag, or cookie jar at room temperature for up to 5 days.

43 thoughts on “Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Making something with browned butter was on my bucket list, too, Jess. I just finally did that a couple months ago with browned butter buttercream. I have been wanting to try it with cookies. These look wonderful! I am saving this recipe to try. I could have put almost all of the same things you have on your big things bucket list on mine, except the flying first class because I don’t like to fly that much. I have mastering pie crust and baking bread on my cooking bucket list among many others. I enjoyed reading your post. Very fun!

    • Thank you Shari! I hope you enjoy the cookies AND that you do give pie crust and bread baking a try. They really are a lot of fun once you get the hang of it 😉

  2. I love your lists Jess! I really want to get a tattoo one day but I’m ridiculously nervous about it. I had a recipe that called for browned butter in muffins and it was amazing. The idea of using it for cookies is genius! Definitely giving this a try!

    • Thanks Heather; my desire to get a tattoo has gotten greater and greater over the years. Think it must be all those episodes of Ink Master I’ve watched. Funny thing is, I have no idea what I would get. Oh well, I’ll figure it out one day lol 😉

  3. Jess, love your lists! Browned butter chocolate chip cookies look delicious! From what I understand, browning butter is pretty much half the process of making clarified butter. In clarified butter, we just cook the butter until it stops bubbling and all the brown sediment settles down. So basically, we could use clarified butter to make these cookies. I am going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing it at Fiesta Friday!

    • That’s actually exactly what it is Suchitra! So yes, clarified butter would work the same way with these. Thanks for stopping by and for the compliment 😉

  4. Mmmmm! It’s a good thing they don’t sell butter as liquid brown butter, and that it requires a few steps to make, otherwise I’d be in real trouble. I’d probably drink it as a beverage! Those look amazing!! Perfect with a tall glass of milk!

    • Great! I hope your interest is tweaked enough to give the recipe a try, I think these are cookies EVERYONE would love. Thank you ma’am 😀

  5. I’ve read crazy (good crazy) reviews, too, about browned butter. I was also afraid to try it, but you inspired me. As I am craving for chocolate chip cookies, too, I am giving this a try. Yay! These look really amazing and I love that crispy edges and chewy center. Yum! 😀

  6. I had the same hang-up with browned butter, but forced myself to try it for….chocolate chip cookies! Your cookies look absolutely perfect. Just the way I like them. A softish gooey center with a bit of a crunch on the edge. You can check that one off your bucket list because you’re a pro!

  7. We use brown butter often in Indian cuisine, but I have never thought of using it in chocolate chip cookies. I will give it a shot soon. Between love your bucket list 🙂

    • Thank you; I only just noticed that browned butter is almost exactly what I see being called clarified butter in quite a few Indian recipes. Good stuff *thumbs up*

    • The ice cube helps speed up the process of cooling down the butter once it’s been browned, and it gives it back some of its moisture and ‘fluidity’ which will help add the texture of the dough. It’s meant to be completely melted in the butter before the butter gets mixed in with everything else 😉

  8. Pingback: Learning to Bake | A Pict in PA

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