First off, yum. These are probably the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. They’re based off a recipe from Joy the Baker’s blog, one of my favorite baking blogs (http://joythebaker.com/2014/05/the-best-brown-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies/). I did, however, change a few things in the recipe.
Baking was one of the first things to really get me into cooking. One of my best friends from South Carolina, Michelle, got me started on it. We would bake together, and at first I was a bit of a disaster. But I did it more and more and got pretty good at it, and maybe gained a pound or two along the way. Now that I know what a dough texture is like or how to cream butter and sugar, I’ve started to experiment with making my baked goods slightly healthier. I try to use whole wheat flour when I can or use honey or maple syrup to sweeten things instead of sugar. However, these cookies are not like that because it was my first time making them and I wanted to make sure they came out right. Anyway, cookies, particularly chocolate chip cookies have always been a real comfort for me. They’re so nice and warm and they make your house smell like well, baking cookies. What gives these cookies such great flavor though is the browned butter. It gives the cookies a nice nutty flavor that you couldn’t get otherwise.
Also I feel like you could reduce the sugar in this and still get a good cookie. Let me know if you try that and get a good result!
So, to make it.
RECIPE FOR BROWNED BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (try leaving the butter out on the counter 30 minutes before you make the cookies. If you don’t have that time you can roll the stick in between your hands to soften it. Microwaving isn’t the best to soften butter, it tends to just melt it, but it’ll do in a pinch)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon honey or molasses
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts, or whatever nut you prefer
1. Let your butter soften
2. Put half of the butter in a skillet (8 tablespoons) to melt over medium heat. Occasionally, swirl the pan around. You will start to hear crackling from the butter…don’t freak out, that’s normal. Eventually the crackling will die down. At this point you want to keep a close eye on the butter so it doesn’t burn. (you’re still swirling the pan by the way) Eventually, (maybe after 3 minutes or so) little brown bits will start to form and fall to the bottom of the pan. When these turn amber in color, transfer the butter to a bowl to stop the cooking process. Let this cool.
3. Then, take the other half of the butter and cream that together with the brown sugar. You want it to reach a smooth consistency.
4. Then, add in the vanilla and the honey (or molasses).
5. By now the butter you prepared in the first step should have cooled down. Pour this butter in with the brown sugar mixture. Then, add the granulated sugar (which I think you could reduce if you want, but I haven’t tried that yet, so use your best judgement). Beat this all together. It should lighten in color.
6. Add in the egg and the egg yolk and beat the mixture again.
7. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda to the mixture, mixing at a low speed until all the ingredients are incorporated.
8. Then, add in you chocolate chips and nuts.
9. The dough is ready! If you have plastic wrap, form it into a ball, wrap it and put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. If not, just stick the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
10. Entertain yourself somehow until you’re ready to bake the cookies after the 30 minutes are up (Here, maybe this will help http://www.cutestpaw.com/articles/50-cute-puppies-make-your-girlfriend-smile/). Once you’re ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. While this is preheating form the dough into little balls of whatever size you want (I recommend maybe around 2 tablespoon size balls). Then set them about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet because they will spread. The baking sheets should be lined with something to keep the cookies from sticking to it. You could use parchment paper or aluminum foil.
11. Bake them for 12-15 minutes. In my oven, I think 14 minutes was about perfect. Just start keeping an eye on them at 12 minutes. It also depends on your personal preference. Do you like super crunchy, overdone cookies, or are you a person who eats super mushy cookies and would, in all honesty, prefer eating straight up dough with melted chocolate pieces? Up to you, my friend.
12. Let them cool for a few minutes (or don’t, burnt fingers may be a risk you’re willing to take in the quest for mushy cookies) and then dig in! If you want to move them in one piece though, I would let them cool first.