May 23, 2011
Oh browned butter, where have you been all my life? I'm sure I've had browned butter in something before, not because I actually remember it, but because somewhere in my mind I've always known it was amazing. That knack had to come from somewhere. Or perhaps it just came from the fact that I like butter in every form.
I'm so devoted to my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe that it's hard for me to say this, but these cookies just might win. I'll move on before I have to retract that statement. The browned butter flavor really comes through and brings these cookies beyond the average chocolate chip cookie recipe. They are incredible. Sure, sometimes I want a run of the mill chocolate chip cookie. For that craving I'll turn to my normal recipe, but then there are times when I want to jazz it up a bit. These fit the bill.
I took the pictures a few days after I made them, something I am often forced to do after procrastination takes its toll. Does anyone else do that? I set out the cookies, brownies, etc. that I like the best and tell people not to eat them. Then I forget to take the pictures, and my favorite ones don't look nearly as nice as they did on day one. It's a bad habit. So, you'll just have to take my word that these taste a million times better than they photographed. Or, better yet, you can check out the mouthwatering pictures from Pixelated Crumb if you don't believe me.
Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from Pixelated Crumb (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
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.
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 3 minutes, then whisk 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.
Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)
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 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.