Brown Butter, Salted, Chocolate Chip Cookies - Part 2


I'm not sure that I'll ever have enough chocolate chip cookie recipes. For me, the chocolate chip cookie platonic ideal has remained unchanged: crisped on the outside, soft on the inside, with lots of caramel flavor and a touch of salt.

Each time I make a batch of cookies I learn something new. The other day I was helping my friend cater a small event and we were serving chocolate chip cookies as part of the desert. I am always picking up great tips from her, and she often figures out how to make recipes as simple as possible. She said she uses 3 sticks of 100% browned butter, and she mixes everything up without a mixer. I took a cue from her, and revisited my cookie recipe.  I used more butter (but also more flour), cut out any electric mixers, and I added some molasses (just a touch) to the batter to add another layer of caramel flavor. 

Here's a few things I've learned about making soft/crispy cookies:
  1. The darkness of the sheet pan matters. I prefer a lighter pan because it will keep the cookies from getting too hard/crisp. Darker pans make darker cookies (seriously).
  2. Don't over bake. Take these guys out as soon as they start to color but still look a little underdone.
  3. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for a few minutes, but not for too long... 5 minutes max.
  4. Using more brown sugar than white sugar helps with the gooey texture/caramel flavor. Molasses helps, too.
  5. Use really good chocolate... I like 60-70% dark or bittersweet chocolate Guittard or Guirardelli for chips... You could use a good quality dark chocolate if you want to do chunks instead.
I'm sure this won't be my last round of chocolate chip cookie testing... but for the time being this recipe will definitely do the trick.

Brown Butter Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies

cups unsalted butter (3 sticks)
1 cup light brown sugar
 ½ cup granulated sugar

2¾ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
 ½ teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons molasses
2 eggs
1 10-12 oz. bag chocolate chips (238-340 grams) different brands come in different weights
flake salt to sprinkle at the end

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the racks in the top 1/3 and lower 1/3 of the oven. Line your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper. This recipe will make about 4 sheets worth of cookies.

In a saucepan that is light in color (like stainless steel or ceramic... you want to make sure you can see the color of the butter) make the brown butter. Start by melting the butter over low heat. Once the butter is melted you can raise the heat to medium. The butter will start to get foamy, swirl it around or stir; this will help make sure all the moisture and bubbles get released. Watch the butter closely, once it turns brown with little sand-like flecks you have brown butter. It will smell very nutty and aromatic. Remove it from the heat, transfer it into a heat proof mixing bowl and add the sugar to the brown butter. Stir and let the mixture cool a bit while you prepare the other ingredients. 

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Once the butter sugar mixture has cooled slightly, add the vanilla and molasses. Stir until incorporated. Add two eggs. Stir until the eggs are fully incorporated. Slowly add in the the flour mixture. Stir until the batter just comes together, be careful not to over mix. Add the chocolate chips and stir until they are evenly distributed. Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or even overnight. You can also scoop out the dough, freeze it on the tray, transfer it to the bag, and save for when you're ready to bake cookies.

Using a 1½ tablespoon ice cream scoop, or using a heaping tablespoon, scoop out the dough onto the parchment-lined sheet pan. Make sure each scoop is at about 2 inches apart from each other. The cookies will spread as they bake. Sprinkle the dough with flake salt.

Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the cookies just start to turn golden but still appear soft. Let the cookies sit on the sheet pan for 3 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a rack to cool.

Eat warm or at room temp and enjoy!