The amount of butter and sugar inside cookies sometimes shocks me. Sometimes I don’t realise, but there are moments where I go whoa. I don’t even butter my vegemite toast yet I’m happy to put a block of butter in a saucepan, melt it, add some sugar and flour and then eat all the raw dough. Somewhat contradictory of me, I think.
What else amazes me is how the smallest change in a recipe can yield such different results. Because let’s face it; chocolate chip cookie recipes are all pretty similar, but they all make such different cookies (all of which are delicious, and in my opinion, best raw). The thing that I like best about this recipe is the omission of vanilla. Vanilla can sometimes take over a cookie, as it did in the original blondie recipe I adapted for this blog. Why would I want to make my cookies taste of vanilla when they can just taste of chocolate chip cookie? Someone should have gotten onto this much sooner.
BROWN BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
This recipe is adapted from Une Gamine dans la Cuisine, where Valerie’s Mad Hatter cookies looked so amazing that I just had to try them. Her recipe comes from Alice Medrich and Cook’s Illustrated.
220g unsalted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups milk or dark chocolate chips or chunks
Chop the butter into about 6 pieces and put in a medium saucepan over a low heat to melt. Once the butter is melted, increase the heat to medium and whisk constantly until you get brown butter. This will take a few minutes; the foam on top of the butter will change colour and the butter will turn a light golden brown and begin to smell nutty. Take the pan off the heat.
Add both sugars and whisk well until all well combined. Do this slowly so the butter doesn’t splash out. Allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes. Whisk again, vigorously, until the mixture is well combined. Imagine you are your stand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking very well after each addition. The mixture should be smooth.
Add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix with a spoon until it is just incorporated. Make sure the dough is cool, then add the chocolate chips. Transfer to a large bowl or airtight container and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight (overnight is much better, I baked a batch after a few hours and one the next day and there IS a huge difference). Lick the pan clean.
When you are ready to bake, line 2-3 trays with baking paper. Roll 2-3 tablespoons of dough into large balls, tear them in half and place your (now two) cookies rough-side up on the baking trays, leaving 5cm between them. You may want to bake these in batches.
Sprinkle the top of each cookie lightly with sea salt (optional, but it adds flavour) and put the trays back into the fridge for another half hour. This stops the cookies from spreading too much in the oven. Preheat the oven to 180 C for 15 minutes before you are ready to bake them. Bake for 12 minutes, until the edges are golden and the centres look just set. Allow to cool on the trays for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Makes 36 cookies.
I am never putting vanilla in my choc chip cookies again. These are so good. My boyfriend even went as far as to say they are the best I have ever made (but he hasn’t tried my perfect choc chip cookies yet). They are best fresh, so keep the dough in the fridge and bake them as you want to eat them. It should keep fine for 72 hours. Excuse me while I go and eat some. Milk + Cookies = Yum.