Homemade Bite: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. You're going to love these brown butter chocolate chip cookies!

These Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies will make you ask yourself whether it's worth eating a different cookie ever agin. At least that's what happened for me. 

This recipe marked my first experience with Brown Butter, which I quickly learned smells amazing! (but also might set off your smoke alarm. whoops.) This magical ingredient adds a nutty, smooth taste to the cookies. But be careful! Not all of the butter in this recipe is browned. The other half of the butter is softened, which combines with the Brown Butter to form a chewy exterior and crisp edges. 

If you've never browned butter, here are some tips to make your life easy: put your butter in a small pot and turn the heat on medium. Then, stir periodically and wait until the crackling dies down and dark brown bits are visible within the butter. That's it-- super easy!

These cookies are perfect. The brown sugar and molasses add a sweetness that goes great with the nutty Brown Butter. The slight bitterness of the dark chocolate chunks and sea salt complement the sweet and nutty flavors within. What you end up with is the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie around. 

The center is soft and chewy. As you move outwards, the cookie hardens, but doesn't gets crunchy until the very edge. Attaining this texture is all about how long the cookies stay in the oven. I baked mine (at 350°) for 5 and 1/2 minutes, then rotated 180°, and baked for another 5 and 1/2 minutes. Every oven is different, so you definitely want to check on them after 10 minutes. You should take the cookies out when the edges are just golden brown. I've always been an advocate of taking the cookies out early (other recipes like this call for around 14 minutes of baking) because that's how you end up with a soft center. 

Once they're done, sprinkle on a bit of sea salt, pour a glass of milk, and eat up! 

Recipe

Timing: 30 minutes working (plus 2 hours chilling)

Yield: 30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • coarse sea salt, to sprinkle on top

Directions

  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place half the butter (8 tablespoons) in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. It’ll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop. Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan often. The butter will start to smell nutty, and brown bits will form in the bottom. Once the bits are amber brown (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or so after the sizzling stops), remove the butter from the burner and immediately pour it into a small bowl, bits and all. This will stop the butter from cooking and burning.  Allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the brown sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth.
  • Beat in the vanilla extract and molasses.
  • Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl, along with the granulated sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth; the mixture will lighten in color and become fluffy.
  • Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for one minute more.
  • Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated.
  • Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips and pecans and finish incorporating all of the dry flour bits into the dough.
  • Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Flatten it slightly into a thick disk, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to begin baking, place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave about 2″ between the cookies; they’ll spread as they bake.
  • Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt, to taste — as much or as little as you like.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving them.
  • Serve warm; or cool completely, and store airtight at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.

Storage Instructions:

The dough can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to one week. Once baked, the cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to two days.

Recipe adapted from:

http://joythebaker.com/2014/05/the-best-brown-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies/