I don’t think I’m being dramatic here when I say I will never make another chocolate chip cookie recipe again. This all started when I was left to my own devices for two days straight, and I started thinking about projects that I had set aside and kept in my notes that fell by the wayside. And one of those ideas was, you guessed it, brown butter chocolate chip cookies. But I had some concerns, since brown butter is the melting and, duh, browning of unsalted butter, and melted butter is not good for cookie dough. The re-firming of the butter is necessary, but even so I was worried that the fact that the butter was softer than normal would cause the cookies to spread too far and thin.
Enter my next idea. I’ve been on a chocolate chip cookie recipe binge lately (see here as well), and I’ve been seeing more and more that require the dough to be refrigerated for at least 12 hours after being scooped, in order for the flavors to fully develop. The bonus benefit of this method in this case is that the butter would have ample time to re-harden, and therefore would not spread as much as cookies that were not refrigerated overnight. So, with these two methods under my belt, I got to work and created, in my opinion, the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. The brown butter makes them taste slightly nutty and caramel-y, and the use of baking chocolate rather than chocolate chips that never fully melt means pockets that are fully melted and fudgey. A finishing touch of a sprinkle of kosher salt is the zippy balance to the sweetness, and overall an incredible cookie is made.
With all this talk about melty chocolate, I’m sure we’re all in the happiest of headspaces, but just in case you’re not, here are 5 other things to be happy about today!
ONE. Matching pajama sets.
TWO. Looking through old photo albums and having the memories flood right back.
THREE. Egg noodles with butter and parsley.
FOUR. Homemade strawberry jam.
FIVE. The first time of the year that you can drive around with the windows down blasting music.
MAKES: 24 – 26 cookies
PREP TIME: 45 minutes
INACTIVE TIME: 12 hours
BAKE TIME: 12 – 15 minutes
1 cup browned butter (from about 3 sticks unsalted butter)
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups roughly chopped semi-sweet baking chocolate
Kosher salt, for sprinkling
ONE. Brown the butter in a large saucepan by heating on medium, swirling and stirring occasionally, until the milk solids turn golden brown and the melted butter smells toasted and nutty. Pour the melted butter into a bowl and chill until set.
TWO. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and kosher salt, then set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the set but softened brown butter with both sugars until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla.
THREE. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Slowly add the flour, a little at a time, until all is added. Chop the chocolate into chunks and stir into the dough with a rubber spatula until uniform.
FOUR. Using a cookie scoop, scoop all the dough into rounds on a single baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Wrap the entire sheet tightly with plastic wrap, then refrigerate the cookies for at least 12 hours.
FIVE. The next day, preheat your oven to 375ºF. Split the cookies onto two parchment paper lined baking sheets about an inch apart. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden but still melted and gooey in the middle. Sprinkle some extra kosher salt on top of each cookie. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the sheets, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. OR eat every single one while they’re still warm, I literally won’t judge at all.