2-Day Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

Let’s bake!!!
MAKES: 24 – 26 cookies
PREP TIME: 45 minutes
INACTIVE TIME: 12 hours
BAKE TIME: 12 – 15 minutes

COOKIE INGREDIENTS

1 cup browned butter (from about 3 sticks unsalted butter)
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
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

COOKIE STEPS

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.

xoxoxoxoxoxoD

Goat Cheese-y Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms and a Poached Egg

I am delighted to announce that this past week, I poached my very first egg!! I cannot even begin to tell you how long I have put off this particular task, for some reason, even the very thought of it struck fear in my heart. But this past week, I was home alone for several days and, without an audience, I poached not one, but TWO eggs. It’s important to note however that I did in fact ruin two other eggs before I made two suitable ones, but I feel as though that was bound to happen. I’m proud of myself because I pushed past my fear of not being good at a cooking-related task, because I am not perfect and sometimes I have to mess things up before I can get them right! And that’s okay!! Who knows if I’ll ever be able to recreate this, but if I can, Eggs Benedict for everyone!!!

Today was such a productive day if I do say so myself, aside from a quick downward spiral about what I want to do with my life, I went grocery shopping to prepare for the coming weeks recipe tests, made this ridiculously good dinner, and started a batch of overnight chocolate chip cookies that maaaaay or may not include brown butter (recipe coming soon). Nothing clears my head like coming home, turning on some music, and cooking for hours. That’s why sometimes, I fully appreciate a labor intensive recipe, or at least one with a few moving parts, because the process is so fun and relaxing, even if I am attempting a first poached egg. Give me a glass of wine and some Hozier and I am good to GO. This recipe is a combination of a few different steps, each pretty basic on their own, but when combined, make the most magical of dinners. A simple polenta upgraded with the salty tang of goat cheese swirled in, buttery sauteed mushrooms inspired by the foundation of this recipe from Bon Appetit, and then the egg which breaks open and spills its runny yolk all over everything and truly brings TEARS to my eyes.

Aside from all these happy things above, here are five MORE things to be happy about today:
ONE. Hearing the rain on the roof while you lie in bed at night.
TWO. Someone telling you what you need to hear, even if it’s not what you want to hear.
THREE. Vanilla scented candles.
FOUR. Laptop stickers.
FIVE. Spring tulip arrangements.

SERVES: 2 to 3 dinner portions
PREP TIME: 30 minutes

GOAT CHEESE POLENTA INGREDIENTS

5 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp salted butter
4 Tbsp goat cheese

GOAT CHEESE POLENTA STEPS

ONE. In a medium saucepan, bring the 5 cups of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, slowly whisk the cornmeal into the water so that there’s no lumps. Continue to stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture gets thickened slightly.

TWO. Turn the heat to low and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cornmeal has expanded and no longer tastes raw. If necessary, add up to ½ cup more water as needed, to keep the polenta at a stirring consistency.

THREE. Stir in the tablespoon of butter until incorporated, and then add the goat cheese, a tablespoon at at time, until the polenta is smooth and creamy.

 

SAUTEED MUSHROOMS INGREDIENTS

1 lb. mushrooms (cremini, button, etc.), cleaned and torn into pieces
3 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
Handful of parsley, chopped

SAUTEED MUSHROOMS STEPS

ONE. Heat the olive oil on medium high heat until very hot, then add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that the water cooks off the mushrooms in the first 10 minutes, and then the mushrooms begin to brown.

TWO. Once the mushrooms are browned, add the garlic and shallots and mix to combine, cooking for 1 to 2 minutes until the raw taste has cooked off the garlic. Chop the parsley and set aside for plating.

 

POACHED EGG INGREDIENTS

2 large eggs
Kosher salt and pepper

POACHED EGG STEPS

ONE. Bring a large saucepan of water to a simmer on medium heat. Crack the first egg into a shallow bowl. Gently create a whirlpool in the water using a slotted spoon, and add the egg into the center of the whirlpool, carefully stirring in order to encourage the whites of the egg to wrap around the yolk.

TWO. Cook the egg for about 2½ minutes, until the whites are opaque and set, but the yolk is still runny.

THREE. To serve, add a generous portion of polenta to a bowl or plate, top with a spoonful of mushrooms, then a poached egg. Sprinkle some chopped parsley or parmesan cheese on top and DIG IN!!!

xoxoxoxoxoxoD!

Milk and Cookie Pie

I’d like everyone to know that when I made this pie the other day, I had just returned home from the eye doctor, and my pupils were so dilated my eyes were practically all black, and any amount of light literally BURNED, I was like a damn vampire. However, I made the mistake of mentioning this pie, created by Erin McDowell and originally found here, to my siblings when I came across the recipe, and they wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, as a result, I baked this pie in a kitchen as dark as I could make it, squinting the entire time. And STILL, it was fabulous, which is probably mostly a credit to Erin’s recipe, but also I LITERALLY blind-baked a pie so there’s that. Someone please tell me I’m funny…pls.

Anyway, this past Easter weekend was full of food and also rainy weather, which wasn’t so great for the spring-y holiday, but made it extra cozy for me while holed up cooking and baking for 16 people with my mom! In addition to the dinner classics like ham, scalloped potatoes, and such, I made 2 different spring desserts: a pavlova, like this one I wrote about last week, and also another almond cake, which I wrote about here! Both are good desserts to make the night before, since the pavlova can dry in the oven overnight, and the cake is covered in a glaze that keeps it moist. We all ate lots of food and Easter candy, which is exactly what you’re supposed to do, and now that the day is over, catch me scooping up all the discounted Peeps at CVS am I right?? But back to the present, let’s get baking, shall we?

Here are 5 things to be happy about at the beginning of this week!!
ONE. Appreciating the good fortune of loved ones.
TWO. Ghost stories and marshmallows by the fire.
THREE. Stained glass.
FOUR. Feeding your mind.
FIVE. Downspouts after a rain.

MAKES: 1 9 inch tart
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
BAKE TIME: 20-24 minutes
INACTIVE TIME: 1 to 2 hours or overnight

COOKIE CRUST INGREDIENTS

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
½ cup light brown sugar
¾ tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
1 + 2/3 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup chocolate chips

COOKIE CRUST STEPS

ONE. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with cooking spray. Place the prepared pan on a baking sheet, and make sure that you have enough room in both your freezer and fridge for later.

TWO. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and the egg yolk, then mix to combine.

THREE. Carefully add the flour and salt, then mix until incorporated. The mixture will be crumbly, but should stick together when squeezed. At this point, stir in the chocolate chips so that they’re uniform, then press the dough into the prepared pan, making sure it’s even on all sides.

FOUR. Place the tart shell in the freezer and let it chill while you preheat your oven to 350ºF.

FIVE. When it’s ready to bake, prick the bottom and sides of the dough with the tines of a fork, then bake until the crust is lightly golden brown, between 20 and 24 minutes. Set aside to cool completely while you make the filling.

 

FILLING INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup cool water
1 Tbsp powdered gelatin
1¼ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla bean)

FILLING STEPS

ONE. Mix the cool water with the gelatin in a small bowl, and allow to bloom for at least 5 minutes.

TWO. In a small saucepan, heat together 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the bloomed gelatin and heat until that too dissolves, about another minutes.

THREE. Pour the heated cream mixture into a large glass measuring cup or bowl with a spout. Stir in the remaining heavy cream and milk. Carefully pour the cream mixture into the cooled crust, and transfer the whole pie to the fridge. Chill for at least 1 hour, up to overnight, until the panna cotta filling is completely set.

DECORATION INGREDIENTS

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate chips/ cookies for decorating

 

DECORATION STEPS

ONE. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla together until medium soft peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes.

TWO. Generously pile the whipped cream onto the center of the pie, and smooth out as desired. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, shavings, or mini cookies as desired.

YUM! XOXOXOXOXOXO