Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
I was so excited to call these my Award-Winning Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. But guess what?
Earlier in the year, I took what was a huge leap for me and entered the Kentucky State Fair for the first time. It’s something that I had planned to do the year before, but spent so long planning that I missed the deadline. So this year, I bit the bullet and sent in some submissions.
This is so out of character for me, because I hate competing in things. I always play single-player mode in video games, I never played sports once it got competitive, and my favorite Fitbit challenges are the ones where you just walk by yourself through a virtual national park.
So I figured, cool, I’ll believe in myself enough to put myself forward and try this out, and I just won’t get my hopes up about anything.
Good thing I didn’t, because out of the five cookies I submitted, I didn’t win any ribbons.
BUT – I am super happy that I had the opportunity to push myself to make five things that were going to be judged, and that I believed in myself enough to try. That’s leaps and bounds ahead of where I’ve been for my whole life, so that’s a win in and of itself.
And of course, these cookies are still a win. Because even though they didn’t earn a ribbon, they earn smiles and gasps of joy when I pass them out to family and friends. And isn’t that what baking is all about? It’s love wrapped up in flour and sugar and baked until done.
I’ll be completely honest with y’all: this recipe is the Toll House recipe with a some changes made to amp up the flavor. I use it because the Toll House recipe was the first physical recipe card that I added to my collection, and was given to us by some friends as a wedding favor. It fills me with happiness to pull it out and remember the great time we had on their special day, and how lucky we are to have friends like that in our lives. I just remember my own substitutions while I’m making it, and they turn out perfectly every time.
There are two key elements to these: the brown butter, and the sugar ratios. Brown butter is super easy, but requires a watchful eye. Just melt the butter on medium-low heat until it foams, and keep an eye on it to turn color. It should be a nice amber color, and smell nutty (rather than just like delicious melted butter that you’d put on popcorn). Once it’s done, you just chill it briefly before adding it so it doesn’t melt the other ingredients. As for the sugars, using more brown sugar than white makes for a chewier cookie with a richer flavor profile from the molasses that’s in it. Combined with dark chocolate chunks, you’ve got a cookie that’s more adult and sophisticated than the ones from your childhood. This is a cookie that studied hard in school. This cookie pays taxes. #Adulting
I hope that this recipe brings you joy, just like it does to me and my friends and family. It may not have a blue ribbon attached to it, but in the arena of my go-to recipes, I’d give it Best in Show.
Until next time, here’s to good eating, great drinking, and even better living.
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pkg dark chocolate chunks (10 oz bag)
- Start by browning the butter. Place the sticks in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and allow to melt. The butter should foam for a while, and then will clear up. Allow it to sit and simmer until the color turns amber and it's giving off a nutty aroma. Pour into a heat-proof bowl (BE CAREFUL; hot fat is not fun to spill) and place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
- While the brown butter is chilling, add the sugars and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to another bowl and whisk to fully combine.
- When the butter is chilled (cool but not necessarily solidified), add it to the bowl of the stand mixer. Beat on medium for 3 minutes to combine and make sure the sugar mixes with the fat. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each. Turn the mixer to low, and add the flour. Once a dough has formed, mix in the chocolate chunks by hand or with the mixer still on low. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1-2 days (see notes).
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and portion out your cookies (a cookie scoop works best for this but I'm a caveman so I eyeball it with a large spoon and got around 48 average-sized cookies from this recipe). Bake for 9-11 minutes. Allow to cool, then share and enjoy!
- Yes, this recipe says it takes days. That’s for the ideal cookie. Letting the dough rest for a day or two in the fridge allows the flavors to meld and makes for a richer cookie. Can you make this whole thing the day of if you just really want cookies NOW? Of course. But I try to plan ahead and make this dough a few days before I expect company.
- Leaving cookies to cool on the baking sheet is a totally valid method and allows the bottom to crisp up and keep cooking. For soft, chewy cookies all around, move them to cool on a wire rack instead.