The Sensitive Kitchen

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Warning: the dough needs to be made the day before. Otherwise they just don't taste the same. But that's OK, because it's a good thing to keep around. (You know, for emergencies.) The process described here for browning the butter is the same process I use to make ghee. If you'd rather have ghee, strain and discard solids. For this purpose, though, they add flavor.

1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 c Sucanat
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 c unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 c bittersweet chocolate chips
coarse sea salt, to sprinkle on top (optional)

Line two baking sheets with parchment. Melt 1 stick butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally. Butter will foam and make popping noises. Once crackling stops, pay close attention. When brown bits have formed in bottom of pan and butter is fragrant, remove butter from heat. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.

Beat remaining stick butter with brown sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is lightened and very smooth. Add vanilla. Pour cooled brown butter into bowl. Add granulated sugar. Beat 2 minutes, until smooth, fluffy and lightened in color. Add eggs; beat another minute.

Add flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just to mix. Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop dough into a container; refrigerate at least overnight. Yes, really! Letting the dough rest overnight improves flavor and texture. Dough can also be scooped into tablespoon-sized balls once cold, then frozen. (Add 2 minutes to baking time if doing this.)

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Scoop dough by tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle balls with sea salt to taste. Bake 9 minutes or until lightly browned. (Less is better.) Let cookies rest on baking sheet for 3 minutes before moving them. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

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