Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are chocolate-chip cookies and then are brown butter chocolate chip cookies. Once you’ve baked a batch, you might just bookmark this recipe as the only one you’ll ever need.

If you’ve ever browned butter before, you know that the nutty aroma alone is enough to flood your kitchen with a tantalising trace of its toasty sweetness. Brown butter is what sets apart these cookies with a subtle flavour reminiscent of smooth caramel and warm hazelnuts.

As far as cookies go, these tick all the right boxes in my books with crisp (but not too crisp) edges encircling soft, chewy and marvellously-moist centres (courtesy the higher brown sugar to white sugar ratio). You’ll notice an extra (small) egg yolk in the recipe – don’t leave this out. As a natural emulsifier, the fat in the extra yolk is the unsung hero ensuring a smooth and creamy cookie batter, shaping up into inexplicably-rich and chewy cookies.

Do be sure to pack in heaps of good quality chocolate chips too (I love Bean To Chocolatier‘s new baking chips) and to chill the dough for 24 hours. Doing so keeps the cookies from over-spreading in the oven, while also intensifying the gorgeous flavours of the cookie. Trust me, the intense gratification from waiting a day, is definitely worth more than the instant gratification from baking these cookies straight away!


Makes 8 – 10 cookies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter*
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk **
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I use Sprig’s Natural Bourbon Vanilla Extract)
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp cornflour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I use baking chocolate chips from Bean To Chocolatier)

* If you are using salted butter, simply omit adding salt separately.

** Make sure to use fresh eggs; and to use a small egg for adding the extra egg yolk.


Method

Start by browning the butter

  • Melt the butter in a wide, heavy-bottomed (and preferably light-coloured) pan over medium-low heat. Stir the butter around the pan to ensure that it melts evenly, following which you will start to see it foaming and sizzling around the edges.
  • Keep a close eye as the melted butter shifts hues from a lemony-yellow to a golden tannish-brown, before finally getting to the toasty-brown we want. You’ll know you’re there once the kitchen starts filling with a soul-stirringly nutty aroma!
  • Remember, we want to brown the butter, not burn it. There’s a fine line between the two, given that butter burns at a lower smoke-point than other oils. Use a spoon or rubber spatula to clear away the foam and check on how far the butter has browned. Once some foam starts to subside and you can see dark brown specks at the bottom of the pan, remove the butter from heat and pour out into into a heat-proof bowl and immediately place it in the fridge to chill until it has solidified.
  • Once the chilled brown butter has turned solid, remove from the fridge and beat it with a hand-held or stand mixer for about a minute or so until it looks smooth and creamy.
  • Next, beat in the sugar (on medium high speed) until mixed well. The beaten butter and sugar mixture should be light in colour with a fluffy texture.
  • Then beat in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla (medium high speed) until well combined with a pale colour and creamy consistency.
  • Sift in the flour in a a separate bowl. Add the cornflour, baking soda and salt and whisk it together so that everything is evenly combined.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined. Don’t over-mix. Why, you ask? If you over-mix, you’ll end up adding too much air to the dough, which will lead to the cookies collapsing into flatter, extra crispy cookies. This is definitely not desirable.
  • Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Again, don’t over-mix!
  • Cover/ seal the bowl tightly (I use cling-film) and chill for at least a few hours. For the richest flavour, chill the dough for 24 hour. I know, I know. But trust me, the wait is worth it!
  • When you remove the dough, let it come to room temperature. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C and prep two baking trays with parchment paper, greasing well.
  • Roll out the dough into balls using a cookie/ ice cream scoop (you want about 1.5 tbsp of dough for each ball).
  • Bake the cookies for 11 – 12 minutes until the edges start to turn golden-ish brown. Keep a close eye on the timer, as you want to remove the cookies while the centre is barely set and still soft (the edges will not be completely firm either). Remember that the cookies will continue to bake even after they come out of the oven (due to the residual heat), so if you over-extend oven-time you’ll end up with harder cookies lacking that glorious gooeyness.
  • After 5 – 10 minutes, transfer the cookies carefully on to a wire rack and let them completely cool before reaching for your first (then second and third!) one. A cold glass of milk on the side is optional but recommended! 


I know what you’re going to ask and sadly the answer is no, these can’t be baked eggless. However, perhaps you might be interested in this recipe instead then?


We’d love to hear from you! Do let us know if you try this recipe – leave a comment below; and tag us in your delicious creations on Instagram @the_foodiediaries.

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