Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Updated: Apr 29
Perfectly crisp and fudgy cookies.
I've been asked a few times what my all time favorite dessert is. Hands down it's these brown butter chocolate chip cookies.
To be honest, I've never met a chocolate chip cookie I didn't like. They are my favorite and I can never bring myself to say no to a warm one. But these are particularly delicious and hit all the nostalgic buttons. The warm nutty flavor of the browned butter, the perfect balance between salty and sweet batter and don't even get me started on the crisp exterior and fudgy center. These cookies check all the boxes.
“Raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies are the main reason I have trust issues.” - Woody Paige
My mom used to make these growing up and while hers will always be the best I *think* these come really close. I could have just asked her for her recipe but creating new recipes is a big part of the fun of baking for me.
Butter temperature makes a big difference in the thickness of a cookie. Cold butter works with your sugars to push air into the butter. This adds volume to the cookie. While melted/room temperature butter creates a denser fudgier cookie. You can manipulate the dough to become thicker by adding more flour or more egg yolks. You just have to be careful because everything you give to the dough creates a different result.
Sugar does so much more than make a treat sweet. It creates texture, adds depth of flavor and even sets a bakes form. For a crispy cookie you want a higher granulated sugar content and for a chewier cookie you want to up your brown sugar content. Brown sugar also works with your eggs to create a fudgy consistency. I like to do 1 whole egg and 2 yolks to give the dough a really chewy center.
Flour is your binder. It works (with eggs) to hold everything together but it can alter texture based off of the type you use. Bread flour has more protein in it which will create a chewier consistency. Cake flour has less protein in it and allows for a lighter almost cakey texture. All Purpose flour is literally made for all purposes. It has a neutral amount of protein which makes it easier to manipulate to your advantage. I like to use AP flour in most bakes but add in bread flour when I want a little more bite, like in this cookie recipe.
Chemical leavenings (baking soda and powder) allow a bake to rise. Baking soda makes a bake grow out, while baking powder makes a bake grow up. Baking Soda requires an acidic content to activate it. For example, the acidity in the molasses (brown sugar) allows the baking soda to wake up, making lots of gasses and creating air in the dough. Baking powder has baking soda and an acidic element in it. All that is required to activate it is moisture and heat. I like to add both to a bake to give my cookies more dimension. It's important to note that at higher altitude you DON'T need as much baking soda. In fact adding a higher amount of baking soda at a high altitude has a reverse effect and can make your bakes fall or go flat. No one really knows the reason but its pretty cool science.
Nay other questions? Leave a comment and I'll be happy to get back to you.
Important Baking tips:
Browning the butter takes a bit of time but its really so worth it. Place butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and stir every few minutes. Once butter turns golden brown in color and is letting off an intoxicating aroma remove from heat. When you brown butter you are essentially toasting the milk solids and evaporating the liquid from it. We need that liquid! We also need the butter to cool back off before adding it to the sugar. Otherwise you will get a greasy mess of a cookie (baking science at its finest) So you can do one of two things, add milk or ice cubes to the butter till it measures 1 c again. I personally prefer adding milk but please do what you like. Once butter is cooled to room temp add it to your sugars and start the creaming process
When making these be sure to give the batter (and yourself) enough time to rest. The "resting period" or chill time is where flavor is going to develop and bloom. Please help yourself to all the cookie dough you want but before you bake BE SURE TO CHILL your dough. 1 hour will do just fine but the longer you give it the more flavor your cookies will have. No more than 24 hours (if you can wait that long).
I like to scoop a 2 oz. cookie ball. Place 6 on a cookie sheet and bake at 365 f. The higher creates a better caramelization in the cookie, allows for that crisp exterior and fudgy center. bake for 10 minutes.
1 cup AP Flour
1 1/2 c bread flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
1 cu browned butter
1 TBSP milk give or take
4 oz 70% chocolate chopped
4 oz milk chocolate chopped or chocolate chips
Start by browning your butter. Place 8 oz. butter in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat till amber in color and fragrant. Remove from heat and add 1 TBSP milk (or ice) till butter measures 1 cup. Let butter cool to room temp. In the bowl of your stand mixer add both of your sugars. When butter is cooled down add to your sugars. Beat together for 5 minutes or until sugar crystals are dissolved. Next add eggs and egg yolks. Beat again till batter turns a pale color. While your batter is mixing, stir together the flours, salt, baking soda and baking powder. When your batter is ready add in the flour mixture. Mix till dough just comes together. Chop chocolate coarsely and add to batter. Be sure to get all those yummy shards of chocolate into the batter. Those get so melty and add to the bite of the cookie. Mix again just till combined. Scoop out 2 oz. dough balls and chill in the fridge for an hour or up to 24 hours. When your cookies are ready place 6 on a lined cookie sheet and bake at 365°F for 10 minutes
When they come out of the oven, sprinkle with coarse sea salt, grab some milk and enjoy!