Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been feeling pretty stuck lately. It has been one long school year, and I just know the finish line can’t be too far away, but I can’t quite see it yet.

You know how they say it’s “not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” Referring to whatever grueling long-term goal one is trying to achieve.

I am at the part of the marathon where I would really really like to stop running and have some red Gatorade and a free hot dog.

I made these cookies to get myself unstuck.

Okay so I guess normally marathoners don’t eat spoonfuls of cookie dough as they jog along but I can only take these metaphors so far.

Don’t you feel better just seeing pictures of these little joy-filled treats between each of my sentences? I’m not trying to bring you down here. I’m lifting you up in the end. I promise.

I have posted about my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies before. Yup, it’s still the Nestle Tollhouse version. Yep, I still think it’s awesome and delicious.

Until I tried adding browned butter. Suddenly, I felt myself get a little unstuck. A little less exhausted.

The only thing better than a regular chocolate chip cookie is the kid of chocolate chip cookie that is just enough flat with crispy edges and a warm toffee crunchy taste with a gooey inside. That is this cookie.

Yes, it’s an extra bowl. Yes, it takes a few extra minutes longer to brown and then cool the butter. But come on folks, we are running a marathon here! It’s worth it.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Nestle Tollhouse

Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or whatever odd assortment you have in your cupboard – mine had mini chips, milk chips, and semi-sweet)

Melt the butter in a pan, swirling it as it melts. Have a heat-proof bowl at the ready. You want to continue cooking the butter as it begins to crackle and foam. Don’t leave its side. Stick with it. Continue to swirl the pan often, keeping it close to the heat. The butter is browned as soon as it begins to smell nutty and you start to see little golden brown bits forming at the bottom of the pan. Let this continue for all of 5-10 seconds and then pour all the butter into the bowl, scraping all those delicious browned bits in with the melted butter. If you leave it in the pan or let it cook too long, it will burn. You will know if it burns. It will smell burned. Put the butter into the fridge for a while until it is pretty cool/lukewarm to the touch.

Meanwhile, mix/sift together the flour, salt, baking soda. In a separate bowl, cream the two types of sugar with the eggs. You want to use a hand mixer (or stand mixer) and beat these together a good long while until they become light and fluffy  – you want that sugar to get dissolved for that smooth toffee taste. Mix in the vanilla, and then slowly add the cooled brown butter, scraping in all the good browned bits at the bottom. If it is still a little warm, just pour a very small bit of the butter in to even out the temperatures, and then add the rest. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough onto trays  and pop in the freezer or fridge while the oven preheats to 350 degrees F. This helps the cookies hold their texture/shape in the oven. If you want, you can even store some of the cookie balls in a tupperware in the freezer to be baked off later.

Bake cookies in 350 degree oven for about 11 minutes for larger cookies (1 1/2 T size scoops) or 7 minutes for smaller cookies (1 1/2 t size scoops). They are done when the outsides are set and the tops are soft, but not raw and jiggly. Let cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes, and then cool on wire rack.

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