I've heard of making chocolate chip cookies with browned butter for years. I'm not sure if Cook's Illustrated is the creator of this fine idea but I picked this recipe up off of Natalie's Killer Cuisine blog - she claims it's a Cook's Illustrated Recipe. I love that magazine and I trust their recipes although they do tend to be a bit fussy. I've made chocolate chip cookies with melted butter before - and those were delicious - but this time I swirled the butter in a pan till it was a deep golden brown and smelled just like toffee. When I first mixed all the ingredients into a very caramel like smelling dough, it was almost cake batter thin but then as the butter cooled a lot more, it firmed up. It was a nice sturdy dough when I finally baked them. I love to eat chocolate chip cookie dough and when I tasted this dough, the toffee like flavor was almost too strong. It's DEFINITELY noticable in these cookies. But after baking, it mellowed and tasted extra sweet with a perfect mix of toffee & chocolate flavors. The sides of the cookies were slightly crunchy with a soft & chewy middle. These are wonderfully decadent cookies but I don't know if they would be one of my top favorites. I made them last night and I personally think they tasted better the next day even though I usually favor warm out of the oven chocolate chip cookies. I'm glad I tried them. They definitely were well liked by everyone. So much flavor in these cookies - it's incredible but they don't taste "classic" chocolate chip cookie to me, which is what I like. But yeah, it's a fun spin to try.
Cook's Illustrated Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
Natalies Killer Cuisine Blog
yield: 16 cookies
1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) AP flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
3. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use a #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.
5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10-14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.