Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Last night called out for chocolate chip cookies. Yelled, actually. (And whimpered for wine.)

A meeting with my designer friend over the look and layout of the Blog Aid cookbook ran into dinnertime, and when my sister got home she whipped up nachos for us all, made a little more square by the addition of beans and halved kiwis to scoop out with small spoons. We hammered away on the project for a bit, put the boys in the bath (here’s an idea: fill the tub with water and plenty of bubble bath, toss in your old junk jewelry and let them search for treasure at the bottom of the ocean. If you can come up with a small “treasure chest”, all the better) and set to the task of reclaiming the basement, which you may (or may not) recall was turned upside down when we replaced the furnace and subsequently had to replace a corner of the floor that turned out to contain asbestos. Since then it has been off limits, the ankle-deep pile of stuff that was once neatly moved out of the way rising slowly to knee-deep.

So Mike installed shelving and we started shuffling things around, designating some for the Sally Ann and others for recycling. And then someone suggested cookies. (OK, it was me.) The memory of browned butter shortbread made me think that perhaps chocolate chip cookies could be improved upon by the browning of the butter first too, and so I tried it; melted the butter and then kept on cooking until it was a nutty brown, proceeded with the cookie dough and then chilled it to restore its shape, lest we wind up with chocolate chip pancakes. The dough was fantastic – nutty and caramelly with the browned butter, but much like the maple in those Maple Walnut White Chocolate Chip Cookies, the flavour wasn’t nearly as intense once the dough was baked. Still, they were wonderfully chewy and dense, with crisp edges; all the things I want my chocolate chip cookies to be. And still half the fat of the ones made from the recipe on the back of the Chipits bag.

I brought them downstairs and balanced them on the only relatively clear horizontal surface we had – the top of the water heater. But even then it was at a harsh angle; like a game of cookie Jenga, we took them off either side alternately to keep the rack from tipping over into the pile of dust on the floor. My sister suggested I get a shot that included the background.

(I swear I’m not a candidate for Hoarders – it’s just that the contents of the basement have been collectively shoved to one side, and the order of the resulting pile has disintegrated over the course of December and January…)

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Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe link

  

January 16, 2010

  • Makes: Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

1/2-3/4 cup butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose, half whole wheat)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1-2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

1In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted. Keep cooking, swirling the pot occasionally, until it starts to turn brown and smell nutty. Remove it from the heat, pour it into a bowl (scrape out all the nice browned bits at the bottom) and stir in the sugars. This should cool it down somewhat, but wait a few minutes anyway before stirring in the eggs and vanilla. Then add the flour, baking soda and salt and stir with a spatula until almost blended; add the chocolate chips and stir until the dough comes together. Refrigerate for at least an hour or two, or overnight.

2When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Scoop out walnut-sized balls of dough and space them an inch or two apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment or a silpat mat. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes: Makes 2 dozen cookies.
00:00

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34 comments on “Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Barb
    January 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I wish my sister lived closer.

    Good work on the blog. I can only imagine how much it will take to get things right. You the man. :)

  2. Lana
    January 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I JUST asked the kids if they wanted to make some cookies..last week I made your choc chip recipe from OSC and they were a hit!

  3. Carolyn
    January 16, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I’ve been making browned butter chocolate chip cookies for a while — with your original OSC recipe. Actually, it was while I was browning the butter for those cookies that I burned myself beyond repair. :-(

  4. JulieVR
    January 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Oh no! Browning the butter?? Mike did the same making peanut brittle once – my Grandma’s recipe!

  5. Carolyn
    January 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I got distracted and the butter was burning when I returned. Instead of putting a lid on it, I added water, while my hand was on the saucepan. Hot oil/butter + water = fire = 3rd degree burns.

  6. thepinkpeppercorn
    January 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Those cookies sure sound fabulous. If they are good enough to motivate any type of cleaning must make them extra special to boot.

  7. JulieVR
    January 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Carolyn – I’m so sorry to hear it. Everyone else: don’t do this!

  8. Buddiegirl
    January 16, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    As bad as you think your basement is, mine is 10 times worse. We still have boxes that have not been unpacked since we moved in 8 years ago, but I don’t want to through them out on the off chance they do contain treasures that I have forgotten about.

    Ah, fresh home-made cookies, they solve so many problems don’t they, LOL.

  9. bellini valli
    January 16, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Browning the butter is an excellent way to create something new. I have a recipe that browns a portion of the flour which creates a pleasing nutty flavour as well.

  10. JulieVR
    January 16, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Ooh yes – I’ve done cookies with toasted flour before – affects the gluten, makes them sandy. I used to do it when making gravy to make a richer, deeper gravy… then I got lazy.

  11. Lauren
    January 16, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Easy and delicious! What fun =D. Can I just say how thrilled I am about this cookbook, and how honoured I am. You’re amazing Julie!

  12. robyn
    January 16, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I wish I had a sister!

    Am I the only person who doesn’t like browned butter? Hmmm. Maybe I’d like them in a cookie….

  13. robyn
    January 16, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Them? Maybe I’d like “IT” in a cookie. Duh.

  14. JulieVR
    January 16, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    HOW COULD YOU NOT LIKE BROWNED BUTTER?
    Try it straight up, you’ll like it then. Or on popcorn.

  15. Sue (London, ON)
    January 17, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Wow! I missed a couple days of your blog and holy cow I missed a lot.!
    I can’t think of anything different to say than the hundreds of comments you’ve already received so DITTO to all of it. You are amazing. Things happen for a reason huh? Someone writes nasty shit about a good person, good person has a melt-down and then turns it into more good stuff. Where is that nasty-writing person now?
    Wish I lived closer so I could help but can’t wait to buy the book. You go girl!

  16. Charmian @Christie's Corner
    January 17, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Oh… I love browned butter. LOVE it. My mouth loves you. My hips? Not so much…

  17. the other Al
    January 17, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Here Here Sue. Julie can always turn a negative into a positive. Tell EVERYONE to buy COOKBOOK and bid in the ART AUCTION! We must spread the word!!!!!!

    As for your basement Julie….Holy Sh*t! Love the cookie Jenga. In my house you have to create a disaster to clean up a mess. Eventually it all settles down.

  18. Sarah
    January 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    These look like really, really good chocolate chip cookies! The browned butter sounds delicious. I must give this one a try, thanks for the recipe!

  19. A Canadian Foodie
    January 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    These cookies look absolutely perfect. Perfect. I am definitely adding them to my recipe box. I usually have my students make MY family cookie recipe and one of theirs when we do “cook-offs”. I am going to add Julie’s Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie to our Chocolate Chip Challenge… sometime this February.
    I will keep you informed!
    YUMMERS!

  20. Beverley M
    January 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    the other Al said ‘In my house you have to create a disaster to clean up a mess.’

    So true. We started organizing our laundry room cupboards yesterday. First thing you have to do? Take everything out of the cupboards. And then take some stuff out of other cupboards that belong with the stuff in the laundry room. And then figure out where you’re going to put the stuff you’re keeping that WAS in the laundry room, but doesn’t belong there.

    So now I have a big box of “things to get rid of” to post on freecycle and a smaller box of “things to good to get rid of but that we don’t need” to either sell or save for younger siblings to move out of their parents’ houses and grow up enough to take care of. In other words… back into our storage!

  21. Rose L
    February 4, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I came across this recipe yesterday via tastespotting.com. I made them last night to bring in to work today. My husband and I went NUTS! And my co-workers love them too. I’m throwing all my other chocolate cookie recipes away and only making this one from now on.

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    April 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm

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  23. Gwenneapeers
    May 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    These turned out perfectly…looked and tasted delicious! Surprisingly the best part for me was mixing them by hand 😼 I guess you get tired of creaming the butter over and over again. Also the browned butter looked and smelled delicious.

  24. Anonymous
    June 19, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I’ve learned a lot from your blog here,Keep on going,I will keep an eye on it,One more thing,thanks for your post!welcome to my websites:Topics watches

  25. Gloria
    August 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    How did you get your cookies so perfectly round? I purchased a cookie scoop, but that’s not helping! Please help! Your cookies look perfect!

  26. vi da
    October 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Browning the butter was as much extra work as I was willing to do, so I made up my own version. No extra yolk. No carefully times beating. Because of the hot butter they require some refrigeration, but I figure I can workout during this time. You know, I’ll firm up while the dough firms up. Mutual support and all that rot.

  27. Karen
    February 15, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Hi Julie – I tried to make your cookies today, but didn’t have any luck. I want to make the cookies look like yours in the photo, but mine were like rock around the edges and uncooked in the middle. I tried several times, and they kept getting worse. How much butter did you use in yours? I tried 1/4 c. and 3/4 c., and tried adjusting the oven temperature too. I know these cookies can work, but just not so far for me. Pls help. Thanks (and I used to watch your show – I wish it was still on).

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  32. Rini
    November 6, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    I wish I could upload the picture. I tried the recipe and the cookies turn out great, nice and soft, not doughy. I’m so happy … thank you fr sharing this recipe…. :)

    • Julie
      November 7, 2016 at 9:59 am

      So glad you liked it!

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