Yesterday was. . . . a mess.
Work was stressful; I had too many meetings and not enough time to work, especially with before Christmas deadlines looming; and I stayed at work late. Then, traffic was a NIGHTMARE!!!!!
But after I got home, took some ibuprofen for the combination sinus/stress headache I had, and ate some food, I was better. At least somewhat so. And I knew of one thing that would make me much better: cookies.
So I set out to make a new recipe I’d been wanting to try since I e-mailed the link to myself last week. I found the recipe on a blog that was featured in WordPress’ Freshly Pressed. That food blogger found the recipe at America’s Test Kitchen (which if you’ve never heard of them or seen one of their cookbooks, get it).
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to make these wonderful little delights, let’s talk a little about browned butter. I think browned butter is a beautiful thing! Basically, all browned butter is is butter, browned. You put your butter into a pan and let it melt and watch it until it turns a nice, dark, caramel-y color.
But, some warnings. I think if you’re going to brown butter, you really need to clarify it. Which isn’t a fun process. You know when you melt butter and it gets all that white foamy stuff on top? If you clarify it, you skim all of that off. And as of yet, I haven’t found exactly the right technique or tool to do that well. But if you’re browning butter, getting all the white scummy stuff out is important. This recipe didn’t say to do that, but I did attempt to get rid of the milk fats as best I could.
Now, on with the show!
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 sticks butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown because it’s all I ever buy!)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk (I used two eggs because I was lazy!)
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven. The recipe says to 375 degrees, but I like to bake cookies at a lower temp for a longer period of time, because they don’t get all crispy. I baked these at 325 for about 15-20 minutes.
2. Combine flour and baking soda in a small bowl, then set aside.
3. Melt 1 1/4 stick of butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat. You’ll have to skim off that milk fat! When the butter has a golden brown color and a nutty smell (and I smelled mine, because I tell if things are done by smell a lot), remove it from heat and pour it over the remaining butter and let it melt that butter.
4. When the butter is melted, add in the sugars, salt, and vanilla. Mix well.
5. Add in the egg and yolk (or two eggs in my case). Here’s where the original recipe and I diverge and I’m sure the original idea is probably best. But I was tired. Anyway, the recipe says to whisk the batter by hand until smooth, about 30 seconds. Then let it rest for 3 minutes and whisk for 30 seconds again. You repeat this a total of 4 times. I did the resting thing, but I used my KitchenAid stand mixer because I was tired.
6. When you’ve done the whole whisking-resting thing 4 times, add in the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Then, mix in the chocolate chips by hand (which, of course, I didn’t do).
7. Then form the cookies into balls and place on your cookie sheets and bake. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-14 minutes, or at a lower temp for a bit longer.
8. ENJOY! They may not be the best chocolate chip cookies I ever had, but they’re pretty yummy!