Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I almost named this post “The Only Cookies that Matter”, but decided against it.  Too long and doesn’t mention the brown butter.

I’ve been bad and haven’t posted in 9 months (!!!).  I’ve still been baking of course, but life is busy, and with that, I’ve had less time for developing and writing recipes.  I’ve stuck with Instagram, and as I discovered this week if I did develop a recipe, I would promise to post it and then WHOOPS didn’t.  So now who knows where my apple cider donut recipe is…

But now, the world is completely upside down.  The majority of us have plenty more time at home and no one outside the home to share baked goods with.  I think we can all tell by how difficult it is to find flour in the grocery store that a lot of people have turned to comfort or stress baking at this time.  Baking has always been my method of relieving stress, as it’s the ultimate way to live in the moment and focus on one thing at a time.  On Instagram recently, I’ve tried to stick to recipes containing pantry staples that are also substitute friendly, which I hope has been helpful.

I think we can all agree though, that the most comforting thing to bake is probably the easiest – chocolate chip cookies.  I realized through this that I had never really recorded my go-to recipe, as I felt it was always changing.  Now, I think I’ve got it set in stone and the key is in these 4 things:

  1. Brown butter – it adds a depth of flavour and toasty flavour that nothing else can
  2. a bit of alt-flour like rye or spelt – this adds a nice texture (but not too much) and adds to to complex toasty nutty flavour of the brown butter
  3. Chopped chocolate or feves – if I can, I never use chocolate chips when baking cookies.  By using chopped chocolate or feves (discs), you get incredible puddles of chocolate that chips can’t provide
  4. Flaky salt – salt enhances everything, and by finishing with flaky salt you get a texture element too. People at work know me for my salt enhanced baking, and honestly I would keep a box of Maldon at my desk if I could. (Quarantine has let me live my truth and add a drizzle of honey and flaky salt to my PB on rice cakes)

Now that we’re all in quarantine (for the most part – I can’t fathom the amount of thanks and respect I have for all frontline workers), I hope you can all take an hour and make these cookies with your loved ones or by yourself.  They keep well in the freezer, but I know for a fact that if you make them, you’ll eat at least 2 warm out of the oven.

As always, slide into my DMs with any baking questions, quarantine related or not.

Love, Pie Girl.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp rye or spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped chocolate or discs, preferably around 70% cocoa
  • Flaky salt, for finishing

To brown your butter, cut into 1-2 inch pieces and melt over medium heat.  After melting, allow the butter to bubble and foam, stirring frequently until it begins browning on the bottom.  Continue cooking and stirring until the butter is a dark golden brown and gives off a nutty smell.  Carefully pour into a heat proof bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add brown butter, brown sugar and white sugar and whisk until combined and uniform.  Scrape down the bowl with a spatula and add eggs and vanilla.  Whisk vigorously, scraping down the bowl as needed, until the mixture lightens in colour and thickens (if you lift the whisk, you’ll see a “ribbon” of batter remain on the surface).

Whisk together flours, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and add to dough.  Stir until just incorporated, add chocolate and stir again until combined.

Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.  Once chilled, the flour will be hydrated and ready to bake.  Scoop 2-3 tbsp of dough, roll into a ball and place onto the prepared pan, sprinkling the top with flaky salt. Space each cookie about 3 inches apart, bake 10 minutes, banging the pan at the 9 minute mark (just lift up the pan a couple inches in the oven and drop it – this flattens the puff) and allow to cool on a wire rack.

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