Saturday, January 16, 2010

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

We combined the chilling-the-dough-for-36-hours step from the NY Times best chocolate chip cookie recipe with the Cooks Illustrated browned butter chocolate chip recipe to create these illegally scrumptious demons. We tried two versions, with and without finely chopped walnuts. The nuts win, in our opinion.

These cookies were crispy on the edges yet chewy in the middle, and had that distinctly delicious hint of browned butter. The few improvements we would make include adding a tangy ingredient to cut through the buttery flavor, like perhaps some orange zest or cranberries, and using a high quality dark chocolate rather than semisweet chips (which were a little too sweet). Of course, some would argue that the addition of cranberries ruins the purity of this classic recipe. There is merit to that assertion, and these cookies are crazy good as is.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
¾ cup chopped walnuts, raw

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil. 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 whish 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, giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain. Refrigerate dough for at least 24 hours, 36 is even better to allow flavors and texture to develop.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out dough, roll into spheres, and position 8 cookies on each baking 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. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.


  1. I've been craving some chocolate chip cookies. If this is a combination of NY times best and Cooks Illustrated, it must be amazing. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. I looooove brown butter chocolate chip cookies--they're my favorite! Great pics!

  3. I LOVE browned butter in cookies! I normally do it for oatmeal cookies. Really need to make these! Beautiful photos :)

  4. These look amazing but do they stay soft after a day? Even though I don't think I will have any left over.

  5. hehe thanks! They do tend to disappear shortly after coming out of the oven, and they won't be as soft the next day, but if you don't overbake them (14 minutes max), they should remain chewy the next day and beyond. : )

  6. Lovers <3
    These look amazing! I'm craving for some cookies now (: