Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm a sucker for a good chocolate chip cookie. Always have been since I was a little kid. One of my favorite memories from kid-hood is coming home from school and making chocolate chip cookies with my mom. Warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookies just out of the oven....pure comfort. 

I like to take a basic recipe, like a cookie, and give it my own tweak. With chocolate chip cookies, I've made some pretty yummy variations, including one with dried cherries and toasted pecans and a sweet and salty compost cookie with butterscotch chips, pretzels and Fritos. Sometimes I just like the old standard baked with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on the top.

Are you a fan of browned butter like me? Does your mouth water from that incredible nutty aroma that rolls through the kitchen while you are cooking the brown butter? It makes a pretty killer chocolate chip cookie! Drizzled over roasted butternut squash with sage and risotto or blended into a creamy buttercream icing for vanilla bean cupcakes....browned butter is such a treat. And easy to make. 

I promise.

To make browned butter, just cut up your stick (or sticks) of unsalted butter into slices and place it into a light-colored saucepan. Place heat on medium and let butter melt. After butter is completely melted let it continue to cook, stirring often. The butter will foam and sputter as the water is released and you will see the milk proteins in the bottom turning brown (hence the need to keep stirring, so they don't burn). 

As soon as you get a nice, light brown color and nutty smell, remove from the heat and pour butter into another bowl to cool (it will keep cooking and you don't want it to burn.) You can use immediately or refrigerate if you need the butter solidified or plan to store it.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen

1 cup browned butter, chilled until firm
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped (toasted if you like)

Make browned butter and chill it until firm. Preheat oven to 350F.
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffly. Add vanilla and then one egg at a time, blending well and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and then add to the mixer bowl. Mix until blended. Add chocolate chips and pecans and mix just until incorporated. 
Portion dough with a small cookie scoop or tablespoon measure onto a sheet pan lined with parchment. Cook in pre-heated oven until golden brown, about 10-11 minutes.
*This recipe makes a softer cookie with crisp edges.


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