This type of cookie has been in my to-bake file for awhile and I searched around for one that sounded and looked the best. Truthfully, I picked the one with the picture that made my mouth water and went with it. Mine ended up puffier, but were still really good and particularly great the next day with coffee on the side! This cookie’s flavor is buttery and carmely and delicious.
The key to these cookies is the browned butter in the batter (and alliterative, too!). It was quick and easy to create the browned butter (see instructions below) and added such a different and wonderful dimension to these cookies so that I’m going to try adding it to some of my old standard cookie recipes and see what happens. Instead of making clarified butter, which separates the milk solids and water from the butter fat and then you discard the solids, in making browned butter both the solids and butter fat are kept and added to the cookie batter. You have to be careful with melted butter versus softened butter in recipes though, because it can make a spreading flat mess of baked goods (been there, done that).
Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies
****These are terrific! Makes about 2 1/2 dozen. I changed this a little, but the original recipe was from Cook’s Illustrated. Will be a great cookie to take to pot-lucks and to use for cookie platters..
14 tbsp. butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 C. packed dark brown sugar
2 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Heat 10 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Continue to cook the butter on medium-low until it is browned to a dark golden color and smells nutty, about 3-5 minutes (do not use a non-stick skillet for this). Transfer the browned butter to a mixing bowl and stir the rest of the butter into the hot butter until it melts. Let this cool for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a baking dish, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 C. of the brown sugar until combined well; set this mixture aside (to roll the dough balls in later).
Mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Add 1 3/4 C. brown sugar and salt to cooled butter and mix until there are no lumps. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix well, then gradually add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Roll dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and roll those balls in the sugar mixture you put aside earlier. Place balls about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake sheets one at a time until cookies are puffy and lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.
Tips and Stuff:
Watch the melting butter – it goes from golden brown to burnt quickly.
Use the best vanilla you can (Penzey’s or even Costco’s Kirkland brand) since it uses quite a bit and is a major flavor in the cookie.
I experimented and made 1 inch balls and they came out crunchy instead of chewy. I recommend 1 1/2 inch or larger unless you particularly like a biscotti-textured cookie.
Next time I’ll add another 1/4 tsp. salt to get a more sweet-salty thing going.