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from my table: brown butter chocolate chip cookies

May 28, 2011

I’ve lately become a bit attached to the magical alchemy that is brown butter. What was once simply just butter turns into the most amazing nutty, smoky, delicious flavor. It’s butter in a seductive guise. It’s butter in a lacy negligee. And the seemingly naughtiness tastes oh so good.

I have brown butter lust.
Lord, forgive me.

Have you ever browned butter before? I find I have to often explain what it is since (SURPRISE!) not everyone is a pastry nerd like me. You put the butter in a saucepan. You let it melt and it starts to bubble vigorously. You get nervous, thinking you are doing it wrong. You aren’t. Just let it bubble. After a few minutes, a lot of the water begins to evaporate out and the fat solids begin browning. You can smell it at this point. You smell the nuttiness and try not to lick the decadent-scented air. Give the pan a few swirls and once you see that the butter has achieved a fine, deep brown color (but not burnt!), immediately tip its contents into a nice bowl or large glass measuring cup. Use to your heart’s content.

Like in these cookies. I believe their full name was Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies, but as I am lazy and saying that whole name is a lot of work each time you offer someone a cookie (if you are nice enough to share, that is), I just shortened it to Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. I came across these on Joy the Baker and after baking them and trying one, I wanted to fly to L.A. just to high five her.

But instead, I just ate another cookie and sighed happily.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Joy the Baker

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and browned to about 3/4 cup butter
1 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 TBSP pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat, which worked excellently, too)
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 c. toasted unsweetened coconut
1 c. dark chocolate chips

Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350° F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  On one baking sheet, spread out shredded coconut.  Toast coconut for about 6 minutes, until browned and fragrant.  Remove from the oven, place in a small bowl and let cool.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  The butter will begin to foam and crackle. Once the crackling subsides, keep an eye on the butter.  The butter solids will begin to brown.  You’ll smell the butter as it browns.  Once well browned, immediately remove the butter from the flame and place in a small bowl.  Removing the butter from the pan will ensure that it doesn’t continue to cook and burn in the hot pan.  Allow the butter to cool for a few moments.


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, measure granulated and brown sugar.  Add the brown butter and beat together, on medium speed, for about 2 minutes.  The sugar may still look grainy. No worries, it’s fine.

Add the egg and egg yolk and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  The mixture should become silky smooth.  Add  vanilla extract and beat.

With mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients.  Beat until just incorporated.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to fold in the toasted coconut and chocolate chips.  Dough will be thick.

Cookies can be baked immediately, or the dough can be left in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Spoon balls by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets (I’m a big fan of my 1 oz. spring-loaded scoop).  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown but still slightly soft in the center.  Remove from the oven.  Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.


Store cookies in an airtight container.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Aban Jasoomani permalink
    May 29, 2011 10:43 am

    i’m baking these RIGHT now.
    the butter is kitchen smells delicious.

  2. Aban Jasoomani permalink
    May 29, 2011 11:01 am

    i think i somehow screwed this up…the dough has turned out really crumbly and won’t hold at all. ):
    i’m going to press it into a pan and try making bars.

    sad times. i lose.

  3. May 29, 2011 1:00 pm

    Whoa! I might have to make these I lurve brown butter.

  4. Caroline permalink*
    May 29, 2011 1:32 pm

    @ Aban —

    I read on Joy’s blog that other people had the crumbly problem. A lot of things can be contributing factors (the size of the eggs, the humidity in the air, how much the dough is worked, etc.), but I would be interested to hear how your bar idea came out.

    If all else fails, just eat the dough. 🙂

  5. May 29, 2011 9:53 pm

    I make a lot of chocolate chips cookies….so trying this new recipe will something I do soon. Sounds like a great twist on a classic! joni


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