Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Browned Butter and Walnuts

I made these cookies for the first time for a long weekend at the cottage in the summer - I don't think they lasted an entire day - they were devoured within hours.  Earlier today I decided to make a batch of cookies for some friends who could use some cheery comfort food - these are perfect.

The browned butter adds a caramel-nutty flavour to the cookie - combine that with good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts to make the perfect gourmet chocolate chip cookie.   Speaking of the wonders of browned butter, check out my previous post:  Banana Rum Cake with Browned Butter icing.  See below for tips on browning butter. 

I changed it up a bit the second time around - omitting the extra tbsp of butter, and a half cup of light brown sugar - although it reduces the richness of the cookie, they are every bit as tasty.  The next time I make these I am going to try half a cup of white granulated sugar and half a cup of brown sugar - I will let you know how it goes!

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies with Browned Butter
adapted from Joy the Baker

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp molasses
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts 
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (good quality)

Divide the butter into two halves.   In a small saucepan, brown 1/2 cup of the butter.  Cool in a small bowl.
Cream the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the granulated sugar until fluffy.  
Add the vanilla, molasses, and cooled browned butter, and cream together.  (If you like, you can add an additional 1/2 cup brown sugar if you like at this stage). 
Add the egg and egg yolk, and continue to beat. 
In a separate bowl, combine the sifted flour, salt, and baking soda. 
Add the flour mixture all at once to the egg and butter mixture. 
Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts until mixed in evenly.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  
Place dough in balls about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
This recipe makes about 2 1/2 dozen, depending on how large your cookies are.
Bake 12 minutes for medium sized cookies and up to 14 minutes for larger cookies. 

Allow to rest for 5 minutes on baking sheet and then remove to wire cooling rack.

Browned Butter?? What the heck is that?!
In a nut shell, browned butter is simply cooked butter.  In a small saucepan, melt butter.  The butter will start to foam, and make crackling noises.  Once the crackling noises subside, look out for the brown bits forming at the bottom of the pan. You will start to smell the nutty flavour as it cooks.  Remove the pan from heat and pour into a small bowl, ensuring that you scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.  Cool to room temperature. 

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