Brown Butter Coffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies
That title is a mouthful.
September is rapidly approaching and that means classes, moving-in, and even more work.
I’m pleased to announce that Veronica and I have finally reunited after a summer apart. Technically, it’s still summer but we’re moving in to our new home (on Home!) in a few days. We’ll share our new (and actually not-so-small) housing once we’re in.
I came up with these cookies in a last ditch attempt to use up my cooking ingredients. My mom doesn’t bake much, so I would have felt bad leaving extra sticks of butter and bits of chocolate at home. I also wanted a sugary pick-me-up for my drive to Connecticut. Nothing like munching on warm cookies while roasting in never-ending traffic on I-80 East. And then forgetting you’re out of water.
These treats are an adult-version of the innocent chocolate-chip cookie. The recipe isn’t complicated either — in addition to the regular cookie method, the extra steps consist of browning the butter and letting it cool. Instead of the tame cookie dough you’re used to, these are tantalizingly fragrant thanks to the brown butter and coffee. If you can, forgo the milk chocolate and get that bittersweet baking bar instead. You’re a grown-up with grown-up tastes and you get grown-up chocolate. These aren’t super-sweet, sugar-laden cookies either. The sweetness is more subtle and definitely plays off the nuttiness of the brown butter instead.
I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate and some bittersweet chocolate chips. I once used unsweetened chocolate here and while it wasn’t bad, it tasted a little more bitter than I wanted.
Timed properly, you will be rewarded with thin but delectably soft cookies. The trick is to take the cookies out of the oven a little early and letting them finish on the pan. That will prevent toughness and burnt edges, the banes of cookie-baking.
These cookies make divine ice cream sandwiches as well, if paired with coffee ice cream.
Brown Butter Coffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes about 24 two-inch cookies
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup white sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground coffee*, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
3 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped**
*Yes, the kind used in coffeemakers. There will be coffee bits in your cookies. If you’d rather not have the bits, you could use 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules instead
**You may substitute semi-sweet chocolate or ¾ cup chocolate chips instead.
The first step is to brown the butter. This may take about 25-30 minutes, depending on your stove. Whip out a small, heavy-bottomed saucepot and place your butter in. Turn the heat up to medium-high. When the butter has liquified and begun to bubble vigorously, begin stirring occasionally. The color will turning darker and towards the 20 minute mark, the color may start to deepen faster. Once the butter has reached a copper color and is extremely fragrant, remove the pot from heat.
Pour out the brown butter into your desired mixing bowl. Make sure to scrape out the bits left in the pan. Let this cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, whisk together flour, salt, ground coffee, and baking soda in another bowl.
Once the brown butter has cooled down, whisk in both brown and white sugars. Add egg, vanilla extract, and steeped coffee. Fold flour mixture into wet ingredients. Once the dry stuff is almost integrated, add in the chocolate chunks and finish folding.
Take a spoonful of cookie dough and let the rest sit in the fridge for at least 12 hours. You will be tempted to bake it now. Know that your patience will be well rewarded. Eat your spoonful as consolation for your wait.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Scoop out the dough in balls slightly bigger than teaspoonfuls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them! Around 10-12 minutes in, they start to brown quickly. Take them out earlier than you’d expect and let them cool on the pan. The cookies will flatten out and be soft in the middle.
I would tell you to let them cool to room temperature, but who am I kidding?Munch (carefully) straight from the sheets; savor while they’re hot. For the next day, zap them in the microwave for about 10 seconds to get the warm, melty goodness again. Or even better, make ice-cream sandwiches!