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Browned Butter & Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn’t love fresh baked chocolate chip cookies?  This recipe incorporates bourbon and browned butter which give the cookies a subtle, but deeper flavor than the average cookie.  This recipe can easily be doubled to use a full-bag of chocolate chips, but after frequently finding myself halving cookie recipes, I figured I would just start with this in small batch form.

Browned Butter and Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or darker chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place butter in saucepan over low heat. When stick has melted, add bourbon.  (It is very important to wait for the butter to melt or you might have a fire in your pan!) Cook over low heat, stirring regularly, until mixture becomes golden brown and foamy.  Pour into dish and let sit.  You should use the brown bits that will develop in the butter.  Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking soda) in medium bowl while waiting for butter to cool.

Once mixture has cooled for about ten minutes, beat butter for 1-2 minutes and then cream with sugars until well blended and light. (It is ok for the butter to be warmer than room temperature, but it cannot be so warm that it would cook the egg in the mixing bowl.)

Then beat in egg and vanilla over low speed until just combined.  Slowly  add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and combine.  Add in chocolate chips and  allow mixture to cool in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

Scoop dough and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet (see note). I use a tablespoon “cookie scoop” and roll the scoop in a circular motion to create a ball. Resist the urge to literally roll into smooth balls.  Gently pack the cookies if you need to tidy them up, but when you start with a smooth ball, the cookies will not develop the beautiful texture a chocolate chip cookie should.

Ahh…and here’s where things get tricky. It is quite difficult to describe when to take a cookie out of the oven to achieve a soft cookie. I bake these for 7-8 minutes maximum.  I look for the outside of the cookie to be set and want to see a bit of golden brownness to peek out from the bottom edges, but the cookie will still be quite soft.  I do not let them sit on the pan for more than a minute after removing from the oven, I gently transfer my piece of parchment onto the counter and give them some time to set-up.  Once your cookies turn “golden brown” in the oven, they’ll still be tasty, but they’ll likely also be crunchy.   An extra minute may be all it takes to ruin your chances of a soft cookie and I’m of the soft cookie loving persuasion.

The little bit of extra effort will result in an extra special chocolate chip cookie that is sure to please.  These also taste great with nuts…I recommend pecans. Yum!

NOTE: Use a dark, non-insulated cookie sheet!  Insulated cookie sheets will still produce tasty cookies, but your cookies will spread and will need to be cooked longer.  I had never used an insulated cookie sheet before and when I tried one, to my dismay, it produced totally different looking cookies than my trusted worn in pans. Of course, they were still gobbled right up.

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