A show stopping dessert is something the majority of us baker buffs love to strive to create.
Chocolate drips? Meringue shards? Spun sugar? Clean buttercream finishes? A pazazz of golden glitter?
Bring it on. Come at me. The more the merrier!
But every now and then, when I raid the fridge and pantry for a cheeky sweet treat (cause what thy tummy wants, thy tummy gets), all that’s on my mind is the humble chocolate chip cookie.
So unpresuming, humble and reliable in it’s presence. They’re comforting, and really know all the right words to soothe any sort of life pondering questions… the cookies forever answer: always add chocolate.
Oh how thy cookie could solve all the problems of this world.
There’s a reason we all wanna make our homes smell like freshly baked cookies. It’s no science. It’s that chocolatey, and buttery aroma that has the power to strike weakness in the knees of even the most self-controlled human being.
But what we are going to do next may surprise you… maybe even shock you, (or maybe not even make you blink, cause you’re an absolute genius whose already done this).
We’re going to brown butter….. (yusssss) …. AND put this INTO our chocolate chip cookie mixture.
(In case you weren’t aware, I’ve just gone through a major brown butter obsession, and put it into multiple baked goods, where the cookie results were far to good to keep to myself).
Is it crazy to go and call these the ‘best chocolate chip cookies’ when there are so many fabbbbulous recipes already out there? Yes. But these have been taste tested, and on a completely subjective matter, I love the subtle saltiness and nuttiness from the almond butter, the caramel flavour the brown butter gives, the extra chewy edge from the oats and all the expected love for all the other aspects of the cookie we all fall head over heels for.
Luckily my sister, who was in town on the first experimentation session, got to share my absolute enthusiasm (if not being at quite the same level… ), after missing out on ‘licking the bowl’ phenomena for almost a year. As we sat and ate the remnants of the cookie dough, and shared satisfied sighs from the caramel undertones, we both looked at each other and knew that this was a recipe to perfect and master. Because for us, nothing brings us more together then the presence of a cake or cookie dough bowl with leftovers to scrape off the sides until it looks like it’s been washed clean.
I wrapped up a little bundle of cookies for her to take on the plane (despite the fact 2 were gone before she went through the gates as we were too eager to wait, and broke into them before our farewell), and it felt just like old times.
If there wasn’t enough to love about the humble cookie, it’s the modest notion of generosity it allows itself too, and it’s readiness to lend itself as a perfect gift to share with others.
(Am I thinking too much into this whole cookie scenario? Yes. Is that ever a bad thing? No.)
BROWN BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
makes around 26 medium sized cookies
250g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
260g (2 cups) flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bi-carb soda
150g (3/4 cup) golden granulated sugar
150g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 heaped tbsp almond butter
200g good quality dark or milk chocolate (whichever you prefer), roughly chopped
1. Put the butter in a small saucepan, and melt over medium-low heat, until the milk solids in the butter have turned brown, and the butter has a nutty smell. Now stir in the vanilla. This should take around 10-15 minutes. Remove the butter from the heat and pour into a small heatproof bowl (so you don’t end up with burnt butter from the residual heat from the saucepan) and set aside to cool for 10 minutes or so.
2. In a large bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, bi-carb soda, and stir in the oats, sugars and salt. Pour in the butter, and mix to combine. Then mix in the egg, the almond butter, and finally the chocolate.
3. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and using roughly heaped tablespoons, scoop the mixture into your hands and roll into balls. Place these onto the tray (at least 2 inches apart), and continue with the rest of the dough. As hard as it is, leave the dough to rest in the fridge for at least 30 mins (for better flavour and final cookie!).
4. Preheat the oven to 180C, and bake for the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden and puffed. Remove from the oven, and leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, and cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.