Updated: Jul 5, 2021
There is something always right about chocolate chip cookies but there is something a little bit better when browned butter and flake sea salt is involved in the process. A craze, very deserving of it’s hype. When I think back over all my years, I have made hundreds of dozens of cookies, starting as a young child, following the recipe on the back of the Nestle bag, to banging sheet pans and debating back and forth between chopped chocolate or chips? Semi-sweet or bittersweet?
Regardless of what trends in cookies are happening at the moment, certain benchmarks have always remained the same with prerequisites to what I would call a "good cookie". Thick and chewy with the right amount of crunch to the edge, smooth dark chocolate with a sweet-salty balance and a depth to the flavor, that only "toasting" the butter first can add. If "salty" is not your thing, it is an ingredient that can easily be dialed back and the final product will be just as delicious.
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
1 cup (2sticks) of butter, browned and cooled (see directions) 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour* (If using King Arthur Flour, use 2 ½ cups) 1 tsp fine kosher or sea salt 1 ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp baking powder ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed ¾ cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate Flake sea salt (optional) such as Maldon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small sauce pot, add two sticks (1 cup) of butter and over medium-low heat cook butter until melted and the fats of the butter begin to turn caramel color and smells nutty. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. The butter will briefly continue to cook, off the heat, so be sure to not cook over brown your butter while over direct heat. Cool butter at least 20 minutes before using.
While butter is cooling, in a large bowl or stand mixer, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, brown and white sugar and mix until well blended. *If using King Arthur brand all-purpose flour, reduce the amount to 2 ½ cups spooned and leveled.
Once butter is cooled, add to flour-sugar mixture, while mixing on low speed and blend. Add eggs, one at a time and vanilla extract, continuing to blend until dough is formed and pliable, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Continue mixing for an additional minute. Lastly, add your chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and mix until distributed.
On a parchment lined baking sheet, scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of dough, separated 2 inches apart and fill your tray (approximately 3 oz of dough per cookie). You should be able to fit about 9 on a standard sized tray. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie, with a pinch of flake sea salt (optional).
Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 12 minutes (depending on the thickness of the cookies, or until cookies have started to turn golden around the edges but the center is still soft. Remove from heat and cool five minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Cookies are best served warm.
~Makes approximately 18 cookies
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