BROWN BUTTER + BOURBON VANILLA CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
"But Morgan," you ask. "Why yet another chocolate chip cookie recipe?" Well, curious reader, I'm on a quest. A special quest. I'm deep in the trenches, trying to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. The one that I'll one day have memorized. The one I'll whip up for my kids. I want to find THE ONE (insert praise hands emoji here) that I will one day be remembered for. If that just got too intense for anyone, fear not. We'll get to the recipe in 3...2...1...
There are a few crucial tweaks to this recipe—I used dark brown sugar instead of light, sea salt flakes instead of your normal table salt, both semisweet and dark chocolate chips, and bourbon vanilla. Bourbon vanilla is the name for all vanilla grown in Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean. It's more pure and has more vanillin content than standard vanilla extract does. I found this little bottle at Trader Joe's for only .80 more than the regular stuff.
Another fun twist? Browning the butter. Browned butter adds a layer of complexity and a caramelly/nutty flavor to any dish you add it to. And it's not hard—just put your first 8 oz of butter in a saucepan (I cubed it first, so it would melt a tad faster), and stir almost constantly while it melts. Let it cook about 2 min, or until it appears brown in color. Then, pour in a large bowl and add the reserved butter. It should be light and fluffy at this point! Before you do any more baking, let the butter return to room temperature in the fridge.
Don't overmix the batter, and definitely don't be scared to mix with your hands if that floats your boat. Around the time flour is added to the mix, I abandon all utensils and go for it.
Look at the dough-to-chocolate-chip ratio here. Like, do you want some dough with those chips? Amiright!?
I chill the dough for a hot minute (really, like 15 minutes) before forming into balls, because it stays together better and the cookies don't spread too much.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
15 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt; set aside.
2. Place 8 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat and cook for about 2 minutes – stirring almost constantly – until the butter has browned. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 7 tablespoons of butter; whisk until completely smooth. Place the bowl in the refrigerator or freezer to bring the butter back to room temperature. (You’ll know the butter is at room temperature when you press a finger into the top and it makes a slight indentation.)
3. Add sugars and vanilla to the browned butter and mix until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat quickly for about 30 seconds. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes, then beat for another 30 seconds.
4. Gently fold in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in all chocolate chips.
5. Chill for at least 15 min, and preheat oven to 375°.
6. Roll 2-3 tbsp-sized balls and place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
7. Bake for 11-14 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. (I always check at 10 minutes.) Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.