living the sweet life

Salted Caramel Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The best 7 words I’ve heard this week: Salted Caramel Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.I wish I was lying when I say that I ate these cookies for dinner last night and for breakfast this morning. 3 cookies for breakfast on a Friday – good way to start the weekend and celebrate the end of the week, don’t you think?

I also wish I was lying when I said that I started with 24 cookies last night and there are now only 4 left. Thankfully I haven’t been the only person eating these because I’d probably be in a sugar coma right about now. I just can’t stop eating them.

I posted¬†some pictures on instagram yesterday, and I wish that computers/phone technology would come out with a scratch and sniff screen or a way to just shove cookies through the computer screen at all of you. Because.. these cookies. The caramel-like smell of the brown butter, the delicious dough, the smell of freshly baked cookies.. Literally torture. Because you’re supposed to let the cookies cool a bit before eating/touching them and if you eat them right out of the oven the caramel will burn your mouth. Not that I know that first hand or anything….

But honestly. These are some of, if not the best, cookies I have ever made. The brown butter takes a regular chocolate chip cookie to the next delicious level, but when you have a thin layer of caramel stuffed inside the cookie and a sprinkle of sea salt on the top.. It will literally tickle all of your taste buds.

Browning butter isn’t hard at all. I wrote out directions but also linked to two great tutorials for those of you who want more pictures of the butter. This was actually my first (real) time browning butter, so adding a camera to the mix didn’t seem like a bright idea. If you want to make your own caramels, go for it, but I’ve had these Trader Joe’s fleur de sel caramels in the pantry that I can’t stop eating. So good.I know it’s hot everywhere – turning my oven yesterday was a battle – but these cookies are worth it. Bring them to your Fourth of July parties next week, send these out to your friends who live across country, keep them for yourself.. Just make them. Please. Trust me.

Salted Caramel Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 2 dozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, browned
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 caramels or 1/3 cup caramel
Additional sea salt, for sprinkling
To brown the butter: Cut the butter into tablespoon size slices (it helps it melt faster). Place butter into a small to medium sized saucepan and turn heat to medium/medium low heat. Once the butter has mostly melted down, begin whisking and don’t stop. The butter will begin to bubble and get foamy. Once the foam starts to subside, you’ll begin to notice brown flecks on the bottom of the sauce pan. Keep whisking. Once the butter has a nice medium brown color, remove from heat and continue to whisk for another 30 seconds. The butter will have a fragrant caramel/nutty smell. Set butter aside until it cools to about room temperature. [Two great tutorials with pictures: How Sweet It Is and Bakingdom]
In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, cream the brown butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until smooth and combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Chill dough for 20-30 minutes. The dough will appear crumbly but it WILL come together when you press it in your hand.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper.
Take a golf ball sized piece of cookie dough and flatten in the palm of your hand. Take about a 1/2 teaspoon ball of caramel (or about a third of a caramel from Trader Joe’s), lay in the center of the cookie dough, and pinch the dough closed around it. Place on the cookie sheet, flatten slightly, and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat. Bake for 7-10 minutes (mine only needed 7) until lightly golden around the edges.
Let cool on cookie sheets for 5-10 minutes and then finish cooling on a wire cooling rack.
[source: adapted from Two Peas and their Pod]

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