My “tween-aged” daughter has caught the cooking and baking bug, and I’m more than happy to teach her. Recently, I taught her how to make these browned-butter chocolate-chip cookies. She’s a quick learner; she made these almost completely by herself. (She only needed help with the browning of the butter.)
I have so much fun teaching her and spending time with her in the kitchen! I’m also getting lots of practice for my other love: teaching kids how to cook and bake. I hope to start offering a lot more cooking classes for people of all ages, but it’s kids and teenagers I enjoy teaching the most. I’ve already taught a few classes for teenagers…and loved it! Anyway, keep reading for all the ins and outs of this outstanding cookie recipe…
The element that sends these beauties over the moon is browned butter. Delicious and nutty, it imparts a rich, caramelized layer of flavor to the cookie. It’s an extra step in the dough making, but it doesn’t take very long at all: about 5 minutes. You do, however, need to allow it to cool to room temperature before adding it to the dough. It’s a great idea to brown the butter, transfer it to a heatproof bowl, then soon after, start the dough-making process. A note about the chocolate: you can use chocolate chips and finish with a delicious product, or you can do what I’ve done in the past – cut some quality chocolate into small chunks and add it to the dough. Some markets also sell chocolate already cut into chunks. Don’t skip the chilling step after the dough is made. If it is too warm, it will spread too much on the pan. Fifteen minutes of chilling is usually plenty for scooped or sliced cookies before baking. One other note: I like to flatten the cookies very gently with my fingers or palm of my hand (moistened very slightly with water) because that helps to achieve a beautifully crisp yet chewy final product.
My daughter and I made two sizes this last time around: the typical size you make by dropping heaping teaspoonfuls…and GIGANTICUS MAXIMUS MONDO CRAZYTOWN size! These were for a special cookie-ice cream sundae we served at a recent family get-together. They were a huge hit…literally.
These cookies can go horribly wrong if a few important rules are not heeded. The most common mistake I see is overbaking. Too long in the oven, and a delectable morsel turns into a hockey puck. It can happen in an instant. Cookies almost always need less time in the oven than you think. It’s actually a great idea to take them out when they still seem a tad underdone. The cookies continue to cook a bit while cooling on the tray, so once you transfer them to a cooling rack, they’re are perfectly cooked.
The other error I sometimes see is overmixing. Some home bakers feel the need to mix the dough until it is so well-blended that the chocolate chips start bleeding into the dough! A great rule of thumb follows: as soon as you add any gluten flour to most doughs and batters, make sure to mix only until just blended. Too much mixing at this point, and you’ll get a tough, chewy, or dry final product.
Follow the guidelines in this recipe, and your cookies will come out perfectly. The next time you’re craving cookies, or need to bring a batch to a party or school event, try this recipe. I guarantee you’ll be mad at me for making you eat far too many cookies than you should!