brown butter chocolate chunk cookies

I lived in Canada in 1987 and when I returned home to Brisbane I brought some recipes with me including a small recipe book produced by Baker's chocolate. It contained a recipe for chocolate chunk cookies and I've been making a version of these cookies ever since. They're a good all round cookie filled with chocolate chunks and nuts and best of all they can be made with a bowl and a wooden spoon.

In recent times I've discovered Claire Saffitz, an American baker and recipe developer. I was watching an episode of Dessert Person in which Claire made her chocolate chip cookie recipe. I didn't need to make cookies but I decided to make a batch, inspired by Claire's recipe. I used my base recipe but browned the butter first before adding a dash of milk a la Claire. I added both milk and dark chocolate chunks to the mixture but left out the chopped nuts.

I made a half batch of dough then rested the cookie dough overnight. The next day I baked the cookies making some larger and some smaller, which I shared with my neighbours. I snaffled one cookie still warm from the oven, and it was pretty good. I'd never used two kinds of chocolate chunks before and it was a nice touch but next time I'd add some pecans to the cookies because I missed the crunch they produce.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 22 regular sized cookies. Remember you'll need to start this recipe the day before baking to allow time for the cookie dough to rest. If you decide to make larger cookies, you'll need to add a few extra minutes baking time. The recipe is adapted from Claire Saffitz's recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies from her book, Dessert Person.  For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.
Brown butter chocolate chunk cookies - makes 22 small cookies
112g unsalted butter cut into cubes
15 mls cream or whole milk
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup caster sugar
1 egg, cold from the refrigerator
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour
Pinch salt
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
75g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
75g milk chocolate coarsely chopped
Sea salt flakes 
Brown the butter in the microwave on high in a covered microwave safe bowl. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until deep brown and nutty. Pour the butter through a fine sieve removing the solids. You should have about 85g of browned butter. 
Allow the butter to come back to room temperature to solidify then stir in the cream or milk followed by the sugars, vanilla and the egg. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl then stir into the butter mix. Lastly stir through the coarsely chopped chocolates.
Portion out using a cookie scoop or tablespoon (I used a 15 ml cookie scoop) and place in the refrigerator overnight or up to 48 hours, covered in the fridge. If you like, you can freeze the dough at this point.
The following day preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper or a silicone mat. Place the cookies on the tray allowing room to spread. Flatten each cookie a little before topping with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes (for regular sized cookie) until golden around the edges but still soft in the centre. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing from the tray and cooling on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
I've become a big Claire Saffitz fan and have just requested a copy of 'Dessert Person' from the library. I can't wait for it to arrive. 
See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen. 
Bye for now,


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