Monday, September 23, 2013

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Why brown your butter first? In my opinion, it makes cookies taste more like caramel/toffee, and it's also just the cool thing to do among foodies. :) Here is some more information on browning butter. It is pretty fun. The last time I tried making brown butter cookies I let the butter brown for longer and only used brown butter. This time I stopped the browning earlier and used a recipe that called for both brown butter and melted (non-browned) butter. This recipe was very interesting. It said to let the batter rest a few times in between stirs. It got bubbly like this:

Then you add the flour mixture. This is my favorite part of making cookies. The two textures mixing together to make a third texture. It feels so awesome and delicate against the spatula!

The browned butter bits up close in the batter

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated

1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

1) Adjust oven rack to middle position & heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) Whisk flour & baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
3) Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted (~2 minutes). Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma (1-3 minutes)
4) Remove skillet from heat &, using a heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
5) Add both sugars, salt & vanilla to bowl with butter & whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining (30 seconds).
6) Let mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds.
7) Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth & shiny.
8) Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined (~1 minute).
9) Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure that no flour pockets remain.
10) Arrange dough balls (1-3 tablespoons each) 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets (8 dough balls per sheet if each is 3 tablespoons)
11) Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown & still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (for 3 tablespoon-sized cookies: 10-14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking; for 1 tablespoon-sized cookies: 7-11ish minutes). Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and cool cookies completely before serving.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Double Cream Lemon Pie @ Marie Callender's

This is still one of my favorites at Marie Callender's. The whipped cream tastes real but doesn't melt all over the place, and it's a perfect blend of sweet, sour (the sour cream kind), and tangy. Here is their official description on their website: "Layers of rich lemony custard with a sour cream topping - light and refreshing."