Are you ready to take your chocolate chip cookie game to the next level? These little treats are special for a few reasons. The brown butter for one, gives these cookies an aromatic and lovely nutty, toasty flavoring, the cocoa gives them their beautiful golden brown coloring, and instead of chips, we use Hershey Milk Chocolate bars for the chunks. These are familiar enough to your classic chocolate chip, yet different enough, you will feel like you’re indulging in something just a little extra special with each bite.
A batch of these are great for a Sunday afternoon treat, to welcome the new family to the neighborhood, or to surprise a loved one to let them know they are being thought of. Or if you’re like me, you don’t need any reason at all to whip up a batch of yummy cookies on a whim!
So, you may be wondering, what exactly is brown butter? If you are unfamiliar with it, using brown butter in this recipe will be a great way to experience and familiarize yourself with this great little sauce. The origin is French. It’s often used in French cuisine to enhance and enrich, and add another layer of depth to food dishes and baked goods.
To make brown butter, you simply take unsalted butter and cook it on the stove to brown the milk solids. By doing so, you’re removing the water from the butter, turning the butter to a delicious nutty brown coloring. It’s that easy!
Alright, now that you have a high level introduction to brown butter, let’s get this process going so you can enjoy that brown butter in these amazing little cookies!
Prep/Bake Time: cookie dough 20 mins; cookie dough chill time 2 hours; bake time 12-14 minutes
Quantity: ~24 cookies
Author: Mindi Cunningham | sweet basil & lemon
1 & 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 &1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
4 full sized Hershey Milk Chocolate Bars
In a small saucepan, set the heat to medium. When the pan is warm, place butter sticks into the pan. Stirring regularly, let the butter melt for about 3-4 minutes. It will turn brown after a few minutes and will become very fragrant. Once the butter is foamy and frothy on top with a nice brown coloring throughout, remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl or measuring cup to cool for 20 minutes. You can choose to leave behind the dark sediment at the bottom, known as milk solids, or you can choose to add them into your dough. If your butter ends up darker than a golden or amber brown, I’d recommend leaving them out as you risk adding an unwanted bitterness to your dough.
While the butter is cooling, mix your dry ingredients together into a medium sized mixing bowl. Set aside.
Now unwrap your chocolate bars and slice them vertically down the word Hershey to split the individual pieces in half. Finish splitting the chocolate pieces along the perforations and set aside in a small cup or bowl.
After the butter has cooled, it’s time to mix your butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs together in a large bowl. Beat your wet ingredients together for 3 minutes until the sugars and butter have formed a light creamy texture. Add your dry ingredients to the wet mixture just until the dough has formed and ingredients are mixed. Do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chunks. Then set the dough into the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.
When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats. Remove dough from the refrigerator and scoop out dough, forming small balls, roughly 1.5″ each. You should be able to fit 8 cookies comfortably on a standard cookie sheet.
When oven has reached the target temperature, insert cookie tray on the top rack, baking one sheet at a time, ideally. Allow cookies to bake about 12-14 minutes. Since each oven varies a bit, be sure to keep a close eye on your cookies. You’ll know when it’s time to remove them when the edges have set even if the middle looks like it hasn’t finished baking. For soft, chewy cookies, always remove the cookies when they look slightly under baked. If your cookies look completely done, then they are too well done and may taste dry or brittle in texture.
Here’s how you achieve the crinkling on top of these cookies. When you remove the pan from the oven, securely hold one corner of the baking sheet, gently drop the baking sheet a few inches from the counter (only if it’s heat resistant) or stove top a few times. This will add that great crinkling effect.
Let the cookies cool for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a baking rack to cool. If you’re like me, you like to sample one while they are still warm and the chocolate is nice and melty, and you sample one again once they have cooled. I’ve got a 2 cookie minimum for taste testing my homemade cookies. Now it’s your turn to grab a glass of milk or cup of coffee and enjoy your fresh batch of brown butter cookies!
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