Brown Butter, Brown Sugar Cookies

These are redemption cookies.

They’re for when it’s been raining all day, and is forecasted to rain for the next two days. Stupid weather.

They’re for when you’ve sat on the couch in pjs and watched 5 hours of Mad Men instead of doing anything deemed “productive.” Stupid productivity.

They’re for when you last posted something that didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, and so you need to produce something to feel good about. Stupid fail bake.

They’re for when the MTA has been so very INCREDIBLY inconsistent in the mornings that sometimes it takes you an hour to get to work. Stupid public transportation.

They’re for when you keep making to-do lists. And then forgetting to look at them. Stupid lack of focus.

These cookies have brown butter AND brown sugar. Those are two of my favorite things right there. Separately, they are magical, and together they automatically erase all the wrong-doings and “I-can’t-believe-that-happened”s and the “why me?” moments that happened in the past 7 days. Maybe longer.

Brown butter used to scare me. But now, whenever I make it, not only does it make the entire apartment smell like a bakery, it makes me want to figure out how to make it into a cape and become Brown Butter Girl.

It scared me because you’re melting butter. And then it turns brown, but if you let it turn brown for too long, it turns black. And then it’s black butter (or buerre nior), which is something entirely different. And not really something I want in cookies.

This transformation happens quickly. One minute everything is a lovely golden brown and the next second it’s black.

Dealing with sudden change. That’s a biggie. It’s rough.

The first time I made brown butter there was panic. There was screaming. There was obsessive checking the pictures online to make sure I was doing it right.

OCD? What? Me? Nah.

I’ve calmed down a bit, and I think I’m willing to take the slight heart-in-the-throat moment if it means I end up with something as wonderful as brown butter.

These are crispy cookies. I’m not usually a crispy cookie kind of gal.

I like chewy. Big, thick, and chewy, with chunks and bumps and pieces.

But these are simple and sugary and quite plain, and there’s something really lovely in that.

I guess change can be good every now and then.

Enjoy these with a cup of tea. Or a glass of milk. Or your morning coffee.

Start your day off right.

Because, no matter what happens during the next 24 hours, at least you had your sugar (and butter).


Brown Butter, Brown Sugar Cookies

Adapted from The Novice Chef

8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter

1 cup flour, plus 2 extra tablespoons

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

For crunchy, sugary coating:

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Heat the butter in a small saucepan until melted. Keep cooking, stirring or whisking as needed until the butter turns a light golden brown color. The flakes of brown in the butter will begin to get darker. Keep cooking until they turn dark brown, but don’t let them turn black. The butter will smell warm and nutty.

Remove butter from heat and transfer to a small bowl right away. Let it cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.

In a medium size bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, combine the now cooled butter and the brown sugar and mix. Add eggs and vanilla and stir until there are no lumps.

Add the flour to the butter/sugar/egg/vanilla mixture and stir until just combined.

In a small bowl or on a plate, mix together the brown sugar and white sugar for the coating. I just used my fingers to crumble it together.

Roll small amounts (1 or 1 1/2 tablespoons) of dough into a ball with your hands. Then roll the ball in the sugar mixture.

Place on the prepared sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space in between each one.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time. The cookies will look slightly underdone in the center. That’s ok!

Remove from the oven and let them sit on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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