Sunday, September 13, 2015

Browned Butter and Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I didn't even know what browned butter was until a few years ago.  I was standing in my mom's crowded kitchen, helping with our family's Christmas dinner preparations, when my sister, Heather, suggested I saute the brussel spouts in browned butter instead of the usual olive oil.  When I explained to her that I didn't know how to brown butter, my sister looked at me as if I had just informed her that I had made it to the age of 30 without ever learning to tie my shoes.  "This is a skill you need to learn, Janet.  Browned butter will transform the flavor of any ordinary dish."  And so I watched her as she boiled and frantically stirred.  It surprised me how quickly and magically the butter transitioned from its pale, sunny color to a much deeper amber- sort of like frothy apple cider. Once the brussel sprouts had been delicately coated with the slightly smoky butter, there wasn't much left to do for the dish, except toss in some cranberries and slivered almonds. I had always known that butter was one of the secret ingredients to a happy life, but that Christmas night, I learned that browned butter was the culinary equivalent of glitter.  It makes food sparkle.

So I've been hooked ever since.  I try to not to consume too much saturated fat on a daily basis, so when I do choose to add this liquid gold to my recipes, I really have to make it count.  Like when I'm making cookies.  I'm a sucker for the unparalleled comfort that chocolate chip cookies provide.  I kind of think that a lot of life's problems could be solved with a hug.  And that's exactly what these cookies taste like.  Warm, buttery, lightly tropical, chocolaty hugs.

By the way...the cookies in these pictures are actually gluten-free.  I have celiac disease, so I had to go through a lot of trial and error, and kiss a lot of frogs before I developed this yummy GF recipe. But I felt it necessary to do since every person on earth deserves a good cookie every now and then, thankyouverymuch!  If you are also gluten-free, the only substitution you will need to make is replacing wheat flour with your favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour.  Happy Baking!

Browned butter is simply- butter that has been heated until it turns a golden brown color.  Just dice the butter into a skillet and bring to a boil.  It will turn someone foamy, and that's okay.  Once it's reached that stage, you'll begin to notice little dark flakes floating along the bottom of the pan.  Stir those flakes into the rest of the butter and that's what will give it the appearance of cafe au lait.  Be careful to remove the butter from the heat once it has reached this color.  Butter can go from beautifully browned to just plain burned very quickly.

I like to bring the eggs up to room temperature. Mix all the dry ingredients with the warm butter before adding the eggs, or you will end up with scrambled eggs in your dough. 

I prefer to bake my cookies on parchment paper, but there is enough butter in this recipe, that it's highly unlikely that the cookies will stick to the pan.  This recipe will make 6 dozen cookies!

Do not worry if the cookies look a little more golden than a traditional chocolate chip cookie.  This color just reflects the richness and depth of flavor.

Janet Schlosser-

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