Really…I’m not on a tangent about BESTS all of a sudden, it just happens that after a discussion on how I best like to make mashed potatoes that I wanted to post these cookies. I have tried so many recipes that people proclaim as the best. Whether they really think they are or are simply trying to get some Google juice from claiming they are, I had just never had a chocolate chip cookie that was unique enough to garner that praise. They are all the same ingredients basically and for me none stuck out as that much different from your basic Tollhouse cookie. But then I tried something different and found that the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie has Brown Butter and Molasses; they are so different and the difference is SO good!
Over the years I’ve done my due diligence too and I’ve had some really good versions in the effort. I’ve done the New York Times cookie inspired by Jacques Torres and admit that a bit of salt is a super idea. I’ve also made the chocolate chip cookies from David Lebovitz and Alice at Savory Sweet Life that I’ve seen highly praised and they too are really, really good. BUT. Yes, but… I have never had a cookie that made me want to shout it from the rooftops…these are the BEST! Granted I live in a city that could be renamed #CookieFail due to high altitude issues so I’ve long grown accustomed to seeing cookies that look fabulous elsewhere but are a bas relief of chips and nuts here when the dough falls flat. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside? I sure as heck better get them straight to a storage tin for that to be the case…cookies dry out here so quickly that leaving them at room temperature even briefly can spell doom. I should write a cookbook titled, ‘From Cookie to Biscotti in One Easy Step.’ It would be a short book; one page really. Simply let them sit out in a high altitude kitchen for 1 hour. Done.
What makes these so different then? How did they qualify? Well, first…did you read that title? They are made with brown butter. Isn’t everything better with brown butter? I use KerryGold Butter for my baking and it is a favorite right out of the package but taking it to a brown butter stage? Oh my. Just be careful to not only watch but smell the butter; it can go from a fabulous brown nutty state to burned quickly. I know these things.
I also love molasses in cookies…it adds such a warm note. You could say that molasses and granulated sugar are the same as brown sugar but I think it’s MUCH more better (No that is not a grammatical error, it is simply a statement of fact!). Yes, they are both brown but mixing them yourself really does up the flavor profile of molasses. Um, um, good. That little bit of extra moisture can’t be all bad either in our cookie to biscotti environment either!
These cookies are a mutt for sure with lineage from a recipe by Joy the Baker that was inspired by Alton Brown who suggested using bread flour for cookies. I’ve taken something from all of those resources and added my own.
For all of the modifications I have to take to get the kind of results I crave, the one thing I’ve found that helps both the texture, the rise and the taste? Freezing the dough. That’s right. I started freezing cookie dough years ago so that I am not tempted to eat an entire batch all by myself in two days. What I’ve found is that the freezing not only helps with texture and achieving results that are not so flat but that the flavors meld more and just taste better. Who doesn’t want that?
This post was ‘supposed’ to publish yesterday for my Wayback Wednesday Series…but, but but…I didn’t get it done; plain and simple. My flowers are finally planted though if that counts. We’ll just do a Throwback Thursday for a change because they deserve to be featured again!
I ‘tried’ decorating them a couple of years ago with a chocolate swirl and some toasted nuts as an homage to a hurricane and some local summer wildfires but I’ve never done that since so knew I wanted to redo the photo. When I was finished it struck me that maybe I should share again. They are that good!
Brown Butter and Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies
For the Brown Butter
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
For the Cookie Dough
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon dark molasses, not blackstrap
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks for cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
To Make Brown Butter:
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat; stirring constantly. Watch carefully; the butter will foam and the solids under the foam will start to brown after 6-8 minutes,
- Remove from heat immediately when the butter begins to turn brown.
- Pour the butter into a shallow dish and chill until it's room temperature.
To Make the Cookie Dough:
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In mixing bowl, mix the granulated sugar and molasses until thoroughly combined.
- Once the butter has cooled to room temperature, add it to the mixing bowl with sugar and cream all together on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
- Add one egg and mix well. Add the yolk and vanilla and mix until well combined.
- Spoon the flour mixture in gradually until thoroughly combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Chill the dough for about 20 minutes, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets. (To freeze, scoop dough onto baking sheets and freeze. Store in ziploc bags).
- NOTE: If topping with Maldon sea salt, sprinkle top with a few crystals now, before baking)
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until set; longer if using frozen dough (I add about 3 minutes to my baking time).
- Pay close attention! These cookies are already brown from the browned butter and molasses so visual appearance and scent is more important than color.
- Cool completely.
When I'm not doing hurricane swirls and toasted walnuts, I normally just sprinkle on a bit of sea salt but I didn't have any on hand this time and they were still amazing!