Friday, September 23, 2011

Browned Butter Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made the mistake of giving the last two spiced pumpkin chai cupcakes to the intern and student from my sister team.  This made their senior pretty upset that he had missed out, especially when they began talking about how delicious the cupcakes were in front of him.  In an attempt to make amends, I asked what he'd like me to bring to him this weekend.  His response?  "I like pecans."

Discussing this with KWeage, she brilliantly suggested JTB's Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Wow!  I am so glad she did.  About half an hour in when I had only toasted the pecans and the butter was not quite sufficiently browned I wondered if all this work was really worth it.  I mean, if I had made just plain chocolate chip cookies and threw in a few pecans I would have been done and I'm pretty sure everyone at the hospital would be happy.  But no, I had to try something new and labor intensive!  However, as soon as I poured the brown butter from the skillet into a bowl to cool I caught the first full whiff of the rich nuttiness and I was sold.  Extra brown sugar and toasted pecans add to the depth of these chewy, caramely cookies.

Browned Butter Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from JTB, Smitten Kitchen, and Recipe Girl)
1 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2/3-ish cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat chopped pecans in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir every few minutes once you begin to smell the toasty aroma.  Transfer to a bowl.
Add butter to skillet.  Melt over medium heat.  You'll begin to see bubbles and hear an almost boiling sound.  That's just the water evaporating.  When the butter becomes quiet, watch carefully for it to start to brown... you don't want burnt butter!  Takes 15-20 minutes.  Transfer to mixing bowl and let cool in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
Now turn on the oven to preheat to 350*
Add sugars to butter.  Beat.
Beat in eggs.
Pour in vanilla.
Add baking powder and salt.  Beat.
Slowly add flour.  Beat until well mixed.
Carefully mix in chocolate chips and pecans.
Taste raw dough.  (If you get salmonella don't sue me!)
Drop tablespoons of dough onto greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen cookies.
If you're into the whole salted caramel thing like my roommate and I are, sprinkle a bit of sea salt on the tops of the cookies as you pull them out of the oven.

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