Brown Butter Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies
So I have spent the last several weeks hard at work researching how to make the best chewy chocolate chip cookies. It's been a real hardship involving many, many batches of cookies, taste tests and more taste tests. I have eaten a lot of cookies and forced a lot of cookies on my family, friends, and co-workers. If this kept on, I'd be responsible for an uptick in America's obesity rate.
Thankfully, I think I finally got it right! These cookies are so chewy and soft and flavorful... 🤤 Maybe I should make one more batch just to make sure I got it right... One more taste test just to be on the safe side... No Sarah! You gotta move on! There are other cookies in the sea! Unless you guys want a Julie & Julia style blog where I just make chocolate chip cookies every week? I'd be fine with that. I'd do it for you guys. I'd bear that cross for you.
Onto the science! So chewiness depends on moistness + density. In case you're a bit of nerd, like I am, here are thethings I've done to make my chewy cookie.
- I melted the butter. Melted butter does not trap air as well as a solid fat, which results in a denser cookie.
- I used bread flour. Bread flour has more protein, which also helps create a more compact chewy cookie.
- I threw in a couple teaspoons of cornstarch. Cornstarch adds bulk to the cookie to keep it in place while preventing too many gluten chains from making the cookie tough.
- I have a high ratio of brown to regular granulated sugar. Brown sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water from the air. This will continue even after baking resulting in a more moist cookie.
- I put in a whole egg + an extra egg yolk. Egg yolks provide some moisture and protein. When cooked, egg yolk forms a certain tender protein that keeps cookies tender and fudge-like.
- I chilled the cookie dough for 30 minutes before baking. Refrigerating the cookie dough results in less spread, which of course makes for a denser cookie.
Other than having the maximum about of chewiness, I also wanted to most flavor! To max out the flavor I did the following.
- I browned the butter. Browned butter adds depth, richness, and a nutty flavor. Water evaporates out of the butter when browning though, so I added water back in so we would have the same amount of moisture in the cookie. Perfecto! Rich flavor, while keeping the moisture level we need for the chewiness.
- I added a couple tablespoons of malted milk powder. Milk powder adds to the creamy richness, and the malt adds a milky, butterscotchy flavor. I <3 malt.
- Now for the chocolate. Using chopped, good quality chocolate makes all the difference! Ugh, I had no idea how much I was missing out. Chocolate chips have stuff added to them to keep their shape, which makes for boring little uniform bites of cookies. Chopped pieces of chocolate will expand with your cookie and each bite will be different. I also used a mix of milk, semi-sweet, and dark chocolate to really make each bite dynamic.
- Lastly, flaked sea salt! Adding salt to the top of your cookie adds that sweet and salty magic, it actually intensifies your ability to taste the sweetness of sugar. Gives it that pow factor!
Put it all together and you have, in my opinion, the perfect batch of chewy chocolate chip cookies.
INGREDIENTS makes 36 cookies
226 grams (1 cup) unsalted butter
340 grams (2 ½ cups) bread flour
14 grams (2 tbs) malted milk powder
5 grams (1 tsp) baking soda
3 grams (~2 tsp) cornstarch
3 grams (½ tsp) salt
57 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
227 grams (1 cup) light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
30 grams (2 tbs) whole milk
8 grams (2 tsp) vanilla extract
12 ounces of good quality chocolate bars, mix and match milk and dark, roughly chopped
flaked sea salt
- Melt butter in a wide heavy bottomed pan over medium-low heat. As it melts, swirl butter around the pan until it is light brown in color and smells nutty. Weigh melted butter or pour into a measuring cup. Add the amount of water to bring the volume back to 226 grams (8 ounces). Whisk water and butter together until incorporated. Set aside to cool. After browning the butter I found that I needed to add about an ounce and a half of water.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, malted milk powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together browned butter and sugars with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, gently whisk together the whole egg, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla extract just until incorporated.
- Turn mixer to low and slowly work the egg mixture into the butter and sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Stir in chopped chocolate.
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375℉. Line a cookie sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Scoop dough into 1.5 inch balls and place about 4 inches apart, 6 cookies per half sheet pan. For a prettier cookie, take any chocolate chunks that are on the bottom of the cookie dough ball and press into the top.
- Sprinkle a pinch of flaked sea salt onto each ball of cookie dough.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges have browned slightly, err on the side of underbaking.
- Let cool on sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to let cool completely
NUTRITION (36 cookies)
calories: 139, total fat: 8 g, saturated fat: 5 g, monosaturated fat: 1 g, cholesterol: 24 mg, sodium: 41 mg, potassium: 42 mg, total carbohydrate: 17 g, dietary fiber: 1 g, sugars: 5 g, protein: 2 g