Getting chip-faced

Brown Butter Espresso Chip Cookies

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Now that the heavenly entity that is brown butter has been demystified, let’s do something with it!  This recipe was my first foray into baking with brown butter, many moons ago, and I haven’t looked back since.  This cookie contains my Top-secret Tantalizing Threesome:  brown butter (duh), espresso powder, and coarse sea salt.  With these three simple ingredients, you will be guaranteed to have friends for life — even if they’re just your friends for the food benefits, they’re still your friends, right?

Critical items:
  • espresso powder is more finely ground than regular ground coffee, so the espresso flecks won’t feel gritty in the dough

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  • all ingredients MUST be room temperature (well, they don’t HAVE to be, but the results are much better if they are)
  • chopped chocolate yields prettier and tastier results than chocolate chips in the dough
  • chilling the dough is absolutely required — at least one hour, if you’re facing a true cookie emergency, but 24-36 hours yields the best results!
     WARNING:  you will very nearly die of happiness each time you open the fridge and get a whiff of the chilling cookie dough

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  • to prevent yourself from eating all of the cookies at once (a very real risk with this dough) go ahead and shape all
    of the dough balls at once, but place half in a freezer bag and freeze for later use — just add a minute or two extra onto the oven time when baking

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  • rotating the cookie sheet halfway through baking ensures even cooking for a more profesh result
  • letting the cookies “rest” on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes after baking allows them to deflate and firm up just a tad so that you can move them to the wire racks without any breakage casualties (left image shows cookies IMMEDIATELY out of the oven — right image shows them 2 minutes later)

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Brown Butter Espresso Chip Cookies

2 sticks of butter, room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon espresso powder — this is just enough to enhance the chocolate (use 2 teaspoons for a more pronounced coffee flavor)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 6.8 oz. dark chocolate bars, coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
~1/4 cup chocolate chips, for artistic placement
Brown one stick of butter, as directed here, transfer to mixing bowl, and allow to cool to room temp.  Add both sugars and second stick of butter.  Cream together, until totally combined.  Beat in eggs, one at a time; beat in vanilla and cream of tartar, until smooth.  Meanwhile, use a fork to combine flour, espresso, baking soda, and table salt in a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl.  Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture, while mixing on low — if using a stand mixer, use a spoon to add flour slowly (in between the cartwheels you’re doing because you’re using a stand mixer).  Fold in chopped chocolate.
Transfer dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and place in a gallon-sized plastic bag.  Chill 1-36 hours.  For real.
When dough has sufficiently chilled, place on counter for 30 minutes prior to baking.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit.  Shape heaping tablespoonfulls of dough into tall-ish cylinders (to allow for spreading while baking without getting pancake cookies).  Top each dough turd with a few chocolate chips and a sprinkling of sea salt.
Bake 10-12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.  Let cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Store in tightly sealed container, at room temperature, for up to 5 days.

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VARIATION:
Omit chocolate chips, and bake cookies as directed.  After cookies have cooled 2 minuted on cookie sheet, place an unwrapped Hershey’s Hug in the center of each cookie, and press down lightly.  [SIDE NOTE:  my sister and I used to fight over who would get the “kissing” cookies like the one pictured below…the cause of many a sisterly elbow-jab]

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3 thoughts on “Getting chip-faced

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