Butter Gets a Bad Rap …….
Happy Friday! Today I wanted to try my hand at putting together a recipe I have been studying for a while now. The ingredient “brown butter” has always intrigued me, but I thought, “How great can it really be?” Let me tell you, it can be pretty great! The smell alone is so amazing; it smells like a caramel factory. I don’t eat raw cookie dough any more, but it was the absolute hardest test of my will to smell the butter browning and not taste the cookie dough before it was made into cookies!
There could very possibly be a lot of people who will look at this recipe and gasp, wondering how a health, and fitness, nut could promote a recipe with so much BUTTER! Well, let me tell you. Butter isn’t our countries problem. In fact, there isn’t anything wrong with butter at all. Butter isn’t what is making this country unhealthy, it is all of the processed foods in the grocery store that are wreaking havoc on so many people’s well-being. Would I recommend sitting down and eating a stick at a time? Absolutely not! But in moderation it is safe, and even beneficial to eat butter, coconut oil, olive oil, cream, etc. The ingredients that should be avoided are margarine, lard, vegetable oil, any dairy product that contains more than just salt and cream.
Brown butter cookies aren’t your traditional, fluffy, run of the mill cookie. They actually remind me more of shortbread cookies. They aren’t overly sweet, and they are flakey instead of fluffy. THESE COOKIES DO NOT SPREAD! If you want them in the shape of a ball, that is how they will stay. If you want them to be flatter then by all means flatten them down, and that is how they will stay. After I put them in the oven I saw that they weren’t going to spread out at all so I quickly pressed them down with the back of a spoon. If you do this ahead of time you can avoid this whole ordeal.
TIP #1 – BROWNING THE BUTTER. I had never browned butter before. Burned butter, yes, but never intentionally browned it. 🙂 I can tell you from my experience today there are a couple of things you want to do to insure good browned butter. 1. When you are melting the butter make sure the heat is set on MEDIUM HIGH. It will not brown on medium, I tried it. It pretty much just boils. 2. Make sure that the pot you are using is big enough that the butter doesn’t foam over. I used a small sauce pan, but it could have very easily foamed over if I wasn’t paying attention. It will foam up, then the foam will drop. Stir it. If it is a golden brown color with what looks like dark coffee grounds in the bottom it is done. Pull it off. You will be able to smell it. It will smell like caramel.
TIP #2 – TEMPERING THE EGG. If you have ever cooked, or baked, anything that involves hot liquid, and cold eggs, you already know how to temper. If not, you need to learn. 😉 Tempering your egg is important so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. After combing the eggs and sweetener drizzle a little bit of the hot browned butter into the mixture. Keep stirring, or whisking, continually as you slowly drizzle the rest of the butter into the egg mixture. This method will heat up the eggs without cooking them.
TIP #3 – CHILL THE DOUGH. I have always been terrible at chilling cookie dough, or pastries, before cooking it unless it is really sticky. In all reality, chilled dough just works better. It allows the dough to rest, the flavors to combine, and the dough to firm up. Because of the hot butter this particular dough is very soft when first mixed up, but firms up nicely once it is chilled.
Those are the three most important tips I can give to insure that each batch of brown butter cookies are successful. When you make these you will notice that they are a bit larger than most of the cookies I make. Don’t sit and eat the entire batch, but allow yourself to indulge in the buttery, flaky goodness that these cookies are made of. Once you try them you may be surprised that you have found a new favorite. After you’ve chilled the dough, and popped them in the oven, you can sit back relax and enjoy!
PS. They are more flavorful once they are cooled, and they are mildly sweet not overwhelming. And don’t let the seemingly long list of ingredients, or directions, detour you from trying these. They are, in all reality, one of the easiest cookies I have ever thrown together. 😉
Have you ever eaten brown butter cookies?
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip & Almond Cookies
By Angie Gouchenour
½ cup (1 stick) salted sweet cream butter
1/4 cup Sugar 2.0
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
1 cup wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon mini chocolate chips (I used semi sweet because it was what I had on hand)
½ ounce (12) raw almonds – roughly chopped
In a small sauce pan melt the butter over MEDIUM HIGH heat until it browns, about 5 minutes. (See TIP #1) Remove from the heat.
Using a medium bowl whisk together the Truvia, brown sugar, and egg
Slowly drizzle a bit of the hot browned butter into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, to temper the egg (See TIP #2) Finish adding the butter slowly while whisking (Brown bits too!)
Stir in the vanilla flavoring
Add the flour and baking powder. Stir just until combined
Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped almonds
Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 350’f
Using a spoon, or a 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop, place the dough onto a cookie sheet. Press the cookies down with a glass, or spoon, if you choose. These cookies do NOT spread
Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until firm
Remove from the oven and transfer to cooling racks
Store in an air tight container once they are cooled
1 cookie = 83 calories
Modified from Land O’ Lakes