I am such a sucker for a good chocolate chip cookie. It’s always been my favorite kind of cookie growing up. With that being said, I became very particular when it comes to my own chocolate chip cookie recipe. I blame Dan for this because he’s opened up my eyes about food and now I hardcore judge anything that’s not my recipe.
While researching cookie recipes and trying out different methods we came up with a recipe adapted from the great Smitten Kitchen’s salted chocolate chunk cookies recipe. We loved how it used different kinds of sugars and had big chunks of chocolate. We changed some ingredients and steps to suit our preferences.
Why Dark Brown Sugar?
Yes you can use plain white granulated sugar and produce an edible chocolate chip cookie but it will lack depth of flavor and will be pretty pale. The dark brown sugar adds more caramel/toffee flavor to your cookies. Obviously dark brown sugar will also result in a deeper golden brown colored cookie.
Like Smitten Kitchen’s recipe we decided to stick with the three different sugars. We just think each sugar plays their own part in the recipe. The granulated white sugar with the smallest grain will help cream the butter the most efficiently, the turbinado lends an extra crunch to the cookie and the dark brown sugar add flavor and color.
Milk vs Semi Sweet vs Dark Chocolate
In the end it all comes down to which chocolate to use when making a chocolate chip cookie recipe. There are so many to choose from and endless combinations: from milk chocolate, semisweet, white chocolate, to dark chocolate. Personally we did not want to end up with an overly sweet cookie so we went for a dark chocolate.
The shape and size of the chocolate is another point of debate when making chocolate chip cookies. Instead of the typical chocolate chips we decided to stick with our source material and go with big chunks of chocolate. This just helps you to get those delicious pools of chocolate in your cookies.
Choosing the right dark chocolate is a headache on its own. So many options with so many cacao percentages. It can get overwhelming! We chose to stick with a 70% to 75% cacao bar so that we could get a good balance between sweet and bitter. We went with the Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bar because it is an affordable pretty thick bar which made for bigger chunks of chocolate.
Brown Butter for your Chocolate Chip Cookie
Browning butter is one of those magical techniques every home cook should try out. It results in a toasted nutty flavor. You can use it in your baked goods, use it to make sauces, or just cook with it in general! Just like using dark brown sugar, brown butter adds another subtle depth of flavor to the cookies.
Resting the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Honestly we think resting your cookie dough in the fridge really does make a difference! The most obvious difference is that the rested and chilled cookies spread less than those baked right away. The rested chocolate chip cookie dough also produces a chewier more flavorful cookie.
We usually portion and chill our cookies at least overnight but if you don’t want to wait that long then 30 minutes to an hour should produce noticeable differences as well. This cookie dough is also perfect to freeze. Just scoop out portions onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined tray, put it in the freezer for a few hours, then transfer the semi frozen portioned dough into a freezer bag to store.
Other Dessert Recipes To Try
Brown Butter Chocolate “Chip” Cookies
- 1/4 cup (2oz) unsalted butter, room temp cut into small chunks (for brown butter)
- 1/2 cup (4oz) unsalted butter, room remp cut into small chunks (for creaming)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 lb 70% cacao chocolate bar cut into large chunks
- Flaky Sea Salt, for garnish optional
- Place 1/4 cup room temperature butter in a small saucepan. Heat over a medium heat until fully melted, about a minute.
- After the butter is fully melted it will start to bubble and splatter. This is just the water being cooked off. Be sure to constantly stir the butter and keep cooking until all the water is cooked off.
- The butter should smell very nutty but not burnt. Light brown specks will appear in the butter. Cook until a nice golden brown color and then pour into a heatproof bowl immediately to stop the cooking. Set aside to cool to room temp.
- Add the remaining 1/2 cup unsalted butter and all three of the sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Next add in the egg and the vanilla extract. Mix on a low speed until just combined.
- Sift the flour and baking soda together into a separate bowl. Add the sifted flour, baking soda, and the kosher salt to the wet ingredients. Mix on a low speed until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
- At this point the brown butter should be at room temperature. Add in the brown butter and mix on a low speed until combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Add in the chocolate chunks and fold them into the dough with a sturdy wood or rubber spatula.
Resting and Baking the Dough
- With a 2 tbsp scoop, portion cookie dough out onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Space out the dough so they have room to expand. Rest in the fridge preferably overnight but 30 minutes to an hour should still produce a noticeable difference.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove cookie dough from fridge and sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt onto each portioned cookie. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until a nice golden brown on the outside.