Wednesday, February 6, 2013
What is it about a cookie that instantly makes your day better? It's a comfort food in a sense. No matter how bad or good your day is going, if you buy a cookie or if someone brings you one it instantly brightens your day...if only for a moment. It takes you outside of the here and now and transports you to your happy place. It's funny how such a simple thing can bring such joy.
Food has a way of comforting people and bringing them joy. Some people find happiness while eating, while others find joy in the preparation. Don't get me wrong, I love to eat but I find my joy in the preparation and cooking. While I enjoy making food, I get just as much joy sharing it with others. There's just something about seeing a smile come across somone's face after enjoying something you made.
Growing up we always had something sweet to nibble on in our house; cookies, cake, brownies or pie. Any time my mom or dad got the itch to bake something I darted to the kitchen to help. I wanted to be involved in whatever it was they were doing, not only to spend time with them but also because I knew in a short period of time there would be something fresh and tasty coming out of the oven. It's been along time since I have baked something with my parents, and I can't tell you how much I've missed it. A few weeks ago I finally had the chance to get in the kitchen, spend some quality time and bake something tasty with them.
We started naming off different sweet treats; before we knew it we had a list a mile long! (I come by my sweet tooth honestly) But when I mentioned something about brown butter cookies by dad gave me a second glance. This was something that instantly intrigued him. He had never had anything with brown butter (I've failed in my job to introduce this goodness to him), so right when I told him about the flavor and how much it adds to anything it touches he was on board with a brown butter something or other! We finally decided on brown butter cookies with chocolate chips, caramel and pecans.
The end result amazing. A thick and fluffy cookie packed with a rich nutty, caramel-like flavor. That delicious golden dough was then studded with chocolate chips, toasted pecans and bits of caramel. Each bite is chewy gooey goodness that is sweet with hints of salt. My dad became an instant fan of brown butter after the first bite!
Brown Butter Caramel Cookies
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Large egg
1 Egg yolk
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Cup brown sugar
2 Cups + 3 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 Tsp baking soda
1/2 Tsp salt
1 Cup pecans
1/3 Cup caramel bits, or chopped caramel candy
1 Cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, or parchment paper and set aside.
Place butter in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat. The butter will begin to melt and then start to crackle and foam. Once the crackling subsides, the butter will begin to brown. Swirl the butter around the pan as the butter cooks. Once the butter is brown remove from heat, and transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, place pecans, in a single layer, on a baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven to toast, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to touch, roughly chop and set aside.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt and sift together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine the cooled brown butter, brown sugar and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat together on medium to combine. Add the eggs, and mix to incorporate. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix to combine. Once all ingredients are combined add the pecans, caramel bits and chocolate chips and stir until evenly incorporated.
Scoop the dough (I used a 2 tablespoon scoop) and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each scoop. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are golden. Remove from oven, allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling racks to allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Recipe source: A Lynsey original