Country House: Drool worthy brown butter choc chip cookies

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We went country again on the bank holiday weekend and it was awesome. And we stayed in a proper country cottage, made of stone, with low ceilings made of proper wooden beams and white washed walls. Did someone say country house? Why yes. But um, before we got to this lovely little cottage, something ever so slightly awkward happened. So we were booked into 1 of 4 holiday cottages. All were booked for the bank holiday weekend and all were prepared for people to arrive. In my excitement to unpack and cook a meal, David and I pulled up to the first cottage, unpacked, settled in and I started cooking. Three hours later, a few texts, emails, phone calls and one rather embarrassing meeting, it transpired we had moved ourselves into the wrong cottage. Awkward!!! Ok so there I have told you – can we please not speak of this again! I cringe every time I think about it – WHY DID I NOT CHECK THE DETAILS?!

DSC_1285The (correct) little cottage was based in a village called Naunton in the Cotswolds. And it was beautiful. When it wasn’t pouring with rain (which I may add is a wonderful excuse to hide away in the pub) we went for some amazing walks.

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DSC_1305But at the end of the day, I gotta be honest, the “wrong cottage trauma” was playing on my mind. So the only way to get over it was to bake a batch of the drool worthy brown butter choc chip cookies (adapted from Joy the Baker- click here). Did it help? Well the first cookie didn’t, the second kind of did and by the third… what wrong cottage trauma do you speak of?

Ingredients:

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon molasses

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

coarse sea salt, to sprinkle on top

Method

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside

2. Place half the butter (8 tablespoons) in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. It’ll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop. Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan often. The butter will start to smell nutty, and brown bits will form in the bottom. Once the bits are amber brown (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or so after the sizzling stops), remove the butter from the burner and immediately pour it into a small bowl, bits and all. This will stop the butter from cooking and burning.  Allow it to cool for 20 minutes.

3. Beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the brown sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth.

4. Beat in the vanilla extract and molasses.

5. Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl, along with the granulated sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth; the mixture will lighten in color and become fluffy.

6. Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for one minute more.

7. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated.

8. Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips and finish incorporating all of the dry flour bits into the dough.

9. Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Flatten it slightly into a thick disk, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to begin baking, place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat your oven to 180°C.

10. Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave about 3.5cm between the cookies; they’ll spread as they bake.

11. Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt, to taste.

12.Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving them.

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