I’m always on the search for really, really good chocolate chip cookies. For as often as people make them, there’s really only a handful of recipes or bakeries, for that matter, that make drop dead good chocolate chip cookies.

Anyhow, I came upon this recipe from Cooks Illustrated that essentially uses brown butter as its butter portion in the cookie. There are two advantages I see immediately, and three if we’re counting the amazing toffee flavor that this browning adds to the cookies. One - no creaming of the butter. That’s the part I dislike the most about making cookies. Butter flies everywhere and if you don’t have properly softened butter, you basically can’t do it. Second, and I guess my first advantage alluded to this, you don’t need to remember to take out the butter prior to making the cookies. This recipe is super easy and the texture and flavor the brown butter creates is like no other.

Flavorful Brown Butter

Smoother Cookies

Cookie Dough Balls (3 tablespoons each)

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe

Ingredients - 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces) - 1/2 teaspoon baking soda - 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks) - 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces) - 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (see note) - 1 teaspoon table salt - 2 teaspoons vanilla extract - 1 large egg - 1 large egg yolk - 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks - 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

Directions 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. 2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted. 3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain. 4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.) 5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.