Have you ever baked with brown butter? If you haven’t, you really need to. A few weeks ago I discovered just how delicious brown butter can be in baked goods when I made this Brown Butter Banana Chocolate Toffee Cake. I just can’t seem to get brown butter off my mind, and today’s recipe, Brown Butter Chocolate Caramel Cookies, is my latest ode to browned butter.
These Brown Butter Chocolate Caramel Cookies start off with a brown butter chocolate chip cookie base. The cookie batter is made with equal parts of brown butter and regular, unsalted butter. The cookies are studded with chunks of dark chocolate. At first I worried that the dark chocolate would overwhelm the brown butter in the cookie, but the chocolate actually enhanced the rich, buttery undertones in the cookie.
Looking to add another texture and flavor to these Brown Butter Chocolate Caramel Cookies, I decided on some homemade salted caramel. The buttery, salted caramel brings a silky, chewy texture to the cookie, and it serves as a wonderful balance against the crisp, rich brown butter chocolate chip cookie.
Eating these Brown Butter Chocolate Caramel Cookies are an experience in itself because as you bite into them, you experience so many textures and flavors that all compliment and enhance each other.
The peanut gallery (aka my family) had their own thoughts on these cookies. My older daughter loved the cookie base. I actually made another batch of the dough to bake off as plain cookies just for her The little one loved the sprinkles and the chocolate on top, but really disliked the caramel. She said it was too messy. (I’m not sure which 3 year-old says that they can’t eat something because it’s too messy. But hey, she’s also the same kid who insisted on taking vanilla bean madeleines to pre-school as her birthday treat.) Last, but definitely not least, there’s my husband. The original picky eater. He loved the whole cookie. That’s a huge win in my book!
- For the Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies:
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp molasses
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1¼ cups bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- For the Salted Caramel:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbs unsalted butter, cubed
- 1½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbs heavy cream at room temperature
- For Chocolate Topping:
- ¾ cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
- 1 tbs shortening (I like the non-hydrogenation kind)
- For the Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies: Divide the butter in half.
- Take 8 tbs (or ½ cup) of butter and place it in a small, heavy bottomed sauce pan.
- Melt the butter over medium heat. After it melts and continues to cook, it will bubble and pop. Once the popping stops, start to swirl the pan. Continue to cook until the butter smells nutty and the milk solids (which will sink to the bottom) begin to turn a deep amber brown. It will take about 3 minutes.
- Remove the brown butter (along with the brown solid bits in the bottom of the pan) to a bowl. Allow it too cool for about 20 minutes.
- While the brown butter cools, make the rest of the cookie batter.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the remaining butter with the brown sugar until it's light and fluffy.
- Beat in the vanilla and molasses.
- Add the cooled brown butter and the granulated sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth, light, and fluffy.
- Add the egg and egg yolk. Mix until just combined.
- Add the flour mixture. Beat at low speed until the ingredients are just combined.
- Mix in the chopped chocolate.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- While the dough chills, make the caramel. Place the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Cook the sugar on medium until it turns a dark amber.
- Taking the caramel off the heat, add the butter.
- Once the butter has melted, add the salt and cream.
- Allow the caramel to cool and thicken for a few hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Using about 1 tbs at a time, roll the dough out into balls. Slightly flatten each dough ball before placing them in the oven.
- Bake for about 12 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to sit on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once the caramel and cookies are completely cooled, spread about 1½ tsp of caramel on the bottom of each cookie.
- Place the cookies in the fridge to help firm up the caramel before adding the chocolate topping. I put them in the fridge for about 1/ 2 an hour.
- While the cookies chill, make the chocolate topping my melting the chocolate with the shortening.
- Once the caramel layer of the cookies is firm, using an off set spatula, spread the melted chocolate on top of each mound of caramel.
- Immediately sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles.
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