I was just reading through some of my most recent blog posts (although they aren’t exactly “recent” per se), and a LOT of them start off with me complaining about how busy I am, how sorry I am for not posting, and I will definitely post more consistently. If I counted how many times I’ve rolled my eyes at the incessant ramblings of my younger self, well… I’d definitely be much better at math.
This loooong break has really taught me some interesting things. Mainly, how much I’ve missed baking in my spare time. Especially since it’s the holiday season, it’s kind of sad that I’m not running out of butter and sugar because I’ve baked so many cookies, or that my house isn’t smelling like cinnamon and molasses from baking gingerbread treats from scratch. Also, I’ve missed the enjoyment and satisfaction of taking photos that are pleasing to the eye and fun to drool over. It’s always fun to challenge myself with how minimalistically I can edit my photos while making them look both natural and appetizing.
I’ve also realized that if you really, truly enjoy doing something, you’ll eventually find a time to fit it in to your busy schedule, no matter how many to-do lists and homework assignments pile up on your desk. And it also helps that I have the coolest best friend whose persistent prodding and gorgeous Instagram feed has inspired me to start up blogging again!
CHEWY BROWN BUTTER COOKIES: KEYS TO SUCCESS!!
brown the butter: browned butter is key to a successful cookie. It starts with melting two sticks of butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it’s completely liquid. Continue to whisk and move the butter around; you should start to see brown specks appear at the bottom. Once there is a good amount of brown to the point where the color of the mixture starts kind of resembling maple syrup, remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple minutes. The whole process should take around 5-8 minutes!
add the egg after the butter has COOLED! No one likes scrambled eggs mixed into their cookies! Make sure the browned butter is cool enough so that you can comfortably stick in your finger without scalding it. Ok LOL if you’re really impatient, just make sure you mix in the egg super fast (and fingers crossed that it doesn’t cook!) I won’t judge; I’ve done it many times before.
cream of tartar: Cream of tartar is traditionally used in snickerdoodles and other cookies to add to the overall chewiness and a slight “tangy” taste. The brown sugar in these cookies already makes them pretty chewy, so honestly the addition is not essential to the overall experience of the cookie. You could probably leave it out and you wouldn’t really taste a difference!
chill the dough! This dough is naturally very greasy from the melted butter, so if you don’t chill the cookie dough, you’re going to make a huge oily mess all over your counter. Make sure to cover in cling wrap and chill for a good 4 hours or overnight. The flavors will get to know each other better, and plus, it’ll be so much easier to work with the next morning.
These cookies were actually a complete accident (which is honestly how most of my recipes first start out). I was trying to make snickerdoodles for a holiday cookie exchange, when I realized I didn’t have cane sugar or cinnamon. That basically defeated the purpose of making snickerdoodles in the first place! I didn’t have anything else to make, so I improvised by using all brown sugar. It was kind of scary, because I’ve heard you’re always supposed to use a mix of regular and brown sugar. But the texture of these cookies wasn’t overly chewy and I was pleased with how they turned out!
Some of my goals for more upcoming posts are to include more step-by-step instructions on how my recipes come together. I love how some of my favorite food bloggers show the process from beginning to end, because I like to confirm that I’m getting the exact steps right when I’m making something for the first time. This is also totally random, but I just now realized there’s this “gallery” feature on WordPress! I might start using it more often to show the recipe process… thoughts?
Maybe I’ll also throw in some fun behind the scenes pictures on the multi-step process of me being super picky about the setups and stuff. I make some of the most minuscule of adjustments just to capture the most perfect image. I always find those kinds of posts to be hilarious, because I can relate to them so much!
I’m going on a fun trip soon, and I’ve also got lots of fun recipes planned. They’re kind of adventurous and more creative than I usually like to post, but I’m super excited for them :)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)
- 1½ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cream of tartar, optional
- Brown the butter by melting two sticks of butter in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; the mixture should be completely liquid and slightly foamy. After a while, brown specks should start forming at the bottom - this "brown" part of the butter adds a wonderful nutty flavor that adds a whole new complexity to the taste! Make sure not to burn the butter - once there is a good amount of brown, remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple minutes. The whole process should take around 5-8 minutes!
- Once the butter has cooled, transfer to a large bowl. Add brown sugar and whisk until combined. Mix in the egg, milk and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
- In another bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar).
- Switching to a spatula (I find it much easier this way), mix dry ingredients into the wet until all of the flour is mixed in. Cover with cling wrap and chill for 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop the cookie dough into approximately 1-inch round balls (I like using an ice cream scoop to ensure even-sized cookies). Bake for about 15-17 minutes, until the edges are brown but the center is still slightly soft.
- Allow the cookies to set and cool for at least 20 minutes. Enjoy!