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Brown Sugar Cookies

I think I’m in love. With a cookie.

It may not be the most handsome cookie around, but the taste makes up for what it’s lacking in looks. Imagine: chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and a rich and caramely flavor in every bite. My coworkers are going to love me (and their sugar high) tomorrow.

Perhaps someone well versed in the science of baking can tell me what the browned butter does to the cookie. Aside from the obvious, adding amazing flavor. And also, why is the salt added with the brown sugar rather than with the rest of the dry ingredients?

Just a note: My butter took around six minutes to brown, so don’t worry if three minutes go by and you’re wondering if you screwed up; you didn’t.

Photos of the process here [1].

14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (about 1 3/4 ounces)
2 cups packed dark brown sugar (14 ounces)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heat 10 tablespoons of the butter in a pan over medium-high heat until melted. Continue to cook the butter until it is browned a dark golden color and smells nutty, about 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer the browned butter to a bowl and stir the rest of the butter into the hot butter until it melts- let this rest for 15 min.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a baking dish, mix granulated sugar and a ¼ cup of the brown sugar until combined well; set this mixture aside to roll dough balls in.

Mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Add 1 ¾ cup brown sugar and salt to cooled butter and mix until there are no lumps. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla to butter mixture and mix well, then add flour and mix until just combined.

Roll dough into balls about 1 ½ inches in diameter, and roll balls in brown sugar and white sugar mixture. Place balls about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake sheets one at a time until cookies are puffy and lightly browned, about 12- 14 minutes. (It says the cookies will look slightly raw between some of the cracks and seem underdone, but be careful not to over bake.) Cool on sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool.

Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated via South in Your Mouth [2].