You know what's a great idea? Getting over 600 food bloggers to bake cookies for each other. When I read about this crazy scheme on A Bitchin' Kitchen, I knew instantly I had to get involved. The deal is this: you bake a dozen cookies each for three bloggers, and you receive a dozen cookies from three entirely different bloggers. However, my matches were unusual, there were four of us in a group and we all baked cookies for each other. I think this must be because we were the only people on the planet who requested no chocolate.
I received black sesame shortbread from Kyleen at sixteenbeans, brown butter chai shortbread from Heather at Tea with Me and cranberry apricot biscotti from Melissa at West Coast Nest. Thanks to you all for these lovely gifts which were all exceptional and imaginative. I erased morning workouts with all of them and I'm not sorry!
The cookies that I baked were emergency cookies. I tested out two different recipes before I came to these. I spent all day Sunday (the day before the mailing deadline) baking three batches of orange blossom shortbread for my matches, and even though I'd made them before, when I tasted them, this time something was just lacking. I couldn't put my finger on it. It wouldn't do. It was now 9:45 and the grocery store was closing in 15 minutes - I had no choice but to sprint there and come up with some other idea really, really fast. I thought to myself, I wish I could make brown butter blondies... but I feared they wouldn't travel well or be appetizing after a few days in the hands of Canada Post.
Suddenly I thought to myself, I bet I could make brown butter cookies. So I grabbed 2 packages of butter (just in case) and lunged for some butterscotch chips, just barely making it to the checkout in time. Fast forward a couple of hours - it's almost midnight and I feel like I probably have a winner of a cookie. Success!
Note: Next time I would definitely use Skor Bits instead of butterscotch chips. I find that butterscotch chips have a bit of an artificial flavour which Skor, while it comes from a candy bar, does a better job of hiding.
brown butter cookies
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butterscotch chips (or 1/2 cup Skor Bits)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- First you want to brown your butter. In a small pot, melt your butter over medium heat, stirring regularly. You will notice it beginning to foam - this is okay. Just keep on going, still stirring, until the foam begins to subside and the butter turns brown and takes on a caramely, nutty aroma. The milk solids will also turn brown and drop to the bottom of the pot. Pour your brown butter into a small bowl to keep it from burning. Stir in brown sugar and allow to cool.
- Once the brown butter mixture is cool, add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the bowl, then pour in the brown butter mixture and stir to combine. Once it begins to form a dough, pour in chips (or bits) and work the dough with your hands to distribute them.
- Drop dough onto baking sheet (approximately 2 tablespoons each cookie) and press them with the back of a spoon to flatten a bit (they do not flatten as much as you would think while baking!). Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the bottoms are just beginning to turn golden.