Brown Butter Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Bars-11Let’s wrap up this year on a sweet note!

If you have never made cookies with brown butter, may I suggest that you New Years Resolve to do so.

Browning” your butter – a fancy word for melting it until it starts to cook – is an easy way to add a unique, rich flavor to not only baked goods, but savory sauces and more.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-5I will do a step-by-step tutorial on how to brown butter once my beloved camera lens is back in my eager little hands, but until then, remember that we discussed the long and short of it in my Banana Bread {Caramelized Bananas + Brown Butter} post:

Make the “brown butter” by heating the butter in a small heavy pot or saucepan over medium heat. Cook until it begins to brown and smell awesome. The butter will foam (first loosely, then densely). Once it starts to foam pretty heavily, stir with a silicone spatula, constantly scraping the bottom of the pot. Brown specks will develop in the bottom of the pan – cook for a minute or two after the specks start to appear. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool a bit.

Stir a lot, scraping the bottom of the pot every time. You really don’t want the browned pieces to burn! Here is a snapshot of brown butter:

Brown Butter-3

And here is a shot of what those flecks will do to your cookie bars – visually:

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-3I wish I could upload a little smell or taste preview, but you will just have to try yourself!Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Bars-6This recipe is a favorite with my work crew, as I was pleasantly reminded at our team holiday party a few weeks ago, when one of my supervisors engaged in a very complimentary monologue about my Brown Butter cookies.  He had been skeptical at first, because he is a traditionalist and these cookies may be described as having a bit of a butterscotchy taste and smell – the butter and brown sugar components are certainly front and center. But as he rolled through his speech, declaring to all present that THESE ARE THE COOKIES, or something similarly loud and positive {I wish I had recorded it!}, I knew I had to post about them soon.

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I like to make this recipe in to bar cookies – because when you brown butter, you end up with butter in liquid form. If you form individual cookies with said liquid butter, there is a high likelihood that the cookies will spread more than you would like when they hit the hot oven. You can certainly chill them first, but sometimes there isn’t time (or patience!) to wait. Making bar cookies allows the dough to do what the dough needs to do.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Bars-5This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light. When you do an internet search for it, the metadata/SEO in the article bring the recipe up as “Healthy Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.” This is ridiculous. “Healthy” is not accurate. But, with the substitutions Cooking Light makes from a typical chocolate chip cookie recipe, such as subbing in some whole wheat flour and opting for some dark chocolate, these cookies are better described as “lighter,” which is how Cooking Light {appropriately} references them in the intro to the recipe itself.

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Two types of chocolate chunks in this recipe – semi-sweet and bittersweet – paired with the richness of the brown butter, provide a level of complexity for this twist on a traditional favorite.

Do it.

Happy New Year :)

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Bars-12

Brown Butter Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
If you have never made cookies with brown butter, may I suggest that you New Years Resolve to do so. Two types of chocolate chunks in this recipe - semi-sweet and bittersweet - paired with the richness of the brown butter, provide a level of complexity for this twist on a traditional favorite.
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies, Dessert
Serves: 8" x 8" pan
Ingredients
  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 2 T canola oil
  • .75 c packed light brown sugar
  • ⅔ c sugar
  • 1.25 c flour
  • .75 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • .5 t kosher salt
  • .5 t vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 oz semisweet chocolate, from a baking bar, chopped in to .25" squares (about .5 c)
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped in to .25" squares (about ⅓ c)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375. Spray an 8" x 8" pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the butter. When it is almost all melted, turn the heat down to medium. Cook for a few minutes more, until the butter starts to develop brown flecks. When it does, remove the pan from the heat, and add the canola oil. Set the mixture aside to cool.
  3. Place the sugars and butter/oil into a mixing bowl, and beat at medium speed until they are combined.
  4. Add the vanilla and eggs, beat again until combined.
  5. Add the flours, baking powder, and salt, making sure to "smush" the baking powder and salt in with the flour so the baking powder can activate, and mix again, just until combined.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
  7. Fill the pan with the batter. Sometimes I use a large cookie scoop to distribute the batter into the pan more evenly, and then spread the large scoops into each other with a spatula just before popping it in the oven.
  8. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top lightly browns.
  9. Cook before cutting in to small squares.

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Adapted from: http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/recipe-makeovers/browned-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies

Note: The photos in this post may look different from each other – that is because they are from two separate batches (and two separate photo shoots) of these Brown Butter Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars.

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