Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies {with Sno-caps!}

These are my favorite chocolate chip cookies. 

For the longest time, they've been hidden away on my blog, nestled inside this Cheesecake Cookie Sandwiches Two Ways: Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk & Strawberry Shortcake post. How have I never just written about my go-to, most-baked, most boyfriend-demanded chocolate chip cookies? 

Probably the same way I missed National Bundt Cake Day. 

P.S. Do you need a bundt cake? I got you. Try my Buttermilk Banana Bundt Cake with Brown Butter IcingZebra Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache IcingPumpkin Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Icing, or my favorite: this Cheesecake-Filled Gingerbread Bundt Cake. It's never too late to celebrate... or too early for gingerbread.

Today we're baking Sno-caps into our chocolate chip cookies... because there are red cups and wrapping paper and twinkle lights in the world and Sno-caps (semi-sweet chocolate chips covered in white nonpareil sprinkles and resembling snow-capped mountains) are the perfect holiday twist for easing ourselves into Christmastime baking.

Tis the season, I know.. but I'm totally not ready just yet for candy canes and peanut butter blossoms. Let's start with festive chocolate chip cookies!      

What makes these my favorite chocolate chip cookies? 

 Brown butter. You know about my love for baking everything ever with brown butter and these chocolate chip cookies is where that love all started. Besides adding a nutty, caramel-rich depth of flavor, it gives these cookies a soft chewiness that can only found when you're baking with melted butter.    

Molasses + dark brown sugar. Molasses adds a warm, just-slightly gingerbread flavor to the dough, while keeping the centers of these cookies just-baked soft for days. The dark brown sugar (which is just light brown sugar with even more molasses) works with the molasses to create one perfectly-soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie.

 Fact: No matter what I'm baking, I almost always reach for the dark brown sugar over the golden brown.  

 Cinnamon. I'm almost always adding a little something extra to my cookie dough and that something is either in the form of cinnamon or bourbon. Bourbon accents the vanilla/caramel flavors from the brown butter and molasses and cinnamon makes the chocolate flavors really pop.

But be honest: who really keeps bourbon in their baking cabinet? I just don't have that kind of faith in myself.

   Triple chocolate chips. These cookies are similar to my Triple Chocolate Chip Cake Batter Cookies... they're full of semisweet chocolate, white chocolate chips, and crispy, sprinkle-covered Sno-Caps. My weakness? White chocolate chips in my chocolate chip cookies! 

Now if Nestle would just make a white chocolate version of their semisweet chunks.

Crispy edges. Soft, chewy centers that stay just-baked for days... if they even last that long. Plus those golden specks of brown butter I can't stop talking about, cinnamon, dark brown sugar, molasses, and as many types of chocolate chips as I can possibly bake into a cookie? 

It almost makes up for not having bourbon.


P.S. I made these cookies Saturday. They were gone within four days. 

Brown Butter Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Printable Recipe

1 cup (2 sticks) + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips 
1 (3.1-ounce) package Sno-Caps

Brown butter. Brown 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon of butter by heating over medium heat, whisking constantly, until golden brown. Once butter is browned, remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool slightly. For more information on how to brown butter, see this post

Mix. In a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the other stick of butter with the granulated sugar until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and molasses and beat until incorporated. Add the slightly cooled brown butter and the brown sugar and mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix until fully incorporated. 

Whisk. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add all at once to the butter mixture and mix on low until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate, white chocolate, and Sno-Caps with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Chill. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Tip: The longer you chill the dough, the thicker they will become when they bake!) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop dough into balls using a small cookie scoop and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.

Bake. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are just starting to turn golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Source: Adapted from the Joy the Baker cookbook.