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In Search of the Perfect Cookie

January 6, 2014

Brown butter + sea salt cookies

I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.  Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. I’ve encountered many a cookie that I managed to choke down simply because I have a love of cookies.

As a child, I remember baking with my mother. We’d pull out The Purity Cookbook (1967 version) and it would immediately crack open to the chocolate chip cookie recipe which was weighted down with the spills of previous baking accidents.  Flecks of flour, buttery grease marks, and the occasional spot of smushed cookie dough.

Having requested this recipe from my mother as an adult, I realize that my love of the chocolate chip cookie had nothing to do with that exact combination of ingredients laid out in this particular recipe.  I’ve made it several times as an adult and it’s simply not a fantastic cookie. Even worse, tt doesn’t even taste like my childhood. My love of this cookie recipe in memory alone has to do with the process of baking with my mother.

When we baked together, it was about commencing an activity that just the two of us would enjoy. A mother and daughter who came to share the same love of raw cookie dough. We’ve bake a dozen, and then freeze enough dough to make a second dozen later on.  But that dough we froze wasn’t really for baking – it was meant to provide frozen morsels to snack upon.

After the Doodle was born and I was panicked about my milk supply, I started baking these lactation cookies. They’re so yummy.

What a better way to boost my supply I told myself as I ensured that I would eat four of these each and every day. Oh what selfless sacrifices I make for the baby.  I used nursing as an excuse to feed my cookie addiction. I was frantically baking every few days. I told the big kids that these particular cookies would give them breast milk just so they wouldn’t dip into my stash.

It got so out of control that I had to wean myself off of these cookies before I weaned the Doodle. I was utterly obsessed with these cookies.

Since I’m no longer nursing a baby, it just felt weird to make these cookies even though I once loved them so very much. When I make them again, I’m sure I’ll fondly remember the Doodle’s infancy. But I’ve been searching around for a new chocolate chip cookie recipe to fall in love with. And I think I finally did it.

Brown butter + sea salt cookies

Introducing Browned Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They’re heavenly perfection best enjoyed while still warm from the oven. The browned butter smells heavenly, it gives the cookies a nice rich flavour, and the pairing of dark chocolate and sea salt will delight your taste buds.  I’m a sucker for a richly sweet earthy salt pairing.

It was love at first bite.

Brown butter + sea salt cookies

Browned Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe copied from Rustic Brooklyn with one slight modification)

makes 30-36 cookies

– 1 cup (2  sticks) unsalted butter
– 1 cup light brown sugar
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
– 2 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
–  1/2 cup chopped dark baker’s chocolate (the original recipe call for 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, but I don’t really like milk chocolate, so I booted it)
– 1/2 tbsp coarse sea salt for sprinkling


  1. To brown butter, heat 1 stick of  butter in a pan over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking and swirling the pan constantly until the butter is dark golden brown with brown flecks on the bottom of the pan, and you can smell a nutty aroma.  Pour it into a bowl and allow to cool completely.
  2. Mix the other stick of butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar  on medium speed for a few minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla to the mixer.
  4. Slowly add the brown butter, then mix on medium speed for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low until the flour is just incorporated.
  7. Add chocolate chips and mix for a few seconds.
  8. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, then cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  9. Line cookie sheets with  parchment paper and place dough 2 inches apart.
  10. Sprinkle each ball with some sea salt.
  11. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. Note: I had to cook for 15-16 min.

Brown butter + sea salt cookies

While I did bake these with the Doodle, I can’t say that baking with her is quite a relaxing experience yet. She’s way too fascinated with turning the mixer on high and watching the flour fly up into the air. So if I can distract her with singing and pouring and re-direct her from the mixer, it’s a good day.

Brown butter + sea salt cookies

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2014 11:16 pm

    I love brown butter but never tried it on cookies. They look delicious! 🙂

    • January 7, 2014 7:00 am

      It’s so good. It takes a little extra time, but it’s so worth it!

  2. January 7, 2014 1:34 am

    That looks delicious, I think I may have to try it!

    • January 7, 2014 7:00 am

      Do! Let me know what you think.

      • January 7, 2014 9:50 am

        If you like cookies, I have to also recommend the chocolate chip, caramel, pretzel cookie. We made them for Christmas cookie exchange and they were DELISH.

      • January 7, 2014 9:25 pm

        Those sound so good as well!

  3. pomegranate permalink
    January 7, 2014 2:25 am

    I was addicted to the same lactation cookies. OMG so good. I miss them. I need to start baking again with Bunny who is into helping me with everything these days. (“Mama, me help. Mama, pleeeeeease.)

    Your pictures are such food porn. *drool*

    • January 7, 2014 7:02 am

      You’re going to get to have your 4 cookies a day soon enough. Jealous!

      And I love the “helping” stage. The Doodle is in that too, and lately, just toss in a dose of independence. “I do it by myself” or “I want to do it” or “I want to do X…with my mommies” Such a great age.

  4. January 14, 2014 5:17 pm

    These look incredible! Glad you liked ’em. 🙂 I feel like I’m the only person on earth who doesn’t enjoy dark chocolate! haha


    • January 15, 2014 8:24 am

      Thank you for sharing your incredible recipe and your photos (love have you captured the salt on the tops of the cookies!) I pinned it and shared it on FB and now I’m getting all of these awesome photos of friends making and eating these cookies. So delicious…

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