Brown butter cookies: soft chewy centers, crispy edges, and studded with hunks of white chocolate and cranberries. They're the kind of cookies that you can accidentally eat an entire plate of when you meant to only have one. The kind that you think about during the day and hope that nobody ate them all before you could get home and have another. I blame the brown butter's toasty flavor and the addictive combination of textures.
A few months ago my friend Rachele and I had the idea to make cookies with white chocolate and cranberries in them, but the Christmas season swooped down on us and we never got around to finishing the recipe. Now that Christmas is over and a looooong prairie winter is stretching out ahead, it's the perfect time to hide out in my warm kitchen and bake cookies.
I have to warn you though, using brown butter makes this the most delicious cookie dough ever. Not only does it taste great, it smells amazing too. My boyfriend woke very early one sunday to me holding a bowl of cookie dough to his face saying "doesn't this smell great?!" Even in his coma-like state he agreed.
It took all of my will power not to just pop the un-baked cookies into my mouth. I warned myself about eating raw eggs, about having too much sugar before noon, about not having enough baked cookies to photograph when this was all over. I ended up grabbing some gum which is my favorite method to prevent snacking while baking. Nobody wants bits of cookie dough stuck in their gum. Saved!
The dough gets spooned out in heaped teaspoons and flattened on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
I really recommend using the parchment paper or a silicon mat on your cookie sheet instead of just greasing. In order to keep a soft chewy center the cookies need to be a bit soft when they come out of the oven. If you just grease the cookie sheet then you have to use a spatula to carefully, carefully, move the soft cookies to the rack. If you use parchment paper you can just slide the whole piece onto the cooling rack and be done with it. No time wasted and no cookies ruined.
Since I had been playing around with oven time and temperature for the recipe, I had baked more cookies than two people ever could (or should) eat. So I packaged them all up and sent them away. It seemed like a good idea at the time.. but now that I'm sitting here and all the cookies are gone I'm filled with regret. This cup of tea could really use a cookie.
Cranberry & White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies
Makes 40 - 45 cookies
1 cup + 3 TBSP unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups chopped white chocolate (or white chocolate chips)
1. In a small pot, heat the butter over medium heat stirring constantly. Continue to stir until the flecks in the butter begin to brown and the liquid turns a light brown. You'll know that it's browning because it will start to smell toasted. Don't step away from the stove, it can go from brown to burnt in a flash. Remove the butter from heat, pour into a container, and chill it until solid. Tip: I often brown the butter the night before and then just leave it at room temperature overnight to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 350
2. Cream together the browned butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one, then scrape down the bowl and beat in the vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture until completely combined. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate.
4. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place heaping tablespoonfuls of the cookie batter on the tray and use your fingers to squish them flat. Bake for 7-9 minutes until lightly golden on the edges. Slide the piece of parchment paper onto a wire rack to allow the cookies to cool.