What's Baking: Blue Ribbon Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last weekend marked the annual Oneida County Fair, during which a local park is transformed into a carnival midway with games, rides, and an assortment of fried foods. And, as with most fairs, there's also a healthy dose of competition. This year I decided to enter two items in the fair: chocolate chip cookies and strawberry jam (which will be featured separately in an upcoming post).

Since I wanted my cookies to be as fresh as possible, I made up a batch of cookie dough the night before and let it chill in the fridge until morning. I did decide to be slightly daring, however, and riffed on one of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes by browning one of the sticks of butter. "Go big or go home": those are the words I live by.

In addition to the brown butter, I also sprinkled a bit of flaky sea salt on top of each ball of cookie dough just before baking. There's just something about the combination of sweetness and just-a-teaste-of-saltiness that I can't get enough of.

Well, I think browning the butter -- giving the cookies a deeper, almost caramelized flavor -- along with that smidgen of salt did the trick, as my cookies won first place! I didn't stick around for judging after dropping off my cookies as I had to be back at work. So imagine my surprise (and elation) upon seeing the blue ribbon placed next to my plate of cookies when we explored the open division entries at the fair later in the day.

I hope you'll give these cookies a try -- they're definitely a winner! (Literally.) 

Blue Ribbon Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (printer-friendly version)

makes about 4 dozen

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter (1 stick softened, 1 stick browned)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Bourbon
2 eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Maldon flaky sea salt

1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
2. Add one stick of butter to a small sauce pot and heat over medium heat. Continue heating as the butter melts, foams, then turns clear and golden. Gently swirl the pot on the burner as the butter continues to cook. When brown bits begin to form on the bottom of the pot and a nutty aroma arises, remove the pot from the heat and carefully pour the brown butter into a bowl (being sure to scrape all the brown bits out of the pot). Let cool for 10 minutes before using.
3. In a large bowl, cream together the softened stick of butter and sugars. Stir in the vanilla and Bourbon. Briskly stir in the brown butter until completely incorporated. Add in the eggs one at a time, stirring between additions.
4. In three batches, stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Then stir in the chocolate chips. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 48 hours.
5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop the dough in 1 1/2 tablespoon portions onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle each round of dough with flaky sea salt. Bake in the oven for 9-11 minutes, or until barely set and light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.



  1. I knew I should have gotten your autograph. Congrats, lady!

    1. Thanks. You can always say you knew me way before I was famous, ha ha ha! :)

  2. Congratulations on winning 1st place!


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