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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe by Jennifer Kaplan | Photograph by Johnson Liu


12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
Sea salt, for sprinkling


1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat (do not use nonstick). Slice the butter into four or five smaller pieces and add to pan. The butter will begin to melt and foam. Continue cooking the butter until it becomes a beautiful shade of golden brown and the milk solids sink to the bottom, resembling small, dark brown particles. Cooking times will vary, but it can take five to ten minutes to get to this stage.

Watch the butter carefully as it can go from just right to burnt very quickly. Remove from heat and allow to cool for several minutes.

2. Combine the flour, table salt, espresso powder and baking soda into a large mixing bowl and whisk lightly, making sure the baking soda is evenly distributed.

3. Once the brown butter has cooled, add both sugars directly into the skillet and combine thoroughly. (If the skillet is not large enough, transfer the butter into another mixing bowl.) Add the egg and egg yolk, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the dough for 24 to 36 hours.

5. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out your desired amount of cookies (approximately 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place on baking sheet, leaving enough room for the cookies to expand as they bake. Lightly sprinkle the scoops of dough with sea salt just before baking.

6. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, or until just cooked through. Do not leave the cookies in the oven for too long, as they will continue to bake for a short while after being removed from the oven. If you are using the same pan for another batch of cookies, first allow the pan to cool completely. Serve the cookies and enjoy.

Makes approximately 24 cookies.