PSA: Browning Butter Is Super Easy, And Also Life-Changing

It’s so good, I almost wish I never learned.

How to Brown Butter For Any Recipe - Sarrandipity Blog

When I go to a restaurant, if there’s a menu item that incorporates “brown butter” (i.e. “brown butter butternut squash ravioli,” or something to that effect), there’s an extremely strong chance I’ll order it. I know I love the taste of brown butter-enhanced foods, but I always kind of assumed brown butter was some fancy chef secret, and that only fancy chef types could concoct something that incorporates it. Until now. Yesterday, I was browsing Pinterest, looking for something to bake (because it was a lazy Sunday, and it was cold and rainy outside, so…of course), and I came across some brown butter cookie recipes. Typically, my thought process would be, “Oh, I don’t know how to do brown butter, that sounds complicated; next!” But for some reason, my curiosity was piqued enough to look up how to make brown butter, and thanks to the kitchn, I discovered it’s ridiculously easy.

So, I made some brown butter—which, by the way, smells SO GOOD—and then used it in my go-to cookie recipe (Thank you, Neslée Toulousé) to see if I could taste a difference. Truthfully, the difference was more noticeable in the dough before I added the dry ingredients (obviously I tasted the dough at every stage of the baking process), but it definitely still upped the overall flavor factor, and now I basically want to use brown butter in every recipe I make…that includes butter. Anyway, yada yada yada, below are the very simple instructions for how to brown butter, and a picture of the cookies (and cookie bars) I made with it. They look exactly the same as cookies made with regular butter, but I needed some more imagery for this post because browning butter is that easy, so just go with me here.

How to Brown Butter - Sarrandipity

How to Brown Butter:

  • Put butter in a light-colored pan (so you can see the color change), over medium heat. Stir the butter or swirl the pan occasionally to make sure it cooks evenly.
  • As it’s cooking, the butter may or may not make a strange gurgling noise like mine did (see below Snapchat video, and btw feel free to follow me @emz713); don’t worry about that, but also don’t let it boil over the top of the pan. Keep stirring.

  • The butter will gradually start foaming, and the liquid will eventually turn brown. I didn’t notice the changing color of the liquid underneath the foamy surface, so be sure to check regularly, because it doesn’t take very long.
  • Once the butter is brown, take it off the stove and pour it into a heat-proof bowl, using a mesh strainer (or cheese cloth) to keep the solids out.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - Sarrandipity

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Yum: Salted Caramel Chocolate (& White Chocolate) Chip Cookies
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Yum: Salted Caramel Chocolate (& White Chocolate) Chip Cookies

Perfect with cold weather, candles, and loose-fitting pants.

Salted Caramel Chocolate & White Chocolate Chip Cookies - Sarrandipity Blog

Here’s the thing: I hate cooking, but I love baking. I look for excuses to bake cookies, or pumpkin bread (I’ll share my favorite pumpkin-banana bread recipe later), or brownies, or pretty much anything sweet. And I love getting seasonal with it. I have a Pinterest board titled “holiday inspo” and sometimes wish I could do nothing but try out the festive recipes on it. Anyhoo, I recently decided it was high time to make some sort of salted caramel treat (I associate salted caramel with fall and winter—anyone else?), and somehow landed on All Recipe’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I incorporated white chocolate chips into mine, because I find joy in seeing what sort of random things I can add into cookies. (Mini anecdote: I lived in NYC during Hurricane Sandy, and the storm hit right after my roommates and I threw a Halloween party. In a genius, stranded-in-our-apartment-with-endless-time-on-our-hands moment, I baked cookies filled with at least seven different varieties of leftover Halloween candy. They were unbelievable, and we ate every last cookie.) Though the cookies in this blog post aren’t quite that inventive or amazing (No cookies ever will be. Those were my peak.), they’re still delicious and I highly recommend giving them a go.

Salted Caramel Chocolate & White Chocolate Chip Cookies - Sarrandipity blog

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (plus more for coating the caramels/topping the cookies)Salted Caramel Chocolate & White Chocolate Chip Cookies - Sarrandipity blog
  • 1 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (I honestly rarely make a conscious salted vs. unsalted decision. Just go with your gut), softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I rarely actually measure vanilla; I love it so I’m not wary of adding too much. But if you want to be precise, 2 tsp is good.)
  • Chocolate chips (I never measure chocolate chips, or candy, for inclusion in cookies. Add a few or add a ton. You do you.)
  • White chocolate chips
  • Approximately 18 unwrapped caramel candies, cut into 6 or so small pieces

Salted Caramel Chocolate & White Chocolate Chip Cookies - Sarrandipity blog

Instructions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl
  • Beat brown sugar, butter, and sugar in a bowl using an electric mixer until creamy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended.
  • Beat in vanilla.
  • Gradually add in flour mixture, until just combined.Salted Caramel Chocolate & White Chocolate Chip Cookies - Sarrandipity blog
  • Add chocolate chips and white chocolate chips: You can either add them together, for combo cookies, or separate out half the dough and make half of the batch with chocolate chips and the other half with white chocolate.
  • Arrange dough on cookie sheet in desired cookie-size balls.
  • Roll each caramel piece in sea salt, and press 3 or so pieces into each dough ball.
  • Bake in 350-degree preheated oven until edges are golden brown, about 13 to 15 minutes.
  • If you’re going for extra-salty, sprinkle some extra sea salt on cookies immediately after removing them from the oven.
  • Transfer to wire rack to cool.
  • Try not to eat the entire batch in one sitting. (Or do. YOLO.)

Salted Caramel Chocolate & White Chocolate Chip Cookies - Sarrandipity blog

Related Posts: 
Cooking for the Anti-Chef: 10-Minute Lentil & Beet Salad
Cooking for the Anti-Chef: Crockpot Quinoa Chili