Brown Butter Cookies

On Monday we usually have a treat.  It's a tradition that goes back many years - even when my mom was a little girl.  It is an evening that is blocked off to spend time with family.  I think the treat was incorporated to make sure the kiddos wanted to be there.  We (theoretically - still working on the teenagers) turn off devices for a little while and concentrate on being together, hopefully happily.

For tonight's treat I made a new recipe for cookies.  It is based on a blog which is based on a recipe from the new Cook's Illustrated Cookbook, but I changed over half of it.    They turned out really good.  I love how the butter gives them a slightly caramel/nutty/rich flavor.  I used dark brown sugar because that is what I had, but I bet it wood be just as good with light brown sugar.  The cookies turned out pretty big, but I like that. The handyman, Charlie, was here raising the cabinets over the new fridge (we ended up removing them) and he said they were great. Here's what I did.

Brown Butter Cookies

1 3/4 cups butter (3 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 cups packed brown sugar (I used dark brown)
3 large eggs
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract (use the good stuff, Mexican if you can get it)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat 2 1/2 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cup) in a skillet over medium-high heat until melted.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and place browned butter in a heatproof bowl.  Stir in remaining 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter into hot butter to melt.  Set aside for 15 minutes.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In a shallow pan, mix granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar until well combined.  Set aside

Add remaining 3 1/2 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter, mix until no sugar lumps remain.
Add eggs (can you tell which one came from our chickens and which ones were from the grocery store?) and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
Add flour, baking soda and baking powder and mix until combined, scraping down sides of bowl.  Chill for about 1/2 hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Scoop dough and roll into balls.  Toss balls in reserved sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared pan, spacing them about 2 inches apart (about 12 per sheet).

Bake at 350 degrees for 14 - 16 minutes (cookies will look raw between cracks.)  Cool cookies on baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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