Brown Butter Espresso Crack Cookies
February 8, 2019
No Such Thing As A Bad Cookie
Let’s face it. Bad Cookie? Never heard of her. Now you may be asking me, “Bradley, how is that possible? I’ve ruined batch after batch before!” And trust me, I know what you’re talking about, because so have I. All the problems you can think of when it comes to cookie baking I’ve masterfully encountered - baked too long, baked too short, too much flour, too little sugar, you get the idea.
The other day in my culinary class, we were tasked with baking classic chocolate chip cookies in groups. Each group had some very different cookies, but the instructor made it a point to mention that there was no such thing as a bad cookie because everyone liked their cookie a little different. Our group had the most dense, wrinkly, and chewy cookies (far from the “demo” recipe by the instructors) which our instructor also made it a point to mention such were her favorite (so point for us?).
My point is, everyone prefers their version of the perfect cookie, whether it be cookies or something completely different altogether. Never be afraid to let people know what YOU like because if that's what makes you happy then go for it. Heck, I’ve met people who will gobble up cookies hard enough to break your teeth and definitely a shade of brown too dark. But if that’s what floats your boat, then you do you.
As with most of my recipes, this recipe was born from inspiration. However, while most of my recipes are inspired by a specific recipe or tutorial, this recipe is more original because it takes inspiration from several recipes to create one delicious mound of dough.
I first decided to make these cookies because of my culinary lab. I wanted to spread the love for cookies that are made with butter that’s “too warm”. So naturally, I took this quality to the extreme and looked out for cookies that start with melted butter, namely brown butter. And if you procrastinate by watching food videos because you’re a foodie like me, I’m sure you’ve seen bon appétit’s brown butter & toffee chocolate chip cookies pop up on your recommended feed. What better way to start my recipe testing than with one of the most critically acclaimed producers of recipes in the nation?
To be honest, this recipe was very much born unintentionally. After adapting the recipe several times, I just felt it was missing some “oomph". Now don’t get me wrong, these cookies are every cookie lover’s dream, but for me, the whole chocolate caramel stuffed dough was a tad bit overwhelming. I needed something more subtle. As I sipped my coffee, scrolling through my feed, two words stuck out — Crack. Pie. I thought, of COURSE, what I was missing was a touch of that Christina Tossi magic. The oats give off another layer of nutty-ness on top of the brown butter and get crispy and crunchy around the edges. Perfection.
But no, that wasn’t enough. I couldn’t just give myself credit for combining these two beautiful components together. There had to be some external factor at work here, and besides myself, the only other presence to witness this revelation was my coffee. So naturally, I gave the guy some credit too. And boy am I glad I did. The coffee is exactly what the recipe needed to cut through all the sugar.
I know I say it’s impossible to come across a bad cookie. But did I mention it’s definitely possible to come across the best cookie? Because I just did, and it’s down in the recipe below!
Ingredients (inspired by bon appétit & Christina Tossi)
- 1 stick butter, unsalted
- 1 tbsp. ground coffee beans
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp. granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
- sea salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F
- In a large pan, melt the butter over medium high heat until golden brown, swirling the pan to heat evenly. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.
- Once slightly cooled, add the browned butter and sugars to a mixing bowl and beat until incorporated. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on high speed until paler, light, and fluffy. Fold in the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and ground coffee beans until just combined. Mix in chocolate chunks and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes to hydrate the flour and allow the dough to thicken up.
- Portion the dough out into approximamtely 10-12 1.5 ounce portions. Top with a generous sprinkling of sea salt and bake for 9-11 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack before serving. Enjoy!