Friday, May 4, 2012

Buttery, butterscotchy goodness!

Okay, people. I may have just made "butterscotchy" a word. This is my blog, so I'm doing it. Besides, it fits these cookies perfectly.

If you love butterscotch or Blondies or browned butter flavors, you need to make these cookies. I found the  recipe over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe--my favorite recipe blog. Pretty much ever. But if you've been reading my blog for very long, you already know that. The original recipe came from America's Test Kitchen, which also makes it a winner in my book.

By the way, if you like the browned butter flavor in these cookies, check out Mel's recipe for The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, located under "The Best Recipe" tab. That recipe also starts by browning the butter. Add chocolate chips to that and you have a serious temptation in your kitchen!

Brown Sugar Crackle Cookies
adapted from America's Test Kitchen, via Mel's Kitchen Cafe

14 tablespoons butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (about 1 3/4 ounces)
2 cups packed dark brown sugar (14 ounces), divided
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Melt 10 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and smells nutty, about 1 to 3 minutes. Stir the remaining 4 tablespoons butter into the hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly coat them with cooking spray. (I did one of each and both sets of cookies turned out the same). Mix the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar until well combined; set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in a medium bowl; set aside.
Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to the bowl with the cooled butter and mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula; add the egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. 
Using a rounded tablespoon of dough, form balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Toss the balls in the reserved sugar mixture to coat and set them on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart, 12 dough balls per sheet. 
Bake until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but the centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone – don’t overbake), 11-13 minutes. (I found that 12 minutes was perfect). Cool the cookies for 1-2 minutes on the baking sheet and then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 24 large cookies.

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