Magic Bars… Double Brown Sugar Cookie Bars

Honestly, I am in a bit of a state. I cannot believe that we are a week away from December and just over a month from Christmas. Oy, this fall has flown by. I need to finish getting Christmas presents. I need to tell people what I want for Christmas. I need to make stacks and stacks of gingerbread houses for my gingerbread house party. I need to make my Food Blogger Cookie Exchange cookies and send those out. I need to do SO MANY THINGS.

At least it is sunny, my paper is coming along nicely, and I live in a city I love. Mom gets here for a visit in less than a month, and I am going to do some awesome tub renoing (redoing the caulking) next weekend, which I am strangely excited for. So things are moving quickly, but stuff is happening and that is great. Also, I had my contract extend at the NFB for another session, so that’s great news as well, and I am happy to get to stick around.

Magicbars

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Toasted Coconut Cookies, whew

Well we’ve had summery, lovely weather for the past few weeks. Yesterday afternoon the weather broke and we are slated for a rather drizzly week to come, but I am alright with that. The intermittent rain is just one thing I love about Vancouver; cool days to break up the hot ones is my favourite kind of summer!

Lots has happened in this last week. First, I found out that I’ve been chosen for a wonderful graduate award (that I am not sure if I am allowed to formally announce yet). They are flying myself and the other recipients to Toronto in the middle of June to attend a Board of Director’s dinner. I need to write a 5-minute speech to say at the dinner and a bio about myself in case my story is picked up by media, crazy! Anyway, I have been so fortunate to have such wonderful references for opportunities like this, as well as the job opportunities that have come about, so I definitely have to thank my wonderful former-boss and friend, Johanne, my internship supervisor, Lindsay, and my lovely and talented best friend, Caelin!

Also, I’ve been in straight-panic mode lately about our impending move from our amazing apartment. When I sent in our second year’s worth of cheques last year sometime, our landlord had told us that they’d like to retake the place in September of 2013. We were sad about the date but were so thankful to get to live in this wonderful spot for two whole years. Anyway, this whole week I’ve been determined to find us a great place so that we can move this summer instead of having to hustle out of here last minute in the fall. On a whim, a whim that my mother suggested, I emailed Marta (our wonderful landlady) to confirm that they were still needing the place for the fall. WELL, I’ll be damned if she didn’t email me back to say that we could stay for another year. HUZZAH! We are so love this location, the apartment, and now we are getting to know our neighbours. And, to make things better, she mentioned that they’d like to swap out the carpet for laminate (this carpet is terrible!). So, things are great. My husband said, when I called him about the apartment, “We are so lucky, well no(thinking of my dad), but this is one great thing.”

These are bribery cookies. No, donation-solicitation cookies. No, donation-encouraging cookies. Okay, so they are cookies that will sit beside a sign that tells the story of my dad, his battle, our loss, and the Spring Sprint that is yet to come. We are in the last leg of our fundraising campaign and I’d love to top out our fundraising at $5000 (we are at $3,500). So, I am bringing cookies into work and into trivia to encourage people to either donate-to or join our cause.

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are different than my normal chocolate chip cookies. These are buttery, fluffy, light on the chocolate but not light on the richness. I added my favourite sweets spice, cardamon, and my ever-present nuts, walnuts. I made these cookies HUGE, mostly by accident (I have no smaller glasses), but also because I love me some big cookies. This recipe involves some fridge time, but don’t worry, totally worth it.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups salted butter
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts (chopped into mini-chocolate-chip-sized pieces)

Directions

  1. Brown the butter! Just a note, because this is such a large amount, cut the butter into cubes before adding it to the pot to allow a more even melting/browning. Once browned, pour into a heat-proof bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. Once RT, throw it in the fridge for about 20 minutes, you want it to solidify a bit.
  2. Remove the partially-solidified brown butter from the fridge.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. Scrape the brown butter into a large bowl, add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs and well, again, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  6. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  7. Loosely cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  8. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or grease them).
  9. Remove the dough from fridge and turn out onto a lightly-floured surface. Section the dough into three parts and roll one section into a medium rectangle, about 1 1/2 inches thick.
  10. Sprinkle this first dough layer with a third of your chocolate chips and a third of your walnuts. Top with a second piece of dough, and sprinkle it another third of the chocolate and walnuts. Top with the final piece of dough and sprinkle the remaining chocolate and walnuts.
  11. Gently roll out your giant cookie sandwich, with a floured rolling pin. Roll it to about a 1 inch thick (I am terrible at rolling, so this ignore my rolling pictures).
  12. Cut the dough into circles with either a cookie cutter, or a glass. Dip your cutter in flour to prevent sticking. Move the rounds onto your prepared cookie sheets, space them about 1 inch apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  13. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  14. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges have just set.
  15. Remove the sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Step-by-step

  1. Brown the butter! Just a note, because this is such a large amount, cut the butter into cubes before adding it to the pot to allow a more even melting/browning. Once browned, pour into a heat-proof bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. Once RT, throw it in the fridge for about 20 minutes, you want it to solidify a bit.
  2. Remove the partially-solidified brown butter from the fridge.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. Scrape the brown butter into a large bowl, add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs and well, again, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  6. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  7. Loosely cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  8. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or grease them).
  9. Remove the dough from fridge and turn out onto a lightly-floured surface. Section the dough into three parts and roll one section into a medium rectangle, about 1 1/2 inches thick.

    Stacked and ready to roll.

  10. Sprinkle this first dough layer with a third of your chocolate chips and a third of your walnuts. Top with a second piece of dough, and sprinkle it another third of the chocolate and walnuts. Top with the final piece of dough and sprinkle the remaining chocolate and walnuts.
  11. Gently roll out your giant cookie sandwich, with a floured rolling pin. Roll it to about a 1 inch thick (I am terrible at rolling, so this ignore my rolling pictures).

    A slight step-up from my sloppy hand forming.

  12. Cut the dough into circles with either a cookie cutter, or a glass. Dip your cutter in flour to prevent sticking. Move the rounds onto your prepared cookie sheets, space them about 1 inch apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  13. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  14. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges have just set.
  15. Remove the sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Further ingredients: A glass of milk.

Brown Butter Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

The title is a mouthful and a bit misleading because while my intention was to make dark chocolate swiss meringue, it turned into more of a dark chocolate-kissed swiss meringue buttercream drizzled with dark chocolate. In any case, these are my favourite whiteish cupcakes topped with a fluffy cloud of buttercream. Neither the cake nor the buttercream are super sweet so this makes for a fantastic bite.

Brown Butter Cupcakes

Recipe from here.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup room-temperature milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Use the cup of butter to make brown butter as per this post. Allow your browned butter to cool while you start the rest.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare your cupcake tins with liners. (if using full-sized cupcake tins, preheat to 350°F)
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs until fluffy and pale, about a minute. Add milk, browned butter, and vanilla, mixing until just combined.
  5. Add half of the dry mixture and beat, again, until just combined. Repeat with the second half. Don’t overmix, this is the key.
  6. Divide batter amongst liners and bake for 15-20 minutes (18-22 mins, if making full-sized cupcakes), until tops are springy to the touch or a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Start checking at 10 minutes as mini-cupcakes bake quickly.
  7. Cool tins on a rack for 2 minutes before carefully removing the cakes. Allow to cool completely before frosting (this will be 5 minutes if you made mini cupcakes, they take no time at all to cool).

Ready for the oven.

Fresh out of the oven!

Topped with my first attempt at Swiss Meringue Buttercream and drizzled with dark chocolate!

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

These cookies captured my imagination a couple days ago, so much so that I made them quickly! Brown butter anything is my favourite, as readers will know, and these sweet little cookies are no exception. Mine were not nearly as thin and sugar-cookie like as the ones that Let’s Dish made, but they were still delicious. I’ve mostly kept the recipe the same, because I like to try something once before jazzing it up Stacey-style (mostly by adding chocolate in some way). I’ve adjusted the ingredients to how I like to see them, and omitted the instructions for browning the butter, because you can find that here! Enjoy, and thanks to Let’s Dish again for this wonderful recipe!

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Recipe is from this lovely blog.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsps butter (plus 1/4 cup butter to not be browned)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
  • 1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar (plus 1/4 cup for rolling)
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Brown 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsps of butter, if you aren’t sure how, visit my unnecessary walkthrough. Pour the browned butter into a large bowl and stir the remaining 1/4 cup of butter until melted; set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large  baking sheets with parchment paper, or coat them with cooking spray. In a shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix the 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar; set aside.
  3.  Whisk the flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar along with the salt to the cooled butter and mix well. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined, about 1 minute. Give the dough a final stir with a rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and the ingredients are evenly distributed. 
  5. Form the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls (just larger than a twoonie) and roll them in the sugar mixture to coat.  Place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

    They sparkle.

  6. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but the centers are still soft, 8-10 minutes.  Cool for 1-2 minutes on the baking sheets and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

    Don’t forget the cookies in the oven because you are drooling over the first batch… still tasty, but tougher for sure.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

I was going to a party at a friend’s and wanted to bring some baking. I have been hankering to try out an icing technique on cake but didn’t want to have to haul a big cake 1.5 hours on transit. Instead I decided that some blondies with brown butter and chocolate would be the tasty answer! These are a mouthful, both in name and in flavour. Let’s call them BBCCBs. They are tasty, nutty, fudgy but not too sweet. These are an awesome way to use brown butter!

The recipe is simple and is adaptable. I thought about adding some coconut and cardamom to add some more depth of flavour but wanted to try them on their own first, worth it.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Adapted from Martha’s.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1.  In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter , swirling, until it turns golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool (this will take some time, I poured it into a bowl and let it cool in the fridge to be a bit faster, but don’t let it harden).
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch pan; line with parchment paper; grease parchment. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, stir brown butter and both sugars until combined. Beat in eggs until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  5. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  6. Cut, eat, swoon.