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Brown Butter Chocolate Walnut Cookies

Brown butter chocolate walnut cookies are soft, thick, chewy, a bit crunch of walnuts and extra flavourful. Infused with the nutty flavour of browned butter, loaded with semisweet chocolate and walnuts, these cookies are incredibly gourmet and will surely become your new favourite cookie recipe! Did I say no mixer required? Just two bowls and a whisk! 
Brown Butter Chocolate Walnut Cookies

Am I late to the party?? Brown Butter! How did I not make you before this? Why no one told me to try brown butter? Well, Pinterest did. Thank you, Pin. 🥰After my best chewy chocolate chip cookies, Pinterest flooded my feed with all kinds of cookies and most of them were "Brown Butter". I have heard this before but I somehow thought it was Desi ghee they were referring to! My bad! 😬 Apparently, Clarified butter, Ghee and Brown butter are three different things! 🤯

If you are into nerdy reads or science of cooking, then do check out the article by Epicurious detailing how the three are made and why they are different from each other.

This chocolate walnut cookie recipe is so yummy that I bet you can't stop with one unless you have the will power of an athlete aiming for Olympics! Brown butter is truly liquid gold and I urge you to try it at least once and I am sure you will love this version too! Between F and I, I think I ate more cookies 😄 but you never know - he is too good at making me believe it. 

What is brown butter?

Brown butter aka browned butter is nothing but the end result of slow cooking the regular butter. The French call it beurre noisette and they use it in both savoury and sweet dish as a sauce. The melting method gently cooks the butter and turns the milk solids into brown bits while evaporating all the water present in the butter. This develops a nutty flavour and toasted aroma making it liquid gold in the culinary world. Browned butter has a deeper, richer, and more intense flavour than melted or clarified butter. 

How to make brown butter?

Making browned butter needs your full attention because in split second you can go from brown butter to burnt butter. 

Cut the butter into smaller pieces and add to a light-coloured saucepan which will help to determine when the butter begins browning. Melt the butter on a low to medium heat while stirring constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam and make a crackling sound but do not stop stirring. The butter will begin browning with a nutty aroma and lightly browned bits will begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat once the brown bits reach amber colour and the popping sounds have stopped. Pour the browned butter along with the solids into a large mixing bowl and let it cool completely before you can use for the cookie dough.

Brown Butter Chocolate Walnut Cookies

I wish I had taken pictures or videos of making brown butter but since it was my first time, I was nervous! I thought I will make another batch and then blog but it will take forever because quarantine eating is a thing - we have gained all the weight we lost by just eating what we love. 😟 ok, extra eating. 

What does Brown Butter do to cookies?

Browned butter adds intense flavour to the cookies making it no ordinary cookies. 

Should you use light brown or dark brown sugar for chocolate chip cookies?

You can use either light or dark brown sugar for making the cookie dough. You may even use a mix of both. 

How do you make brown on top of cookies?

I have never experienced this but I read that the rack position and colour of the baking tray makes a difference. 

Ingredients for Brown Butter Chocolate Walnut Cookies

  • Butter: You may use salted or unsalted. If using salted butter, then add less salt than called for.
  • Brown sugar: Light or dark will work.
  • White sugar: use granulated
  • Egg: use a large one
  • Vanilla extract: You may use any other flavour of your choice
  • Flour: All-purpose flour aka plain flour or maida
  • Cornflour: This gives the cookies a soft consistency and helps keep the cookies stay thick so do not skip.
  • Baking soda: Baking soda cannot be replaced with baking powder. They are two different things and react differently.
  • Salt: Adjust if using salted butter
  • Chocolate chips: use your favourite - semi-sweet, dark, milk etc.
  • Walnuts: make sure they are not rancid or you may skip and add more chocolate
My Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe uses melted butter and also has more sugar. You can definitely use that recipe and replace melted butter with brown butter without altering the sugar quantity. In this recipe, I have reduced the sugar and also added a tablespoon of milk to compensate for the moisture loss while browning butter. 

How to make brown butter chocolate walnut cookies? 

The first step is the make the brown butter and let it cool. Some recipes ask to refrigerate the brown butter and then cream it with the sugar. But I find using it in the melted and cooled form is easier and less time-consuming. Next, you will whisk the sugar and egg into the brown butter and then stir in the flour items. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Your cookie dough is ready.

Now chilling the dough is mandatory. You may chill for 30 minutes or overnight. Baking time! Preheat your oven and line the baking tray. Scoop the cookie dough and place on lined baking tray leaving a gap between each. You may shape the dough into neat balls and then bake until golden to brown edges - approx 13 minutes. 

Make sure to remove the tray from oven and let cool as the cookies will continue to cook while cooling. So it is better to remove them at 13 minutes for chewy cookies. Refer below for the detailed cookie recipe. 

Brown Butter Chocolate Walnut Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies Recipe

Makes 12 to 15 cookies.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup or 100gms unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1/4 cup white sugar 
1 large egg, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (maida) 
1/2 teaspoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup of chocolate chips 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts*

*If you want to skip walnuts, just replace walnuts with more chocolate. 

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the brown butter
  1. Cut the butter into smaller pieces and add to a light-coloured saucepan which will help to determine when the butter begins browning. 
  2. Melt the butter on a low to medium heat while stirring constantly. 
    • Once melted, the butter will begin to foam and make a crackling sound but do not stop stirring. 
    • The butter will begin browning with a nutty aroma and lightly browned bits will begin to form at the bottom of the pan. 
  3. Remove from heat once the brown bits reach amber colour and the popping sounds have stopped.
  4. Pour the browned butter into a large mixing bowl and let it cool completely.
Prepare the cookie dough
  1. Whisk the flour, cornflour, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Take the brown butter bowl and whisk in the brown and white sugar until no lumps remain.
  3. Whisk in the egg and the vanilla extract.
  4. Use a rubber spatula and gradually stir in the flour mixture into the wet mixture until combined with no traces of dry flour but do not overmix.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chunks and walnuts making sure they are distributed all through. 
  6. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for minimum 30 mins or overnight.
    • Chilling is mandatory and I highly recommend chilling the cookie dough overnight for better flavour and colour.
Prepare to bake or freeze the cookie dough
  1. If you chilled the dough for only 30 mins, then you can use it straight away to bake. For any longer than 30 minutes chilled dough, it will get too firm to scoop. If it is too difficult to scoop, let it sit on the counter for a few minutes so it can soften a bit. 
    • If you let it sit longer, then your cookies will spread a lot. If you think it has melted, then put it back in the fridge. 
  2. Preheat oven to anywhere between 170°c to 180°c 
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper or a foil (you may need two trays depending on your oven size)
  4. Scoop 3 tablespoons of dough for each cookie and roll them into neat balls. 
  5. Place the cookie dough balls on the sheet leaving space between cookies and the edges of the pan so that the cookies can spread evenly. 
    • At this point, you may freeze the cookie dough balls (refer below)
  6. For chewy gooey cookies, bake for 12 to 13 mins only. For light crunchy cookies bake for 14 to 15 mins. But do keep an eye on them after 8 mins or so and remove as soon as you see it golden spots and brown edges. Cookies will continue to cook while cooling. 
  7. Take out of the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Serve or store in an airtight container for up to one week but I bet you it won't last that long!
Brown butter chocolate walnut cookies taste even better the next day! 

How to freeze cookie dough?

  1. Chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for 1 hour
  2. Place the solid and cold cookie dough balls into a freezer-friendly bag or box
  3. Label the date and any other details to remember like the baking temp, name of the cookie, etc. and place the bag in the freezer. You may freeze cookie dough for up to 3 months
  4. To bake the frozen cookie dough balls, remove them from the freezer, preheat the oven according to the recipe’s instructions and bake them for a minute or two longer than the required time
Brown Butter Chocolate Walnut Cookies

TRIED THIS RECIPE? 

I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then do share the recipe link on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchai so that I can see your creations!

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