I like it when friends have birthdays, there are parties and there are excuses to bake. We’re not talking about simple things like chocolate chip cookies either, but the things that you save for special occasions – ganache filled cupcakes and hand dipped chocolates, cookies that require the maker to first brown then strain the butter before even adding other ingredients. These cookies are like that, complicted, delicious, and for a birthday.
The first time I made these I vowed to NEVER MAKE THEM AGAIN not because they were too much work, but because they didn’t leave the kitchen. I barely got them out of the oven when my boyfriend grabbed one off the cooling rack yelling, “Hot hot!,” and ate it with a taunting grin. I know I should be greatful he realized they were hot, mostly I was irritated that I barely got one before they disappeared. But the one was a magical cookie, deep rich caramel tones that were fluffy and didn’t even threaten to pull out my million-and-one fillings – I’ll take two please (or would have if there had been two to have).
So here I was asking said friend what she wanted for her birthday and she asked for these, of all things. I tried to dissuade her, “Are you sure you don’t want gingersnaps?” I wheedled. She was steadfast and I was stuck covertly making delicious, decadent cookies hoping my TF2-playing-boyfriend didn’t notice the kitchen bustle. He did. I lost two cookies before I was able to seal them in a Ziploc bag marked “FOR NIKKI DO NOT TOUCH” (admittedly he did get a consolation prize of coconut macaroons, which were fine but nothing to write home (or here) about).
So without further ado, caramelly, rich, crackly infinitly amazing Brown Sugar Sugar cookies.
Brown Sugar Sugar Cookies
Adapted, very slightly, from Cook’s Illustrated
Note: These cookies can be frozen, premade, for later usage and eating (but I would strongly recommend a double batch in that case)
14 Tbs unsalted butter (I use half Salted hlaf unsalted but it doesn’t really matter)
2 Cups packed Dark Brown Sugar
2 Cups plus 2 Tbs All Purpose flour
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt (use a little more if you are using all unsalted butter)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 Tbs Vanilla (it really is neccessary, DON’T SKIMP HERE)
1/4 cup granulated raw sugar (i prefer the raw but don’t go get it especially regular granulated works fine)
Heat 10 Tbs of the butter in a light bottomed sauce pan over medium until melted and nutty brown, it will smell rich and there will be some solids in the bottom, stir the butter nearly constantly and watch it like a hawk or IT WILL BURN (and that is sad). Transfer the melted butter to a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the butter to melt. Let the melted butter mixture cool to room temperture, this should take 10-15 mins.
Place oven rack in the middle position and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix the raw sugar and the brown sugar together in a small bowl (bowl 2) until even and set it aside, you will use this later to dip the rolled cookies in.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into another bowl ( I know bowl 3 is a little confusing try to keep up) and set it aside.
Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups of Brown sugar to the melted, delicious, butter and stir it until there are no lumps 30-45 seconds, it will be a very dark and molasses-y looking mixture -that is OK. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla mix it all until fluffy-ish and incorporated, another 30-45 seconds. Side note: recipes alwasy say “mix until fluffy” when they really mean mix it until eveything is incorporated and it looks a little mor opaque than before, because lets face it – you’re not making whipped cream here. Add the flour mixture (from bowl 3) to the liquids (bowl 1) and mix until just combined ~1min. This mixture will be a little stiff, that is okay – brown sugar and butter will do that. Give the dough one final stir and scrape the bowl to check for even distribution.
Scoop out the dough in 11/2 to 2 Tbs balls (really don’t try to make these smaller they’re better as a chewy cookie) and roll in in the sugar mixture to coat evenly. Stick the doughballs on cookie sheets 2-3 inches apart and cook them fro 12-14 minutes. The cookies will begin to crack on the tops and look a little raw, they’re not. Also if your cookie is getting dark on the edges its been in there too long and you should maybe eat that one as a tester… you know for the sake of the cookies.
Cool the cookies for 5-10 mins on a rack and hide them a… wait that wasn’t what I meant.