Friday, March 8, 2013

Brown Sugar Crackle Cookies

Coming home from running errands today my 6 year old said to me, "Mom you are so smart! You know the answer to all my questions."

Boy that just melted my heart and only did I wish I knew all the answers.  It's pretty easy to guess when the question is "what do you think the color is of the paper is that they sent home today for the pancake breakfast that is the day before St. Patricks Day?"

Green and I even got it on the first try.  I know I'm pretty good!

Now if he were to ask me "what is your favorite cookie" (and by the way the one that has tempted me the most to eat in the past year)?  I would definitely say this beauty.  Hands down. Nothing is even a close second at this point.  And totally not kidding.

Everyone always dies over these sugary, brown, bites of amazingness.  It probably has something to do with the fact that they are filled with browned butter and brown sugar and not much else.  Life can't get much better when your cookies (and many other things :) are made of those two little things. 

This cookie must go on your "totally have to make today" list. They are that good.

Brown Sugar Crackle Cookie

(click here for printable version)

14 tbsp butter, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups packed dark brown sugar, divided
2 cups plus 2 tbsp unbleached 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

1. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in a stainless steel (do not use nonstick) skillet or small uncoated saucepan over medium heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook butter, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes (browned butter can burn easily and quickly so keep a close eye on it). Remove the skillet or pot from the heat and transfer the browned butter to a large heatproof bowl. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter into the hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.

2. While butter is cooling, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, silpat liners or lightly coat them with non-stick cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. 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, the egg yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 more seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix 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 (the dough will not look exactly like regular cookie dough but not worries it is right).

4. In a shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix the granulated sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing the sugars between your fingers, until well combined; set aside. Divide the dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons, forming balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, toss the balls in the reserved sugar mixture to coat and set them on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart and 12 dough balls per sheet.

5. 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 (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone but don't overbake), about 11-13 minutes. Cool the cookies for 1-2 minutes on the baking sheets and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe via Cook's Illustrated
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