Oh browned butter. Where have you been all my life? You have changed my perspective on butter, and on these cookies.
Before I get to the cookies, interested in what browned butter is? Browned butter is achieved when you heat the butter past melting point. When you keep swirling and heating the butter as it beautifully foams in the pot as it comes to a boil. Past the point when you wonder if something has gone wrong. And then…beautiful brown specs like small swirls of cinnamon raise to the top and then…you have browned butter. Browned butter gives your butter a richer taste – a nuttier, more caramel-like flavour. The more formal name for it is beurre noisette,or hazelnut butter, which pretty much sums up the nutty flavour I’ve been talking about. Its something you need to try when you are making these cookies.
I was convinced that I just wasn’t a fan of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies until I took the risk to change my recipe. Remember when I said never change your recipe when its the perfect one? Well I’ve found the perfect one and I’m never turning back. This was the best recipe change I have made. And the change from my old recipe was to used browned butter.
I may seem as if I’m going on and on about browned butter. That’s because I want you to try it too. I really do. You will taste the difference immediately. I can now say I am once again a fan of these cookies. And thanks to Joy the Wonderful Baker for this recipe; she is simply put, a genius.
Do you see those beautiful brown specs?
I actually think that my favourite part about browned butter is that you can still see those brown specs in the cookie batter, and in the cookies after they have baked. Maybe I’m weird, but that excites me and reminds me of the delight I’m in for when I bite into them. Okay, definitely weird because I was contemplating writing a satire about browned butter. I’ll refrain myself. Yum Yum Yum.
Brown Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, don’t even think of using margarine
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup white chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium saucepan melt the butter, swirling and stirring the butter until nicely browned bits appear in the bottom of the pan. This may take about 5-7 minutes. Once the butter is browned, remove pan from heat and set aside to cool a bit while you measure out the dry ingredients and set them aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer add the brown sugar and slightly cooled butter. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add egg and beat for one minute more. Add milk and vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
Browned Butter Specs!
Turn the mixer off, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the dry ingredients all at once. With either the stand mixer on low, or by hand with a spatula, incorporate the dry ingredients until just mixed in. Fold in the chopped nuts and white chocolate chips (I used chunks).
Scoop two teaspoon sized balls onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are deliciously golden. Remove from oven and let rest of the baking sheet for 3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Cookies on sheet after a little heat (hence tiny flat bottoms)
Tip: To make all cookies even, roll them into balls then place on lined baking sheet. Also ensure you accurately follow the baking time.