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Brown Butter Peanut Butter Cookies

November 3, 2012

I’m slightly obsessed.  Once I tried the deliciousness that was brown butter chocolate chip cookies, I got a bee in my bonnet.  If chocolate chip cookies, an American staple by all accounts, could be improved by browning the butter first, why not substitute browned butter into every cookie recipe ever?

This is how my brain works, by the way.  Find improvement, apply improvement to everything since the dawn of time.  This makes for a very expensive grocery list, long hiatuses when I get involved in recipe testing (c.f. pastry cream recipe from nearly six weeks ago), and often a serious excess of food around my house.  I made these more than a month ago, and I still have two dozen of them in my freezer, waiting to be baked.  Not that I’m complaining!  On the contrary, just knowing they’re in there helps me sleep a little better at night.  So my personal safety is one reason you should definitely make these cookies.

The second is: really, anything with “butter” in its name twice deserves at least a chance, right?

You know you want to.

These are definitely of the crispy-cookie variety, which I think is acceptable for a peanut butter cookie.  We also opted to use crunchy peanut butter because we thought the chunks of peanuts would really add something to the cookie; if so inclined, you could certainly substitute creamy peanut butter with great success.

See all those little brown butter flecks in there?  This is what makes life worth living.  Have a cookie (or two) with your afternoon coffee, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Enjoy!

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Brown Butter Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from Baking & Pastry: Mastering the Art & Craft

9 oz butter

12 oz crunchy peanut butter

8 oz light brown sugar

8 oz granulated sugar

4 oz eggs

splash of vanilla

9 oz all-purpose flour

1/4 oz baking soda

1/4 oz salt

Sea salt, as needed

1. In a small pan over medium heat, brown the butter until it’s fragrant with lots of little brown butter flecks.  Set aside and allow to re-solidify.  This could take upwards of an hour, so feel free to toss it in the fridge to speed up the process.  Transferring it to another container will also help, as the pan will retain a lot of heat.

2. Preheat the oven to 350º.

3. Cream the solidified brown butter with the peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.  Add the combined dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Sample the dough just to be sure it’s not poisonous.  (I’m a big advocate of safety.)

4. Using a cookie scoop or a teaspoon, scoop the cookies onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Flatten the cookies with the back of a fork and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

5. Bake cookies at 350º until golden brown, approximately 8 – 10 minutes.

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