Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Brown Butter and Bourbon
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We’ve tried a lot of desserts, but there’s one we always come back to: the chocolate chip cookie. While these chocolate chunk cookies (from Eitan Bernath’s cookbook, Eitan Eats the World) might be an upgrade from your usual back-of-the-bag recipe, they’re still easy for any level of baker to make. Plus, they have brown butter and bourbon in them.
“My favorite food in the entire world is a chocolate chip cookie,” he writes. “So, of course, I am also a proud chocolate chip cookie snob. These are your childhood chocolate chip cookies all grown up.”
Freezing the dough before baking may seem like an odd step, but as Bernath explains, it serves two important functions: It keeps the cookies from spreading too thin as they bake and it flash-freezes the dough—handy if you want to make the cookies in batches.
Reprinted with permission from Eitan Eats the World. Copyright © 2022 by Eitan Bernath. Photography Copyright © 2022 by Mark Weinberg. Published by Clarkson Potter Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
2 sticks (220g) unsalted butter
1¼ cups (250g) packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon bourbon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1¾ cups (245g) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces (227g) semisweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks (about 2 cups)
Flaky sea salt
1. Place the butter in a medium saucepan (preferably with a light-colored interior, so you can monitor the browning) set over medium-low heat. Melt the butter and cook, swirling occasionally. The butter will foam and begin to change color, from yellow to amber. Continue cooking and swirling the pan until the milk solids separate and begin to brown. Once the milk solids are a caramel color and smell nutty, (anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the pan), immediately remove it from the heat. Pour the butter into a heat-safe bowl and cool in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cooled brown butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed for about 4 minutes. (The mixture will lighten in color a bit, but it will not be as fluffy or pale as regular creamed butter.) Scrape down the side of the bowl, then add the egg, egg yolk, bourbon and vanilla and beat until the ingredients are thoroughly creamed together, about 2 minutes.
3. Scrape down the side of the bowl again; add the flour, baking soda and kosher salt, and mix at the lowest speed until just a few streaks of flour remain. Stir in the chocolate chunks until just combined. Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop or spoon, portion the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, then place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
4. While the dough is in the freezer, position the oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two sheet pans with parchment paper. After 20 minutes, place the cold dough balls on the prepared sheet pans, leaving about 4 inches between each cookie, or about 6 cookies per sheet pan.
5. Place the sheet pans in the oven and bake or until the cookies turn a golden brown color on the edges, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the sheet pans for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Sprinkle with flaky salt while still warm. Repeat with the remaining dough.