Good homemade chocolate chip cookies are at the top of most people’s favorite dessert list. For years, my attempts to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookies failed. They’d always go flat or get too crispy on the bottom, but still raw in the middle (not in a good way). The mile-high altitude is partially to blame. As a resident of the Mile High City, altitude requires you to make some modification to recipes.
A couple of years ago I tried this recipe from Pioneer Woman. I loved it! It was the first time I had made cookies with browned butter and they were delicious (although not perfect yet). I made them a couple of times until I perfected the recipe. The modifications I’ve made may not work well for you if you are at a lower altitude, so the original recipe may be a better fit.
These are my favorite cookies to bake and something I love bringing as a hostess gift or a treat to share at parties. I also keep a batch of dough balls frozen in my freezer for late-night cookie cravings.
1 cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla (or baker’s extract)
2 tablespoons of strongly brewed coffee
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
Pinch of salt
A whole bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
The secret to these cookies is the browned butter. We’ll be browning 1/2 cup of butter (typically one stick). Add the butter to a skillet over medium heat, stirring continually. Things should start to get foamy and you’ll start to notice a caramel smell. Continue stirring the butter over medium heat until the butter is a deep golden brown. Then transfer to a bowl to cool, making sure to scrape the pan to get all of the butter solids. Let this cool for about 30 minutes.
With the other stick of softened butter, cream together with both sugars. Then add the eggs and beat until smooth. Then add in the cooled brown butter and mix together until well combined. Then add a tablespoon of vanilla or Baker’s extract. Baker’s extract was a recent Costco find. It’s similar to vanilla extract, but it also has chocolate and caramel notes and I find it adds a nice depth of flavor to these cookies. Also, add in the 2 tablespoons of strongly brewed coffee. I will just make a second small (4oz) cup from the K-cup I used in the morning set on the strong setting on my Keurig.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, the baking soda, and the salt. If you are at a high altitude (like I am) add a little less than a full teaspoon to prevent over-rising and collapse. Add about half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Once mostly combined add the other half of the dry ingredients and mix until there are no traces of flour left in the bowl. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. I find this not only produces a better flavor but also helps your cookies keep their shape and prevents too much spreading in the oven.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Scoop dough into 2 to 3 tablespoon scoops onto a silicon or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, leaving at least 3 to 4 inches between dough balls. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Once you have removed them from the oven, let them rest for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.