So I survived the first week of classes; I cannot tell you how glad I am that is over. Slowly but surely I am getting back into the groove here at Rutgers, and for those moments when a long hot shower won't cut it in terms of stress-relief, there are always these cookies to fall back on....
Salted. Caramel. Cookies.
Seriously. Do not be intimidated by the whole "browning butter" deal. I waited far too long to attempt a recipe that included this step, and I now regret it. It is simple yet oh so satisfying and, of course, you can impress all your friends. ;)
See? If I can manage to brown butter without turning it into a black, burnt-out mess, so can you. The key is to stir constantly once all of the butter has melted to keep it from burning on the bottom. Oh and the smell? Slightly nutty, slightly caramel-y, all delicious.
Once it cools you mix in some brown sugar, eggs, and the typical flour and baking soda/powder elements. The dough is a tad soft so you may want to store it in the fridge for 30 minutes, unless you like your cookies thinner. If you like the look of mine, 30 minutes is perfect.
Another simple way that this recipe steps it up? By rolling the cookie dough in a brown sugar/white sugar mixture. Pure genius. The molasses flavor in the brown sugar really brings out the browned butter in the dough. Add a caramel-filled kiss in the center and a few flecks of sea salt, and you have one cookie that is sure to take away the stress of the day in every bite.
Impressively adorable, yet simple to make. Not to mention sharing them with my co-workers brightened up everyone's day.
I think this is going to be the new mantra of "On Sugar Mountain". The semester is going to be full of exciting, yet often stressful moments, and I am determined to show how just a little bit of love and effort in the kitchen can really pay off. Stress-reducing is not the only thing these cookies are great for; perhaps you're a freshman and want to make some friends? Or a transfer student? Or maybe you just want to make people smile? There is no better way to make friends than by sharing food, especially if it's food you made. The thought makes people smile, and it's a great way to get your "foot in the door" so to speak. New acquaintances will have something to remember you by, and who knows, maybe they will make something in return. I have said it before and I'll say it again: world peace can be achieved through cookies. Or cake. If we all take a moment to think of making others, as well as ourselves happy, we can do a lot of good with just a little bit of sweetness.
I shall go now, before I wax sentimental (though I think I already have!) but check back soon for more deliciously inspiring sweets to make, bake, and share with your friends!
14 tbsp butter, preferably salted, cut into slices
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
roughly 24 Caramel Kisses, or caramel filled chocolate candies
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line your baking sheets with parchment paper
2. Put butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Let butter melt and then stir constantly until butter turns a caramel/brown color. Let cool 15 minutes.
3. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in bowl. Set aside.
4. Pour cooled butter into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add 1 3/4 cup brown sugar. Mix with hand mixer until no lumps remain. Then beat in egg, yolk and vanilla.
5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until dough comes together. At this point you can let the dough chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or just continue making cookies.
6. Mix together white sugar and brown sugar in small bowl. Roll dough into heaping tablespoon-sized balls and then roll ball in sugar mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving room for spreading.
7. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. DO NOT overbake.
8. As soon as cookies come out of oven, place a caramel kiss in the center, pushing down slightly. Dust cookies with sea salt. Then let cool on wire rack.