I was chatting to my friend Jodie a few weeks ago over on her Every Nook & Cranny Facebook Page and she happened to mention she was currently watching The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) on TV. Now, I had to confess that whilst I have obviously heard about Ree and stumbled across her blog from time to time, I have never read one of her books (shock, horror) and never watched on her on TV either. Jodie seemed to rate her, so full of intrigue I headed off to YouTube to see if I could watch a few clips. That I did. I wasn't overall enamoured to be honest, but, the site of her Brown Butter Cookies (Football Mom episode I believe) had me almost weak at the knees. I had to make that recipe! I bookmarked it and promptly forgot about it. Sure, sometimes I have a brain like a sieve.
But, the knowledge that 7 July was World Chocolate Day spurred me into finding the recipe again. And, I sure am I glad I did. These cookies are the ultimate in homemade Americana. Ree has recipes for Chocolate Chunk Cookies and M&M Cookies - I combined the two, using a mix of M&M's and dark chocolate chips, but it's an adaptable enough recipe so use whatever you fancy. As Ree says, "Just make ’em. Just once. Your life will be forever altered" (Ree Drummond).
Ree isn't wrong, I made a batch of about 30 cookies and they'd disappeared within an hour while still warm and oozing with gooey warm chocolate. No, I didn't eat them all but I'm not ashamed to say I managed to eat my fair share with ease. They are chewy, buttery and utterly moreish. They remind me of the cookies eaten in America while on holiday. You know the kind? The size of a dinner plate, fat, chewy yet crisp. Ahh the memories.
Chocolate chip cookies are one of the easiest things to bake. If you're looking for a fun kitchen activity to do with your kids, this is it. If you're wanting to throw a quick bake in the oven in the knowledge that friends or family will be stopping by, this is it. Plus it will make your house smell so homely. Yeah, yeah, think of the aroma of freshly brewed coffee & cookies and a mom in her apron standing on the deck, house with a white picket fence and all, and I'll step out of dreamland. But it is true, baking does make a home smell extra homely.
These cookies are extra chewy for two reasons: they contain melted (browned butter) and brown sugar. This also means they are more prone to spreading in the oven, so make sure to chill the dough and to make sure the cookies are well spaced out on the tray. You have been warned, but should they spread and become one gooey cookie pull that tray outta the oven, smile and claim it's always been your intention to have a cookie sheet bake. It will still taste fantastic anyhow. Not that I've done that ... much.
I know what you're thinking, you're just wanting to get the cookies baked, do you really need to chill the dough before baking the cookies? Well, yes! And, no! I try my best to chill the dough for 15-30 minutes before baking. Chilling the dough really does allow the dough to relax and lets the flour absorb and settle in the with moisture added to the dough through the butter and eggs. I find that chilling the dough gives a plumper cookie with extra body.
Of course, these are best served with some cold milk, or coffee.
So why not go bake yourself a batch and come back and let me know if the cookies that come out of your oven after mixing up this dough are the best you’ve ever had? I'm putting my neck on the line here and reckoning that you'll be shouting "YES!"