Chocolate Chip Cookies with Beurre Noisette, Cinnamon and Rosemary

These are cookies to enjoy while sitting by the wood-stove at the time of year when the sun sets as you sip your afternoon coffee or tea. While brown butter, rosemary, cinnamon, and chocolate may sound like overkill, the combination is like Speculaas and Christmas trees. They bring a bit of green and warmth to the darkest months.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Beurre Noisette, Cinnamon and Rosemary

Brown butter chocolate chip cookies with a toasty and herbaceous winter twist.

Yields 16 large cookies

Ingredients:

140g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp rosemary, finely minced

120g all-purpose flour
85g whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
110g granulated sugar
140g brown sugar

1 large egg, beaten

200g bittersweet chocolate chunks, 60% cacao

Fleur de sel, for sprinkling

Make the beurre noisette:

Melt the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. A light-colored saucepan will help you track the color of the butter as it browns. Once the butter melts, swirl the pan occasionally to cook evenly. As soon as the milk solids at the bottom turn a toasted hazelnut brown and the butter emanates an enticing, nutty aroma, transfer the butter to a heat-proof container to cool. If left in the hot saucepan, the butter will continue to brown and could burn. You can leave the milk solids behind, or use them. They will impart a slightly burnt taste. Let cool slightly and add the vanilla and rosemary. Leave the butter to cool while preparing the dry ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients:

In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, granulated and brown sugars. 

Make the cookie dough:

Pour the beurre noisette into the flour mixture and gently stir to combine. The mixture will look sandy. Add the beaten egg and stir until just combined. Finally, add the chocolate chunks and stir to distribute throughout the dough.

Roll the dough into balls:

Using a cookie scoop or a couple of spoons, scoop out 16 balls of dough on to a parchment-lined tray or plate. Cover and refrigerate the balls of cookie dough for at least one hour, and preferably several hours. Leaving the dough to rest in the refrigerator improves the flavor and texture, and prevents the cookies from spreading too thin in the oven.

Bake the cookies:

Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F (180 C / 350F Fan). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and space the cookies about 3-inches apart. Sprinkle each cookie with a bit of fleur de sel.

Bake for 8 – 12 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned and the centers are still soft.

Cool the cookies:

Let the cookies cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes so that they will be firm enough to transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Store:

The baked cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature up to a week, refrigerated for two weeks, or frozen for three months.

Notes:

To freeze the cookie dough balls, arrange them on a tray in a single layer and set in the freezer. After an hour, transfer the dough balls to an airtight container. By freezing them in a single layer first, they are less likely to stick together in the container. To bake from frozen, increase the bake time to 11 – 15 minutes.

You could also substitute the same amount of thyme for the rosemary.

If you are in a rush you may skip resting the dough in the refrigerator. The cookies will spread out more, the flavor and texture will be affected, but the cookies will still be delicious.

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