Almost all cookies begin the same way: the creaming of butter and sugar. However, if you want the best brown sugar cookie, leave the creaming to other cookie recipes. To make these brown sugar cookies, the butter must be browned. This takes time, patience, and also complete focus. Second, that extra egg yolk is a must for that chewy texture. Lastly, yes - you do need that pure vanilla extract for that over the top flavor.
For you novice bakers, follow the recipe exactly. After a few times baking these cookies, you'll know what steps can be cut to make it less complicated. When browning the butter, a medium temperature is recommended and once the browning starts, let it get dark brown for a richer, deeper-flavored cookie.
Make sure you get all those pockets of flour mixed in, they hide rather well. Extra dough can be refrigerated for emergency cookie use, as this recipe makes a whole bunch of cookies.
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cup brown sugar; packed
2 cup unbleached flour; plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. In shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between fingers, until well combined; set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl; set aside.
3. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.
4. Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons, rolling between hands into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, toss balls in reserved sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, 12 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but it will take 3 batches.)
5. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone; see photo below), 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overbake.
6. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.