Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Brown Sugar Cookies

I am using this post to announce that the Cooks Illustrated website is the most confusing thing in the world.

First I was sneaking on with an illegal password. (fun, but dangerous) Then I though, no more law-breaking for me, I'll join.  So I did, but it seems my joining only worked for about 13 seconds.  So I joined again, this time providing more information and I started getting emails.

But I still couldn't get onto the website without using the super secret password of illegality.  Boy, did they like sending emails though; two, three a day. (annoying)

The confusion came in because in one of the 6,000 emails I've received from them in the past month, there was a link to a video that showed how to make these awesome-looking brown sugar cookies.  So I went today to get the recipe, but couldnt find the recipe by searching.  So I watched the video and wrote down the instructions, but they didn't give the amounts of baking soda and baking powder.

Then, when I searched for the recipe again, it was there!  But it wouldn't let me on with my normal password.  (frustration) Finally, I used the criminal password again and it let me in.  I swear, these had better be the best cookies of all time because I am never going through that again.

Oh, and the recipe's at the bottom for all your people who don't want to have to go through an insanity-inducing afternoon to get it.

They came out... interestingly.  They taste good, but they look all wrong.  I'm not sure why.  The only thing I can think of is that the butter wasn't 100% cool when I mixed in the sugar, so maybe some of the sugar melted and they had too much liquid (?).  Is that how science works?

They taste good, quite good actually.  And are chewy in the middle and crisp on the outside.  They just stayed puffy.  I guess puffy works.



big difference, huh?
Makes 2 Dozen Cookies.   Published March 1, 2007.  
The most efficient way to bake these cookies is to portion and bake half of the dough. While the first batch is in the oven, the remaining dough can be prepared for baking. Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter. The dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is sufficiently browned. Use fresh brown sugar, as older (read: harder and drier) brown sugar will make the cookies too dry.


14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (about 1 3/4 ounces)
2 cups packed dark brown sugar (14 ounces)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. 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, 1 to 3 minutes. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 6. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

    Yeah, see on the ingredients where it says to add 1 3/4 cup of brown sugar to the butter?  I only added 3/4 of a cup.  I basically made cookies out of butter.  Excellent.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooooh, we love those cookies in our house! One of our favorites. Weird that you're having so much trouble with the CI website. It never gives me grief, and I never get e-mails from them.