*Update* Wowee, I have been getting a lot of emails about this recipe. Some saying the dough is too wet, some saying it's too dry and crumbly. This just another example of how temperature and humidity, and exact ingredients really can change a recipe a whole lot when we're talking baking. When I made these the dough would just hold together forming a ball. If the dough is much wetter than this, try adding a teensy tiny bit more flour. Even if it's wetter, who cares! They will still be delicious. Thanks for all the great feedback and positive responses to this recipe. I see you all LOVE the place in Cayucos!
Over the weekend my aunt and grandmother came to see the new baby. With her, my aunt brought these yummy brown butter sea salt cookies from the Brown Butter Cookie Company in Cayucos, CA. We gobbled them up and they were delicious, but they had me thinking that they would be so much better fresh from the oven. Lucky for me, the ingredients were listed on the bag, and were super simple. Baking can be a little tricky, so I looked through some shortbread recipes for measurements and went from there. They turned out just perfectly and I dipped half into some melted chocolate. I preferred the non-chocolaty ones (shocking for a chocoholic like myself) because the subtle flavors of the brown butter and sea salt were more noticeable.
The dough tends to be very crumbly. Just try to squish it together the best you can. Also, be sure not to add ANY extra flour.
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- sea salt for sprinkling (preferably fleur de sel)
- optional: chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until it starts to caramelize. It should smell nutty and you will see brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to burn the butter - in which case you will have to start over. Pour browned butter into a medium bowl and stir in brown sugar and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture until combined. Let cool to room temperature. Using a tablespoon or small scoop, drop dough onto cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and lightly press into top of cookies. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Don't overcook, or cookies will be too dry and crumbly.
If desired, melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring in between. Dip cookies in chocolate and place on wax paper. Let harden in refrigerator but don't serve too cold or cookies will be very hard.