Browned Butter Cornbread

browned butter cornbread

Browned butter cornbread, hot out of the oven.

I’m pretty sure that my great-grandmother from Shelbyville, TN never made cornbread with browned butter, or, without bacon grease/fat for that matter. Well, I did adhere to one Southern tradition when I made my version of cornbread: no sugar. I’m not a fan of sweet cornbread, I it like more savory. But, if you like a slightly sweeter bread, by all means, add the tablespoon of sugar. Also, I think the browned butter adds a deeper, nuttier flavor to the cornbread. I think the next time I make this I’ll add some grilled corn off the cob. I only had some sad, old frozen corn, which, after heating up in the microwave tasted like, well, old corn (yuck). I suppose I should clean out my freezer….but, that’s for another day!

*Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen

  • 6 TB unsalted butter, browned, plus butter for baking dish
  • 1 C cornmeal
  • 3/4 C AP flour
  • 1 TB sugar (Optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Brown your butter and set aside to cool.

That extra 2 TB of butter you have from the stick you cut earlier? Use that, or most of it to grease your 8×8 baking dish.

Mix all dry ingredients into a large bowl, set aside. Once the browned butter is cooled, add the slightly beaten eggs and buttermilk, stir. Then add wet ingredients to dry and mix well, making sure you get out all the dry parts (you don’t want any pockets of batter with dry bits because nothing is more gross than biting into a baked good and getting a bite with dried bits of flour.) The batter will be slightly lumpy and that’s okay. Bake until top is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is. Mine took exactly 20 min. Let it cool and then eat. I’m going to have mine with a bowl of vegetarian chili for dinner.

Quick, Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

warm cookies=the best!

warm cookies=the best!

This recipe is similar to my almond butter chocolate chip cookies, but, I mixed up the nut butters and eggs.
These cookies come together very quickly and only require one bowl. Hooray! (Because who wants to do a lot of dishes? Not me!). I make these cookies when I’m craving peanut butter. (Try not to eat the dough, ahem).

  • 1 C. smooth peanut butter (I like to use the natural stuff with oil on top)*
  • 1/2 C. brown sugar
  • 1/4 C. white sugar**
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C. dark chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips)
  • Maldon Sea salt for sprinkling on top (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

In a large bowl mix first 6 ingredients well, until combined. Add chocolate chips and stir until they’re fully incorporated. Drop 2TB of dough, or, use a small cookie scoop (2tsp) onto the lined baking sheets (the cookies don’t spread, so, I was able to fit 15 on one sheet) Now, you’ll want to gently flatten the cookie dough balls with the palm of your hand and then use a fork to make the “crisscross” on top of the cookies. Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on top too, if you like. Bake for 11-13 minutes. Keep an eye on them though. Remove cookies from oven and let them rest for 5 minutes. Cool on baking rack or plates. Store in airtight container. I put mine in the fridge, but, they’d be ok sitting on the counter in an airtight container for a couple days. Makes 2 dozen cookies when I used a 2tsp cookie scoop.

*Notes:

  1. You could reduce the sugar by only using 1/2 cup brown sugar, or 1/2 cup white. I like the flavors of dark or light brown sugar, so I used mostly that in the recipe.
  2. I prefer to use natural peanut butter because it has little to no sugar in it. Here, I used Smucker’s, but, any brand will do.
  3. I also used a tiny bit of Maldon Sea Salt to sprinkle on the top. Since you only use it sparingly in recipes, I think it’s worth the cost and I found it pretty cheap on Amazon
  4. .

Browned Butter Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

oatmeal coconut chocolate chip cookies!

browned butter oatmeal coconut chocolate chip cookies!

This cookie has all my favorite flavors: browned butter, chocolate chips, oatmeal, coconut and a little bit of saltiness. You could also add some toasted pecans for an extra kick. Ahhhh!!! (head explodes).

  • 1 1/2 C AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. fleur de sel (more for sprinkling on top of cookies)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 C dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 – 1/4 c white sugar (I used about 1/8C)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TB molasses
  • 1 1/2 c. dark or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 C unsweetened coconut (toasting optional)*
  • 3 C. old fashioned rolled oats (not steel cut. You could use instant, but I wouldn’t recommend it)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Brown the butter

To brown the butter: add two sticks to saucepan, on low to medium heat. Let butter melt, then it will froth/bubble up, stir it with spatula in order to prevent burning. The bubbles will die down and the butter will start to crackle. The proteins of the butter are sinking to the bottom and after a second bubbling, the bits on the bottom will start to turn a little brown and the butter will change to a more amber color. This whole process will take about 4-5 minutes. Don’t burn the butter, we want it browned. Remove from heat and transfer melted butter and brown bits to a bowl to cool while you assemble the other ingredients. I set my bowl of butter next to an open window, which speeded up the cooling down process. (As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t want to add hot butter to the eggs because we don’t want scrambled eggs).

Combine flour, salt, baking soda, spices in a bowl, set aside.

Once browned butter is cooled, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer, along with the sugars, mix until nice and smooth, which is 2 minutes or so. Add the vanilla, molasses and eggs and beat for three minutes until it’s light and smooth in texture. Then add the flour mixture and beat until combined. (PS-don’t do what I do sometimes and accidentally switch the mixer speed to medium or high, or else you’ll be covered in flour [it WAS funny at the time]. Start slow and then increase the mixer speed. Add the coconut, mix well. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, add the oatmeal and chocolate chips (and pecans if using).
I used a 2 tsp cookie scoop for the cookies because I thought a 1 1/2 TB scoop was too big. But, use whatever you prefer. Allow a couple inches between the cookies. You’ll want to gently flatten the cookie balls and add a sprinkle of fleur de sel to the tops. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them as you want the cookies to just be slightly brown around the edges. Once out of the oven, let cookies rest for 5 minutes, then cool on racks. Cookies will last a week in an airtight container…well, unless you have a Cookie Monster around.

*As I was talking about this recipe with G., I thought that toasting the coconut and then pulvarizing it using a spice grinder would be a good idea. That might be a more complex flavor element. Ah, next time!

Where Did 2015 Go??

I can’t believe it’s New Years’ Eve and the year is already almost gone. Every year I say the same thing: where did the time go?? (honestly, I hate that time passes so quickly, or, maybe I just notice it more now that I’m getting older.) I feel like it was just Summertime here in NYC and I was playing softball in Central Park or walking across the newly renovated bridge at High Bridge park on my birthday when the skies opened up to rain and the sun was still shining. (Though, the weather has been quite mild this Fall and Winter so, I can’t complain and I don’t want to jinx it). It was a year filled with lots of cooking and baking, trying out new recipes and re-making old ones. Some mistakes made as well as some small victories, but all in all, a learning experience. Most recently for Christmas dessert I made a salted caramel pecan tart and, as for the cookies that I gave away: toasted coconut shortbread, chocolate espresso cookies, browned butter cardamom cookies and molasses ginger chocolate chip cookies. And, as 2016 is upon us I look forward to more cooking and baking in the new year. Who knows, maybe 2016 will be the year that I master chocolate brioche or, (gasp) croissants! I’m sure Julia Child would approve.

Happy New Year, everyone! I wish you peace, happiness and good health!

Browned Butter Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

browned butter pumpkin bread w/chocolate chips

browned butter pumpkin bread w/chocolate chips

This recipe is different in that, I used browned butter, rather than vegetable or canola oil. The nuttiness of the browned butter lends another layer to the pumpkin and spices and has a more complex flavor than my normal pumpkin bread. Plus, I am on “team browned butter makes everything better,” because, well, it most certainly does.

  • 3 1/2 C AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice*
  • 1 C unsalted butter, browned and cooled
  • 1 C canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 C dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 C milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C mini semi sweet chocolate chips or, 1 C dark chocolate chips

Spray two 8″x4″ loaf pans and set aside. Heat oven to 350 degrees

To brown butter: add two sticks to saucepan, on low to medium heat. Let butter melt, then froth/bubble up, stir it with spatula in order to prevent burning. The bubbles will die down and the butter will start to crackle. The proteins of the butter are sinking to the bottom and after a second bubbling, the bits on the bottom will start to turn a little brown and the butter will change to a more amber color. This whole process will take about 4-5 minutes. Don’t burn the butter, we want it browned. Remove from heat and transfer melted butter and brown bits to a bowl to cool. (We don’t want to add hot butter to the eggs because we don’t want scrambled eggs).

*Note: As always, you can adjust the spices to your taste. I didn’t have enough pumpkin pie spice, so, I had to add a little ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and freshly grated nutmeg.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. When the butter has cooled, add to beaten eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin vanilla and milk. Stir until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry and add chocolate chips. If you find that the mixture is too dry, add a little bit more milk. Divide dough between the loaf pans, bake at 350 for 45-50 min. Check the bread with a toothpick in the center to see if the bread is done. Cool on baking racks. Or, have a warm slice…like I just did.