Charlotte was an assistant innkeeper who was always up for trying a recipe that sounded good. This cookie concoction taken from Cooks Illustrated is incredible!
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (about 1 ounce)
- 2 cups packed dark brown sugar (use fresh, soft sugar for best results) (14 ounces)
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour (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
Heat 10 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch skillet (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 brown) over medium-high heat until melted. Continue to cook the butter until it is browned a dark golden color and smells nutty about 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer the browned butter to a heatproof bowl and stir the rest of the butter into the hot butter until it melts. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and a 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, rubbing between fingers until well combined; set this mixture aside to roll dough balls in. Mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Add 1 3/4 cup brown sugar and salt to cooled butter and mix until there are no lumps, about 30 seconds. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla to butter mixture and mix well, about 30 seconds, then add flour and mix until just combined. Make sure no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed. Roll dough into 24 balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and roll in sugar mixture. Place balls about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake sheets one at a time until cookies are puffy and lightly browned, about 12-14 minutes. (The cookies will look slightly raw between some of the cracks and seem underdone, but be careful not to overbake.) Cool on sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool.