SALTED BROWN BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES RECIPE

Our Zapata chef Chase Kelley bakes these cookies just before check-in and places them in guests’ rooms moments before their arrival so they’re greeted by the smell of freshly baked cookies.

Makes 26 cookies

8 oz (225 g) butter

2 cups (310 g) flour

1 tsp (8 g) baking soda

¾ tsp (3 g) kosher salt

1 cup packed (220 g) brown sugar

cup (88 g) sugar

2 room temperature large eggs

2 tsp (10 g) vanilla

about 1 cup (175 g) shaved chocolate chunks, varying in size *see note

Sea salt to finish

Preheat the oven to 400℉.

Brown butter by placing it in a medium saucepan and melting over medium heat, stirring often. The butter will melt, then foam, then brown. You will notice the color change and a mild nutty smell coming from the butter. Remove the pan from the heat, carefully pour the butter into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool.

Combine the flour, baking soda and kosher salt in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly to evenly distribute ingredients.

Once the butter has cooled pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment then add the brown and white sugar. Mix on medium-high, scraping down sides as needed, until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time allowing the first egg to fully incorporate before adding the next egg. Add the vanilla. Continue to mix on medium until the mixture lightens in color and begins to thicken, about 4 minutes.

Reduce the mixer to low and slowly add the dry mixture in steps, pausing to allow the flour to incorporate before adding more flour. Turn off the mixer as soon as the flour is fully incorporated, be careful not to overmix.

Remove the mixer bowl from the stand and gently fold the chocolate chunks into the dough.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. This step is important, you are giving the flour time to hydrate.

You can now bake the cookies, freeze the cookies or bake a couple for yourself and freeze the rest.

To bake, prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper, portion cookies using a small ice cream scoop. Leave a couple of inches between cookies. Place in the preheated oven and bake the cookies for 9 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven and immediately sprinkle them with sea salt. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool slightly. Best served warm but they hold up pretty well. When you remove the cookies they will look slightly undercooked and plump, that is what you want, the cookies will fall as they cool. Pulling them just a moment before you normally would is what gives them the chewy texture.

If freezing cookies, prepare baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a small ice cream scoop to portion out cookies, place them as close together as possible. Place cookie trays in the freezer for 30 minutes, allow them to harden, remove cookies from the freezer, place in an air proof container or freezer bag and return the cookies in the freezer. When ready to bake cookies let them defrost slightly before baking.

*note on chocolate

You can use whatever type of chocolate you have on hand, chocolate chips are a fine replacement. We like to use dark chocolate for this recipe. We shave the pieces off of a large chocolate bar by hand. Shaving the chocolate by hand creates varying sizes of chocolate chunks, shavings, dust, and shards; the differing shapes and sizes create a great texture as some pieces melt and a few stay solid. Just be careful not to shave the pieces too finely or you will end up with a chocolatey mess.

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