Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Wednesday Night Baking

on October 10, 2013

I make no bones about the fact that I’m a much happier woman when I am baking something. Always have been. Cooking comes in a hair’s breadth close, but baking still has the edge. For quite a while I’ve been in something of a funk because I just don’t have much reason to bake like I did, but lately I’ve considered that a relatively simple solution would be to find other recipients – like the techs in Norfolk and Groton and (possibly) Pearl. I can bake what I like, ship it off to them – and it’s all good. We just need to make sure they can continue to fit down a hatch. It’s just something to think about.

Anyway, I was afforded a more imminent baking opportunity as relatively earlyish (for us at least), Iseult informed me that she required baked goods to support a fundraiser for the Library Club at her school. Crafty child – she knew I could not pass up the opportunity to make use of so many guinea pigs.

As luck would have it, earlier in the day (instead of finishing up financial reports), I took a little stroll over to Averiecooks (by way of Baked Bree) to find this recipe.

I made a couple minor tweaks – didn’t have any unsalted butter (the horror!) and I ended up using vanilla bean paste because I was out of extract. And, I was also out of bread flour, so used all-purpose. Browning the butter takes a little time, but don’t skip this step. The yummy smell alone is worth it

A note here about browning butter. While it will add tremendous depth of flavor, browning butter can be a little tricky. You must keep the butter moving (stir gently or swirl the pan) and it will turn on you faster than a girl. As soon as you see those milk solids start to brown, dump the butter into a bowl because the residual heat will keep cooking them. I make my own ghee and I’ve burned more butter than you can imagine – so I’m telling you from experience here, eyes on the butter!

Anyway, without further fanfare, I give you

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

½ cup butter, browned (I used salted)

1 large egg

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed (might try again with dark brown, hmm)

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or extract)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (recipe originally called from bread flour)

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt (and I did use this even with using salted butter)

1 ¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (heath chips would be killer too, hmmm)

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 12-cup regular sized muffin pan with cooking spray (or whatever you use to grease stuff – I would not oil).

Brown the butter in a heavy skillet, then pour into a large mixing bowl and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Whisk together the flour, soda and salt and set aside.

Add the egg, sugars, and vanilla to the butter and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir until it’s just incorporated; then fold in the chocolate chips.

Divide the dough equally between the muffin cups. These are not going to rise much, so don’t worry if they look a little full. Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes (mine took 9, but my oven is temperamental), or until the tops are just set and lightly golden. You really don’t want to over bake them. Let the cookies cool for 20 minutes in the pans, and then remove to a wire cooling rack. If they seem to stick, use a really skinny spatula to gently loosen them. Mine popped out pretty easily.

I’m actually terrible at taking pictures of things, but here they are in finished form:

photo (2)

Iseult bravely volunteered to perform the necessary QC and pronounced that they were fit for consumption and when would I be making more.

(Perhaps 9pm is not considered early in some households. Here, chez Maeve & Filles, it’s practically the middle of the afternoon.)

[Ed. I actually doubled the recipe which is why you see more than 12 cookies on the cooling rack – there would have been 24, but Iseult grabbed one before I could take the picture.  She’s so sneaky that way!]


10 responses to “Wednesday Night Baking

  1. taylor says:

    Hi maeve,

    I saw you wanted access to my blog, I just wanted to let you know that blog has been offline for years. I now maintain an infertility blog, which is not happy reading.

    All the best,

    PS. I am always happier when I am baking!

    • Maeve says:

      Hi Taylor,
      I did think that might be the case. I am so terribly sorry to hear of your pain. It sounds so trite, I know, but will keep you in my prayers.
      My problem was a little different – no problems getting pregnant, just couldn’t seem to keep them. Am grateful every day for my two miracles.

  2. taylor says:

    It does not sound trite at all. I appreciate all support, in any form. All the best.

  3. Morvena says:

    I really need to make myself learn how to bake; my problem is a combination of never being taught/made to do it and a general disinterest in things kitchen-related. These sound (and look) delicious!

    • Maeve says:

      Morvena, they were not really hard and you could skip browning the butter if you wanted. They would probably taste yummy that way too. If you really want to learn, I recommend getting a good all-purpose cookbook (like a Classic Betty Crocker or Hood Housekeeping) and start there. I still use my Mother’s old cookbook that she got when she first married. It’s held together with rubber bands now, but I would not give it up for anything. I learned every basic cooking skill from that book. eBay is a great source for one. I don’t really think that the modern versions (1970 and later) have the same flavor, if you will. They’re more utilitarian. The older ones really were a housewife’s handbook and it shows.

      I think there are some core basic recipes every cook should have. Nothing complicated, but which will give you confidence and success. Let me know if you ever need done suggestions or resources; I’m more than happy to share.

      The daughter told me this evening that kids at her school went crazy for them, so they’re definitely in the “make again” file.

      • Morvena says:

        Maeve, thank you for the advice! I’ll have to check out eBay and see if I can find a good cookbook since I really do need to learn some basic things, at least. Technically I can (and have) made both gazpacho and pretzel-kisses before, but I figured I might want a little more variety than that 😉

  4. Elspeth says:

    Those look delicious, Maeve. We bake a lot around here, too much I sometimes think.

    • Maeve says:

      Elspeth, they were so good (as reported to me) and really easy to pop out – 2 dozen baked in 9 minutes – can’t be beat. I want to try them with Heath pieces too. To my own credit, I didn’t try so much as a crumb. Darn near killed me. 🙂

  5. Morvena says:

    I hate to bump old posts, but I wanted to mentioned that I made these a couple of nights ago! My oven is a little wonky (cheapie that came with the apartment) so I ended up with the outer edge a little browner and crunchier than they were probably supposed to be, but I thought they still tasted pretty good! My husband thought so, too. Not bad for my first ever baking adventure 🙂

    • Maeve says:

      That’s fantastic! You can chat on any post you like. In a couple weeks I’m making some Kolache cookies (raspberry & cherry) because the my Father in Law loves them, and some pecan pie bars. I’ ll post the recipes.

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