I've been finding the "baked goods bribe" an effective way to get things done at work lately, so it's been the perfect excuse for me to try out new recipes.
Since we had to set up our kitchen from scratch this time, I signed up for a Cooks Illustrated subscription. It's kind of like the "Consumer Reports" for the home cook, with product ratings and recipes. I love their scientific approach. They test multiple recipes with varying quantities and styles of ingredients to see how the results vary.
My most recent "thank you" baked good project was a request for chocolate chip cookies. I saw that the May 09 issue of Cooks Illustrated had a version with brown butter. I'd never made brown butter before, but gave it a shot. It's a little tricky making sure the "brown butter" doesn't become "burnt butter," but I lucked out the very first time.
It was a bit of extra work as there's some whisking and resting that goes on with the sugar and the butter, but the results are totally worth it. I'll never use a Toll House recipe again!
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