Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies
Made with brown butter and dipped in chocolate + Valentine's ideas.
I may be known best for my cakes, but if you’ve been reading along, then you know one of my favorite treats to eat is a chocolate chip cookie. Crisp edges, soft centers, not too much chocolate, not too little salt - I love them so much.
I don’t make chocolate chip cookies often because I love to try different ones from around town. But if I am baking, you better watch out because they are going to be luxe and I am going to want to eat them all.
For Valentine’s Day, I made these Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies. They weigh in at a whopping 2.7 ounces each (before baking). Like all good things, they start with brown butter and end with a coat of melted Belgian chocolate.
Have you ever heard of the 24-hour, $24 Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookie? They call for over a pound of chocolate fèves and at least one day of resting before baking. Fabulous as they may be, this is my slightly more reasonable, super satisfying version. A bit high maintenance for a chocolate chip cookie, consider this your special occasion CCC.
What you will love about the dough is that you don’t have to worry about ingredients coming to room temperature. Yes, you must brown the butter first (so worth it!), but you will use it in its melted state. Browning the butter and toasting the milk solids add tons of flavor, giving our cookies a huge head start to flavortown - should you want to cut the rest time short.
While you can bake them right away, as we learned in The Great Cookie Wait, the brown sugar flavors are more pronounced after an overnight rest.
You might see these sassy, high maintenance cookies and roll your eyes at the browning butter and overnight rest (not to mention waiting for the chocolate bottoms to dry). But after you taste one, you’ll know. We can’t always be organized enough to plan our cookie cravings a full 24-hours in advance, but these are an exception; a recipe worthy of the wait and commitment to full flavor.
I am totally down for using chocolate chips. There’s been some debate over the years regarding chips vs chopped chocolate vs feves (cha-ching!). We are literally coating the whole bottom in chocolate, so no need for melty puddles on top. I do prefer these Ghiradelli 60% chocolate chips though - they melt just enough but don’t make a huge mess.
Lastly, you might be asking - “Do you have to coat the bottom in chocolate?” Of course not. But it’s nearly Valentine’s Day and doing so elevates them to supreme dessert level or even gifting status. And while everyday chocolate chips are fine for the dough, do try to pick a good quality chocolate for the bottoms (one you’d gladly devour on its own). I used these Belgian 56% cacao semi-sweet disks.
Valentine’s Day Ideas
My husband Brett asked me what I wanted to do for Valentine’s Day. I believe my immediate answer was “I dunno - hang out with our kids?” Because we have three (lovely) ones and not a lot of childcare.
But after thinking over some of our previous Valentine’s Day “dates,” here are some of my favorite ideas that don’t require a babysitter (in addition to the cookies, of course):
Trip to the Bookstore - This was Brett’s idea last year, and I loved it! We went as a family to the bookstore to each pick our own novel. Then, and get this, we would read together nightly. It was like a mini date each time. Treating yourself to a book might not seem all that romantic, but it was actually really nice.
Homemade Italian Dinner - Italian is my favorite food. And when it’s hard to get out, I enjoy making my own. We have a great local Italian market down the street. So for Valentine’s Day, I treated myself to all the specialty ingredients and fun-shaped pasta to cook for the whole family.
Date-Night In - Back when we only had two kids, we would do date-night in every week or so. We would order pizza or make a quick pasta for the kids, then I would cook for just me and Brett while he handled bedtime. This was a great opportunity to not only connect without the kids, but I loved trying out new dishes that the little ones wouldn’t normally want or appreciate. If Brett finished bedtime early, then he was on cocktail duty.
Card Making Session - This is a fun one to do with the kids, especially if they enjoy crafts as much as my daughter. One year, we got out all the scrap paper (old watercolor paintings work great), stickers and markers, turned on some Samara Joy, and cut out as many paper hearts as possible. For me, the longer the craft session - the better. It makes clean-up worth it when we’ve exhausted an activity to its fullest.
Neighborhood Coffee Walk - It’s hard to get a word in these days with three kids around. But with one in the stroller and the bigs playing a game (because they can’t walk not one block without some sort of I-spy or skipping game), our neighborhood walks are actually a great time for Brett and I to catch up. Bonus if there’s a cappuccino or cruffin at the end (the apple cinnamon one from JJ Bean is my favorite).
Now on to the recipe…