Which means that it’s officially holiday baking season! I have sooo many fun recipes to share with you guys this month, and I am PUMPED about it.
First up, these incredible brown butter chocolate chip cookies flavored with a touch of the holiday season.
The texture on these cookies is crazy good. I tested the brown butter chocolate chip cookie (CCC) base quite a few times before getting it exactly where I wanted it. These are gooey and chewy in the center and crisp and caramelized around the edges. So, so addicting. I am very picky about CCC (they are my favorite #1 cookie of all time), and these pass the Molly test and then some.
The first step, as you may have guessed, is to brown the butter. This is easier than so many people think. Place your butter in a skillet or small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly, until the butter is deeply golden and smells toasty. Watching it carefully is really the hardest part. You don’t want to leave it unattended!
I like to transfer the brown butter to a mixing bowl to cool slightly before I stir in the other ingredients. Bonus about this recipe: no mixer is necessary. The brown butter is already melted, so no creaming the butter and sugars together is needed! This is an old-fashioned style recipe. Mix all the ingredients in one bowl and move on with your life. It’s kind of awesome. Those grandmas were really onto something!
Into the brown butter goes a lot of dark brown sugar, more than you are probably used to seeing in CCC. It gives the cookies amazing chew and that caramel flavor we all know and love about CCC. You can use light brown sugar here as well (I tested it!), but the dark brown is my preference for both flavor and texture reasons.
To add in some festive flair, I grate in some fresh orange zest and stir in dried cranberries. The flavor combo is classic but oh so wonderful. Chocolate and orange go together wonderfully, and so do orange and cranberries. AND cranberries and chocolate are awesome together as well. Match made in heaven times three!
Because we’re working with melted butter, I think this dough works best if you let it sit for a bit after it’s mixed. This lets the gluten in the flour do its job and for all the flavors to get to know each other. You can leave the dough at room temperature as long as your kitchen isn’t too warm. My preference is to pop the bowl of dough into the fridge for 15-20 minutes to let things firm up. It makes it so easy to scoop and roll the dough into cookie balls.
Another hot tip with this recipe (well, with ANY cookie recipe) is to not overbake these! In fact, I pull them out of the oven when they still look gooey and underdone in the middle. Pulling them out of the oven at this stage ensures a gooey, chewy center! If you let them set on the hot cookie sheet for a few minutes after taking them out of the oven, they’ll continue to cook a bit and be complete perfection.
Oh, and don’t forget that sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top! It makes all the sweet flavors sing.
These are such a fun twist on a classic cookie, and they’re perfect for the holiday season. They’re festive, cute, and taste like heaven.
What more could Santa ask for on his Christmas Eve cookie plate?
These Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Orange & Cranberries are the ideal holiday cookie. Brown butter and extra brown sugar make these deeply rich and caramely. They have the perfect gooey chew and crisp edges and are flavored with fresh orange zest and dried cranberries for some festive flavor. Delicious and fun!
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
- Zest of 1 orange (about 2 tablespoons of zest)
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups semisweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the butter in a light-colored skillet or saucepan and set over medium heat (using a light pan makes it easier to see when the butter is browning).
- Cook until the butter is melted and then reduce the heat to medium-low and stir constantly, swirling the pan every now and then, until the butter is deeply golden brown. Watch carefully as it can go from brown to burned in seconds.
- Remove the butter from the heat and allow to cool slightly while you gather the rest of the ingredients.
- Whisk together the cooled brown butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and orange zest until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the eggs and mix until well combined.
- Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Once well combined, pour into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and cranberries. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes (if your kitchen is very warm, place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes or so).
- Line large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop, portion out balls of dough roughly 2 tablespoons big and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space in between.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden and set and the centers still look slightly underdone.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with flaky salt, if using, and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Lightly adapted from here.
- The dough can be made ahead and kept covered in the fridge for a few days. To make scooping the dough easier, I recommend letting the dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so before scooping and baking.
- Baked cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. After that, they are still edible but may get a touch stale.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: cookies
Keywords: Christmas cookies, brown butter chocolate chip cookies, orange and cranberry cookies, orange and cranberry chocolate chip cookies, holiday cookies