Yesterday, over a lovely breakfast of crepes and strawberries, I tried to explain the spring equinox to my 2 year old. This led to a very complicated discussion about how the earth spins on a tilted axis (I held up a tub of cream cheese, angled and tried to spin it around the syrup as a demonstration), and then we went down a bit of a wormhole trying to explain how the sun is a star and how, disappointingly, falling stars are not actually stars. I am quite certain she learned absolutely nothing from this, lol. I am discovering more and more that explaining things to a little one is incredibly difficult and I just don’t have the words!
All that was to tell her that today is the very first day of spring! But ok, she still doesn’t know what ‘spring’ means. The thing is, how do you explain time to a toddler? This morning, she literally asked me ‘where are four minutes’ was and I couldn’t decide whether to tell her they were nowhere or everywhere… so I told her they were both. She responded, as you would expect to an answer like that, with dead silence.
Side, but related, note: she calls cccs “chip chocolate cookies” and I find it unbearably cute.
SO, anyway. I just want to say, happy spring! This is what I baked today. And it’s not the first time I’ve baked it, or the second or the third or…. you get the point. I have made so many white cakes this year (at least ten and it’s barely mid-march…) and have had a bumload of yolks leftover from them. Sure, I made ice cream (we’ll talk about that later) but mostly, I’ve found the easiest thing to do is to turn them into cookie dough.
Because see, I’m a chewy chocolate chip kind of cookie girl. This means that I need more brown sugar than white, will melt my butter and will favor the yolk. When I first started making these, I melted the butter in the microwave but found myself disappointed at the plainness of the dough. Then I tried browning the butter and the flavor was great but I was frustrated by how dry the cookies came out. A breakthrough came when I randomly read that the butter loses moisture in the browning process. I then knew to add more butter than I normally would to a cookie dough, but after testing, learned that even this was not enough. Weirdly, a tablespoon of yogurt made all the difference. From all those attempts, I bring you these seemingly fussy, but actually a welcome answer to lots of leftover yolks, yummy cookies.
Before we get there, I gotta tell you that I’m never going to be the kind of person who writes here that I have THE BEST recipe for a chocolate chip cookie. I don’t believe it exists. I think everyone has an individual taste and we all like different things in a cookie. I like them chewy and I like my chocolate to be a mix of dark and milk. I don’t want to wait for butter to soften and I underbake my cookies. If this sounds like a cookie you are up for, then this recipe is for you!
I will say though that these are DELICIOUS. There’s a slight crisp on the edges that gives away to a soft and chewy center which is loaded with a mix of chocolates. I added sprinkles for fun and cuteness (and ok, to score points with the toddler) but feel free to leave them out.
3 egg yolk, brown butter chocolate chunk cookies
1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons or 6 oz) butter, unsalted
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
¾ cups dark brown sugar
⅓ cup caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
3 egg yolks from 3 large eggs
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ teaspoon baking soda
100g dark chocolate (I use Lindt 70%), chopped
100g milk or white chocolate (I used TraderJoes birthday cake bar), chopped
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue cooking as it bubbles and splutters. A foam will develop on top. Once it goes silent and the foam disappears, you’ll see some brown bits at the bottom and smell a nuttiness, this means it’s done.
Remove from heat immediately once browned, and place in a heat-safe bowl. Add salt and stir. Place bowl in the fridge, allow to firm up for about an hour (when it’s time to make the dough, consistency should be thick like softened butter and color will be white on top with brown bits settling at the bottom)
Preheat oven to 350.
Cream browned butter and sugars for 5 minutes until mix is very light in color. Add egg yolks, cream for another minute. Make sure to keep scraping your bowl for unmixed bits.
Add yogurt, vanilla, baking soda. Beat to combine.
Add flour, mix just to combine.
Fold chopped chocolate into dough.
Portion into 1.5 tablespoons, roll gently in sprinkles. Bake for 10 minutes.