I’m coming down from a summer cooking/baking/working/traveling/prepping-for-school high and feeling autumn all throughout my bones. I even attempted to make pumpkin spice latte syrup the other day (it was semi-successful and definitely something I will keep working on.) It’s not even October yet and I’m already thinking of what I’ll make for Thanksgiving dessert, which cookie recipes to develop for the holidays, and which Starbucks is closest to my house (I want a PSL, y’all.)
I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of either loaded cookies or brown sugar cookies, but I came to this somewhat organically. And by somewhat, I mean I was inspired by my friend’s Cottage Food Organization, Beurre Pastry Shop, a bakery she runs out of her house in the Bay Area. She makes loaded cookie bars and they just look mouthwatering-ly brilliant. I didn’t want to copy her entirely…and I’m still hurting from My Year of Pretending to Be Julie Powell and Julia Child and Making a F***ton of Bars…so I decided on cookies instead.
The first batch were pretty damn good. The second batch were…so-so. Apparently my note-taking skills are still rusty (it’s been 3 years since I’ve been a student, okay?) and I left out half of the butter. By the third and fourth batches (just making small tweaks to get the recipe perfect), I figured everyone in my house and my stomach were stuffed, so I settled on the recipe below. At first, I thought I would incorporate about three or four flavors, but I ended up with seven: coconut, white chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, almond, pecan, and dark chocolate. (That’s seven if you don’t count the base of brown sugar.)
They’re like little block parties in the mouth.
loaded brown sugar cookies
makes 4 dozen small (2 tsp) or 1 dozen large (3 Tbsp/8-9 tsp)
The chilling before scooping is really just a precaution that can be helpful with most cookies. When you soften the butter, then beat it constantly with the other ingredients, it gets closer and closer to melting, so chilling the dough gives the oven a headstart before the butter (the dough) melts too much. You can bake the dough as soon as you assemble it, too.
240 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1 c unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature
200 g dark brown sugar
2 large egg yolks (0.6 ounces/17 g each)
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
add-ins: chopped dark chocolate, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, pecans, walnuts, shredded coconut (20 – 50 g each)
2~3 Tbsp raw, turbinado, or demerara sugar for finishing
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl or electric stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes with the paddle attachment.
With the mixer running, beat in the egg yolks and extracts. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat until smooth and fluffy.
Beat in the flour mixture in 2-3 additions, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. When the dough is almost totally combined, toss in the add-ins all at once and keep beating until they’re mixed in and the dough is uniform.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a small (2 teaspoon) scoop (or a large, 4-tsp scoop if you want larger cookies), scoop the dough onto the baking sheets, spacing each cookie about 2-4 inches apart. Sprinkle a pinch of raw/turbinado/demerara sugar on top, and bake 10 – 15 minutes until just starting to brown around the edges.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
I like them best chilled and eaten straight from the fridge, but warm and gooey is good, too!
It’s party time, y’all