Welcome to an entire post about my favorite autumnal topic: Homemade Apple Pie. This pie is PERFECTION. Simple, classic, perfectly spiced apples are baked in a flaky, crispy pie crust.
These Chocolate Cardamom Morning Rolls are it!
The autumn shift is happening all around us! Pumpkins and gourds are starting to show up at the markets, watermelon is now very bland and lacks any sort of sweetness, melons are slowly fading, and while LA has temperatures that are still kicking, there have been a few mornings that have felt brisk. Autumn is so close!
I wanted to kick this season off with these Chocolate Cardamom Morning Rolls with Artisan Collection by Nestlé® Toll House®. Their two luxurious options are: Extra Semi-Sweet and Extra Dark. Both are really delicious. I’ve used them in a few baked goods and the chocolate is rich and has amazing deep flavor. These baking chips are made from single-origin chocolate from Ghana and are available now! Ghana is fortunate in having wonderful rich soil, making it ideal for its top exporter: cocoa beans. The chocolate is really high-quality and pairs with all sorts of flavors like caramel, walnuts, cinnamon, honey and more!
These Brown butter chocolate chip cookies have a nutty, deep flavor. They’re made better by adding finely chopped walnuts to the dough. They’re chewy, butter, nutty and perfectly chocolate-y.
Let’s dive into these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, shall we?
I put on Instagram a few weeks ago a question, “Do walnuts belong in chocolate chip cookies?!” I knew the question was divisive but I did it anyway! And boy, were the responses aggressive! People are incredibly opinionated about chocolate chip cookies, rightfully so.
Can I Add Walnuts to My Chocolate Chip Cookies
I did a poll on Instagram and asked readers if walnuts belonged in chocolate chip cookies. 60% of readers voted “Absolutely not!”
I felt attacked.
40% of readers voted “Yes, delicious!” I say you should add whatever you want! I love walnuts.
I’m not that precious about my chocolate chip cookies. And walnuts happen to be one of my favorite nut varieties! I like them. They can stay. They can sit with us.
If you’re in the “absolutely not” camp, don’t worry, this recipe allows you to leave them out completely.
What Does Brown Butter Do for Chocolate Chip Cookies
Browning the butter gives these chocolate chip cookies a nutty quality to them that isn’t all that distinguishable. It adds a depth of flavor that is hard to pin point. You don’t eat these cookies and think to yourself, “Oh this is brown butter!” Their flavor is more subtle. That caramel-like flavor that lives in these cookies goes SO well with sea salt. Yum.
Should You Brown Butter for Cookies
Let’s dive into browning butter for chocolate chip cookies. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as browning butter. You see, when you brown butter, you cook the water out of the butter. Water in butter does a lot for baked goods. It adds moisture and steam.
For this recipe for brown butter chocolate chip cookies, we brown the butter and then we add a bit of water to the butter after it’s browned.
How to Brown Butter
The cozy way to brown butter is to almost burn it. Almost. There are some applications where I just straight burn the butter and it’s delicious. The baked good doesn’t result in a burned butter flavor but a totally browned butter flavor. It’s rich, deep and nutty.
I take my melted butter pretty far. I do not allow lightly browned butter to be a part of my life in any way. So take it until it’s dark brown.
Should You Use Light Brown or Dark Brown Sugar for Chocolate Chip Cookies
I always use light brown sugar. The subtle molasses flavor makes for a more balanced cookie. I actually ONLY buy light brown sugar vs. dark brown sugar. Because I personally enjoy the flavor a bit more. In addition to light brown sugar, these cookies of course, also call for granulated sugar.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, (we're going to melt it so it can be straight from the fridge)
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 large whole eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 12 ounces dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts , (from about 1/2 cup)
- n a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, soda and salt.
- In medium saucepan, set over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Take out a silicon whisk and give the butter a stir. It will begin to foam up and bubble. Stirring frequently, allow it to keep going until it goes from a pale yellow color to a light brown color. Once it hits a light brown color, I like to give it a few more stirs just so I can monitor the color. This process happens quickly so don’t walk away! Keep stirring it until it goes from a light brown color to deep golden brown. Remove it from the heat and give it a few more stirs. I like to let it continue to cook until it’s dark brown. Immediately pour it into a large bowl. Whisk in the two teaspoons of water. Allow the brown butter to cool for about 10 minutes. (If you don’t do this, when you add the chocolate, it’ll melt.)
- Next, whisk in the sugars. And then, add the eggs and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Lastly, fold in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using). Stick in fridge for 1 hour to chill.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Scoop out 1 1/2-inch balls of dough and roll them between your palms; place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet spacing them 3 inches apart. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough. These are best eaten warm with milk.
If you make these on Instagram, let me know!
Looking for more chocolate chip cookies? Here are some more favorites:
- Chai Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Sesame Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Strawberry and Cream Cookies
- Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Let’s make a Cozy Gingerbread House!
Did you ever have a Barbie Dream House? I think I asked for one for my eighth birthday (if I remember correctly) and I imagined myself being a grown-up in it. I had dogs (of course), I had a husband (Ken) whose head I shaved because I thought his blonde hair was ugly (I dunno) and a few kids who were ok. But most importantly, I had a pool with a slide and a trampoline. I also had a siqqq car that was bright pink that I’d use to pick up my friends so we could go to the movies and Disneyland.
When I got the insane idea that I should built a gingerbread house, I started to think: What should it look like? What should it include?
I remembered my Barbie Dream House and decided maybe that should be my inspo? I decided to leave out people because I don’t think I can make realistic versions of gingerbread humans.
Let’s start from the beginning…
What You Need to Build a Gingerbread House!
The first step to making my gingerbread house was planning the dimensions like the architect that I AM NOT.
I started crunching numbers and ended up using old Amazon boxes that were in the recycling for my templates. And XACTO knife comes in real handy in this instance.
Making Dough for a Gingerbread House
Erin McDowell’s recipe is by far the best. I thought about developing my own recipe but I was short on time. And honestly, hers works wonderfully, no surprise there. It’s fragrant, gingery and perfectly spiced with ground ginger and brown sugar, resulting in perfect gingerbread house pieces. I made extra dough to make my life easier and I didn’t regret doing so!
I happened to have shortening in my pantry because of these biscuits and it ended up making life SO much easier. I surprisingly had all of these ingredients in my pantry and just whisked the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, spices) on hand before and then combined it with the shortening–super easy! Her tips, btw, are absolutely brilliant. She over-bakes her gingerbread to make it sturdier. I did the same and I found that really helped, too.
Another great thing with this dough is you can make it ahead of time. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge or freezer.
If you like, you can roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment, but I had luck just rolling it out with a bit of flour and a rolling pin.
Royal Icing Is Important
Royal icing will act like the glue between the gingerbread house walls. It’ll also act like glue to stand up a corgi, trees, or whatever else. Royal icing is typically egg white and powdered sugar, beaten together until light and fluffy. But I frankly refuse to do it that way and instead opt for meringue powder. You can find it at any craft store like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. I prefer it over egg whites because it’s much neater and skips a huge step (separating eggs).
You can make royal icing ahead and store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Just be sure to bring it back to room temperature and give it a good stir before adding it to any piping bag.
I decided on an almond-shingled roof. I LOVE the results.
If you’re interested in a true zen experience, glue on a million perfectly slivered almonds for two hours. Truth be told, I actually enjoy these types of things. I mediate and zone out and think about my life. Sometimes I even cry—it’s fun! These roof pieces ended up being total stunners and highly recommend them!
Creating Stain-Glass Windows!
Last minute I felt like I needed to create some dimension and lure to the cozy gingerbread house so I cut out some windows on each side of the house and the front.
I baked the sides of the house FIRST and then filled a few of the windows on the side and in the front with crushed up Jolly Ranchers.
I baked them for maybe around 5 to 6 minutes and the Jolly Ranchers ended up melting in the oven and making the prettiest pink windows.
Making an Edible Pool!
The pool is made from gingerbread dough that I cut out into an oval. I filled it with a piece of foil and crushed blue Jolly Ranchers to replicate the look of frozen water. I added a diving board because that’s what I would want in my own backyard.
Building Amelia’s Dog House!
Amelia’s Dog House is obviously just for show because she wouldn’t think of ever sleeping outside. She prefers to sleep on beds and pillows. But it is cute. I used this gingerbread mini house cookie cutter.
I have recently (re)discovered the pleasure of wearing a robe around the house. I have this one, in case you’re curious, and it feels like luxury! I have no idea what I’ve been doing wearing PJs when I could’ve been wearing an incredibly soft robe. This recipe for Danish Braided Strawberry Bread is the perfect fluffy loaf to be made in a robe.
I think a lot about Christmas breakfast and how epic I always want it to be. I always love a braided situation. I usually use store-bought puff pastry but I love this bread-y version because oh so delicious.