Brown Butter Milky Way Cookies

I think Milky Ways are very neglected. Underrated, if you will.

I’m partly to blame for this.  I rarely buy candy bars to eat (to bake with is another issue), but when I do, I will 99.99999% of the time choose something with peanuts or peanut butter.  Snickers, Pay Day, Reese’s, Butterfinger, etc.  Never a Milky Way.

Don’t get me wrong.  They’re yummy.  Caramel is delicious is any form.  So when I was at Wal-Mart for the sole purpose of raiding the Easter candy clearance, I threw a 6-pack of Milky Way eggs into my basket, thinking I could bake something yummy. (I mean, they were $1.50…so…not really a high-risk investment.)

I was right.  I could definitely bake something yummy.  Milky Way + brown butter = love.  Apparently I’ve been stuck somewhere in 2008 (earlier?) and hadn’t jumped on the brown butter bandwagon yet.  Forgive me!  As I’m sure everyone living in the present knows, brown butter adds a rich nuttiness to baked goods, and really highlighted the butterscotch flavors in the Milky Way caramel.

Yum.  Just…yum.

I threw in some chocolate chips for good luck too.  Used Picky Palate’s and Joanne Chang’s cookie recipes as a base, and decided on my own proportions of bread flour to all-purpose and brown sugar to granulated.  The experimentation was way worth it.  While the cookies weren’t quite as thick as I wanted them to be, they were perfectly chewy and just the slightest bit salty…i.e. perfect and addicting.

(Also…another brown butter tidbit I’m sure y’all are already aware of…sometimes brown butter baked goods turn out slightly darker than regular butter baked goods.  This does not mean they’re burned.  The Weatherman wishes I had known this in advance, because I got extremely grumpy when I thought I had burned my first batch.)

Brown Butter Milky Way Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 cup (= 2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup bread flour
1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips
6 Milky Way eggs, or probably 3 full-size bars, frozen and roughly chopped

1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, swirling the pan to help it melt evenly.  Cook the butter until it’s foamy…then the foam will subside, and the butter will begin to darken in color.  Swirl the pan to distribute that color.  When it’s done, it should look like this (for me the whole process took about 7 minutes):

Yummy brown goodness

I poured the brown butter into a glass measuring cup to let it cool for about 10 minutes, otherwise the chocolate will get too soft when you mix everything up.
2. Once the butter is cooled slightly, pour into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and add both sugars.

Yes, you want all those slightly icky brown bits in your cookies.

Beat on medium high speed until well-combined, about 2 minutes.  It won’t get fluffy like when you cream butter and sugar since the butter was melted.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
3. Beat in baking soda and salt, then add both flours.  Stir in with a rubber spatula until flour is incorporated.  Stir in chopped Milky Ways and chocolate chips.  Scoop dough by tablespoonfuls, and roll into balls.  Place on a large plate (or if you have room in your fridge, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, placed about 2 inches apart) and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 325º with racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions.  If you refrigerated the dough on a plate, transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and just set on the edges.  Let cookies cool on baking sheets for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Recipe inspired by Picky Palate and Joanne Chang

I linked this recipe up to Sweet as Sugar’s Sweets for a Saturday post…go check out all the other fantastic recipes posted there!

I’m getting excited for Cinco de Mayo!  Although antibiotics will prohibit me from any margaritas (not happy about this), I have an exciting Rick Bayless recipe in mind for y’all, hopefully up tomorrow evening.  Thanks for reading, happy baking!


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