Alternative titles for this recipe included "99 Problems But Brown Butter Ain't One", "Toffee for President", "Legitimately Addictive Cookies" or "Medium-Sized Circles of Heaven" but I reined it in. (You're welcome.)
I've made three batches of these cookies since discovering the recipe a week ago. I did run into the SMALL issue of not being to find toffee bars -- which surprised me, given that I consider Skor bars to be one of the greatest candy bars around (simple is better, kids!).
I went to summer camp on a lake in Vermont when I was growing up. We'd spend 8 weeks in tents perched on a hillside, nestled into acres of cool, shaded forest. My mom would send us care packages, and once a summer she'd come visit. I wasn't usually homesick at camp (my two older sisters were counselors so I had plenty of familiarity close at hand), but there is nothing like your mom, so her visits always felt like the best days in a string of already good days. I can picture her in her khaki Patagonia shorts and t-shirt, walking with me along the edge of the lake, on sun-dappled roads that smell distinctly of pine trees and lake water. She'd bring me a stash of Skor bars, which is very unlike my mother (packaged candy was pretty much contraband in our household), and I can remember the exact taste of the first bite of each bar.
I still love Skor bars with their buttery, crunchy toffee center. It turns out that they're even better when you chop them up and stir them into chocolate chip cookie dough. And it turns out that those cookies are even better when you brown the butter first, adding a nutty and rich dimension to your dough. I like to add a very generous sprinkling of flaky sea salt on top of each cookie before baking to offset all the sweetness.
Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped chocolate-covered toffee bars (like Skor)
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
flaky sea salt (I use Maldon) to finish
In a medium pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Swirl the pan constantly until the butter begins to foam and start to brown -- keep a close eye on it as you don't want it to burn. Once it starts foaming, it will start to brown quite quickly. You'll notice it start to smell deliciously nutty and you can see the brown bits on the bottom. Remove it from the heat, pour it into a large bowl (scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan!), and let it cool slightly.
Once the butter has cooled a little, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer with the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat until combined (about a minute).
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Beat for about 30 seconds (don't overmix or the butter starts to separate out).
Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and beat for about 30 seconds until just combined.
Fold in the chocolate and chocolate-covered toffee with a spatula. A note: I like to chop the toffee bars into irregular-sized bits, with some chunks as large as 1/4" and some in shards. Same goes for the dark chocolate and if you can find discs or wafers instead of chips, even better.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for about 12-15 minutes.