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I was on the tube yesterday on my way to work when I realised that everyone around me looked absolutely exhausted.  Rather than flicking through the day’s metro or reading their kindles, most people were just staring into space.

Partly this is because almost by definition anyone on the Jubilee line heading to Canary Wharf at 7am on a Thursday morning is going to be exhausted but there is also a definite case of end-of-the-year-itis sweeping across the country.

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Nearly all of my colleagues are ill at the moment. We’ve turned one of the desks in the office into a pharmacy, spread with a variety of cold and flu (and hangover) remedies.  We’ve devoted most of our lunchtimes this week to finding the best source of germ-busting spicy ramen.

I should add that in my case, this is entirely preemptive as I have not (yet) succumbed to anything nasty but I can’t help feeling that it’s only a matter of time.

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And whilst I am still surprisingly healthy, I definitely feel in need of a break over Christmas.  In the meantime, I think the best way to cope with these last few weeks of the year  is chocolate chip cookies and lots of them.

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I saw Carey’s smoky cardamom ginger cookies a couple of weeks ago and it served as a timely reminder of Izy’s technique of infusing the butter pre-cookie making.  Having recently made mulled wine, I wondered if those same spices could be used to make some sort of mulled spiced butter.

Clearly, the answer was yes.

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The lovely thing about flavouring the butter, rather than the cookie dough, is that the taste is much more rounded and subtle.  The spices are not too aggressive – it doesn’t feel like you’ve got a mouthful of Christmas potpourri – but they are definitely there, adding another dimension of flavour.  And they all, of course, work very well with the rich chunks of dark chocolate spread throughout the dough.  If I’d had more time, I might have made homemade chocolate chips, a la Heston, and added a dash of mulled wine to the truffle mixture just to carry the theme through.  Alas, time is a bit of a luxury in December.

mulled brown butter chocolate chip cookies

Yield: About 24 cookies

This excellent technique of infusing the butter was the brainchild of the ever inspiring Izy of Top with Cinnamon and her Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies. I was extremely lazy and used a little sachet of mulling spices to make the mulled brown butter. You can just throw in a nice mix of orange/lemon peel, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg though for a similar effect For some extra-Christmassy flavour, I used Green and Black's Maya Gold chocolate with all its orangey spicy goodness but plain dark chocolate (or dark chocolate with ginger) would be equally delicious.

Ingredients

  • 115g (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 sachet of mulling spices (or whatever spices you'd use to make mulled wine)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bit (does it have a better name?) to star anise
  • 175g (1 1/2 cups or 6 oz) kamut flour (or whatever)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 150g (2/3 cup) unrefined caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 100g (4oz) dark chocolate, preferably with some kind of orange/spice flavour like Green and Black's Maya Gold, chopped roughly
  • Sea salt for scattering on top (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat with the mulling spices, cinnamon stick and star anise. Heat until the starts to bubble and has turned a lovely golden brown colour. Take off the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and salt.
  3. When the butter has cooled, strain it through a sieve into a large bowl and cream it together with the sugars until combined. Add the egg and beat again. As this isn’t a recipe for a cake, you don’t need to keep on beating forever – you just want everything all nicely mixed together. You can do it by hand if you want although I used my electric mixer.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the chopped chocolate.
  5. Chill the mixture in the fridge for any time between 30 minutes and 24 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F (fan) and prepare a couple of baking sheets with either greaseproof paper or a silicone mat.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop, place spoonfuls of the dough on the baking sheet, squidge down with your fingers and, if desired, scatter a little sea salt on top.
  8. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until the edges of the cookies just start to turn golden brown and are firm to the touch.
  9. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Notes

Inspired by Izy's Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookie recipe adapted from these brown butter chocolate chip cookies

http://londonbakes.com/2013/12/mulled-brown-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies.html
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58 Responses to "mulled brown butter chocolate chip cookies"
  1. Ooooh what a clever idea! I haven’t seen that before. Will definitely have to try it soon – these cookies look gorgeous.

    • kathryn says:

      Thanks Emma, I was surprised quite how well it work and what a great flavour it gave to the cookies. I’m really keen to try it with some kind of cake too.

  2. mehrunnisa says:

    seems like you and i are on the same wavelength. i was thinking of mulled wine spiced biscuits. but you of course executed it. i’ve just pinned these and will hopefully try them soon! x

    • kathryn says:

      I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t get round to sneaking the wine in there too. I hope you like them if you get the chance to make them : )

  3. These look too good and the concept of flavoring the butter is very clever.
    From what you’ve shared with us on your blog these past few weeks I can understand that a bit of a break is nice, especially after all that traveling. I too am quite looking forward to going home, spending some time with my family and not thinking about Uni for a few days. Unfortunately, I will have some assignments to finish over the break, but even Uni work is enjoyable when I’m at home surrounded by a plate of Christmas cookies.

    • kathryn says:

      That sucks that you have to work over the Christmas break and don’t get to totally switch off but you’re right, everything seems better when you’re surrounded by a plate of Christmas cookies!

  4. Skye says:

    I am suffering from such a severe case of end-of-the-year-itis that the only thing getting me through is comfort food. These cookies look like the very best kind of comfort food! The mulled brown butter butter is such an indulgent and evocative touch.

  5. These cookies truly look perfect. I love the mulling spices…can totally imagine how good they smell baking :)

  6. Angharad says:

    These look absolutely delightful! And I’m in full agreement about the end of year-itis, as you know. I think you might have succumbed if you’d hung out with me last night — I am basically a walking ball of grossness. Keep avoiding it! (Maybe by eating these magic cookies!)

    • kathryn says:

      I’m pretty sure the coughing and sneezing of my colleagues has doomed me but you’re right, it was probably for the best that we postponed! I hope you feel better soon xo

  7. Infused butter you say? *runs towards the kitchen*

    But seriously, what a great idea! I might need to experiment further with this one.

  8. carey says:

    Mulled butter! I love it. I’ve been dreaming of doing a wintery version of a tarte au sucre, infused butter-style. Mulling spices might just be the ticket. :)

  9. Sophia says:

    There is definitely a case of end-of-year-itis going around – I know many people who have been ill these past few weeks (including myself) and more and more conversations include references to this hear having been a tough one and that it is time for the new year to begin. It’s certainly been a long year for me and I cannot wait to wind down a bit over Christmas – I am looking forward to 10 days at home, most of it preferably spent on the sofa leafing through cookbooks and eating cookies.

    I remember Izzy’s post well and it is such a great technique, one I really should use more often. Love the sound of these cookies – I am a huge fan of mulled wine but have yet to try the exact mix of spices in a cookie, sounds so delicious!

    • kathryn says:

      Hurrah for sofa-sitting and cookie-eating! I’m definitely looking forward to doing a lot of both of those over Christmas too.

  10. Genius idea to mull the butter! I haven’t tried that yet with brown butter. Love these so much!!

  11. Ashlae says:

    MULLED BUTTER? Thom is going to lose his shit. I’ve been making him ghee and infusing the batches with saffron and vanilla (crazy, but apparently delicious on bagels and toast with jam) – and I can’t wait to try this one next.

    Also, dunno how your immune system is but whenever I’m around sick kids (and sick kids are way more germy than sick adults) I take 1000mg doses of ester-c and NEVER get sick. I’ve never gotten a flu shot but I swear that ester-c is the oral equivalent, minus all the weird stuff.

    • kathryn says:

      My immune system is generally pretty terrible as a side effect of my arthritis meds so ester-c sounds like it might well be a life-saver. Thanks for the tip, I will go and order it by the bucket-load.

  12. Tieghan says:

    Whoa! These are so cool! I have never heard of mulled butter, but I have to give it a try! These cookies look so good!!

    Oh and I know what you mean about the end of the year thing. I am sick and so everyone around me. Ugh!

  13. Erin says:

    Such a great idea!
    Also end-of-the-year-itis. YES.

  14. Erika says:

    Mulled Butter!! LOVE it!!! These cookies must happen soon in my house.

  15. What a cool idea! I’ll definitely have to give butter infusion a try one of these days. Hang in there — the holidays are coming soon (lord knows we all need the rest).

  16. Cindy says:

    These cookies look amazing! I have been thinking about all variations of chocolate chip cookies lately. I mean, there are never too many recipes.

  17. Wow! These sound delicious!
    I hope you don’t get sick! I’ve been popping garlic pills whenever I come in contact with a sick person! Good luck!

  18. Marie says:

    Great idea !! They look delish :)

  19. What an absolutely brilliant idea! Mulled butter sounds so Christmassy!

  20. You are a brilliant genius, lady! I love this idea. Never thought to infuse the melted butter with such delicious flavours.

    Hope you manage to not get too sick and are back to being healthy again, soon!

  21. I think I could probably drink mulled butter on its own… Saving that, a couple of these cookies would probably do the festive trick!

  22. Bake says:

    These look (and sound) delicious. Please take part in next year’s FB Cookie Swap ;) Hope you manage to stay healthy! Our office has been the same, with some nasty bug lasting 4 weeks – not ideal for people working in tax at this time of year! xoxo

  23. Chocolate chip cookies is a great break for any time of the year, but especially during the holidays :) Take care!

  24. Joanne says:

    Stay healthy chica!! Don’t succumb!!

    And “a mouthful of Christmas potpourri” is definitely not what I want to be eating. Subtly spiced mulled butter in cookie form…absolutely YES.

  25. I’ve noticed that people look like zombies too. Sigh. The joys of the holidays. Thankfully there are beautiful cookies to keep us fueled!

  26. I have these at the chilling stage now and the smell of the dough is just gorgeous. The possibilities are endless to starting with flavored butter. Genius! I can’t wait to get them in the oven.

  27. Beautiful little treats! I’d love to binge on them now.

  28. Teffy says:

    Mulled brown butter?! Say whaaaat?!
    Looks amazing!

    { Teffys Perks Blog } X

  29. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    merry christmas! what a brilliant idea! I’m going to have to try this next time I bake!

  30. Lindsey says:

    Wow, Kathryn you’re totally ruling the cookie game! I have been thoroughly enjoying all of your holiday cookie recipes, and love that they lend themselves to other seasons as well! Last week’s buckwheat biscotti was so killer, I’m totally trying those out soon! Happy holidays, xo!

  31. Yumm!! Can’t wait to try this recipe :)

  32. Hope says:

    These look amazing! I love baking and love this unique version of chocolate chip cookies! I will definitely try them!

    Merry Christmas!

    I am a new bloglovin’ follower! Could you check out my blog and follow if you like it? http://lovelytravelss.blogspot.com

    Hope xx

  33. Natalie says:

    Mulled brown butter might just be the best way of getting festive flavours into a cookie that I’ve seen – my mind is slightly blown!

    I’m also thinking the same method could work for loose leaf chai tea?! Must experiment…

  34. Whoa. Interesting cookies! I love it. :)

    I hope you didn’t get sick! And it’s funny how different work places are in the US. There you’re not even technically allowed to give a colleague an Aspirin. So a desk full of medicine?! Haha. No.

  35. sara forte says:

    great idea! I have been thinking it’s high time for a batch of cookies around here. I always hesitate because hugh and I can blow through them too quickly on our own, but I need them. The smell of browning butter is one to be rivaled so I will for sure be trying this technique. Cute little cookies!

    • kathryn says:

      Thanks for your comment Sara; I’ve taken to freezing at least half the batch of cookie dough when I make it so we’re not tempted to eat the whole lot at once and so I know that freshly baked cookies are only ever 20 minutes away. Happy new year to you and Hugh!

  36. Vickie says:

    yum, yes please :)

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