Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies
Well, hello. Hi. How are you? Glad tidings. Happy Holidays. I like your hair.
Are you doing all of the lovely winter things? Hot chocolate? Mittens? Ski caps? Snow men?
I’d like to bring you stories of frolicking snowball fights and ski lift passes, but I’m terrified of both flying ice balls and ski lifts. Instead I could tell you about this tremendous head cold and how I’m trying to drown it in ginger tea and cookies.
White Chocolate and grapefruit. Let’s stay on our toes and in the game!
The thing is, we’ve got to get all the tasty goodness of juicy pink grapefruits into these cookies without the actual juice of the juicy pink grapefruit… you know what I mean?
Zest is the answer. All the intense flavor, none of the juice to dilute our cookies.
To work this magic, we rub together grapefruit zest and granulated sugar. Rub with either the back of a spoon or your fingers to release the oils (and thereby the flavor of grapefruit) into the sugar.
Grapefruit sugar is creamed with softened butter until fluffy. As an added bonus, this also smells divine.
Brown sugar and cooled brown butter are added to the fluffy butter. Combined. Good and plenty.
Large eggs: one whole plus one yolk.
Oh! I used electric hand-beaters for this recipe which I just recently incorporated into my kitchen. What took me so long? They’re kinda the best!
Flour, baking soda, and salt. The usual and essential suspects.
I like to use a wooden spoon for this part of cookie making. A wooden spoon usually prevents a flour explosion. Usually.
White chocolate chips. An ample amount.
The cookie dough needs to rest in the refrigerator for an hour. This is a critical time in which the butter will chill, absorb the liquid from the eggs, generally relax, and we’ll have an hour to test our willpower and patience.
Because I am so utterly predictable, I topped each cookie dough ball with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt before baking. I love to balance the sweetness of the cookie and white chocolate with a pinch of salt.
The grapefruit really shines through in these cookies. Present, delicate, with unflinching eye contact… like quite the lady.
- 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grapefruit zest
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- Place half the butter (8 tablespoons) in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. It’ll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop. Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan often. The butter will start to smell nutty, and brown bits will form in the bottom. Once the bits are amber brown (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or so after the sizzling stops), remove the butter from the burner and immediately pour it into a small bowl, bits and all. This will stop the butter from cooking and burning. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, rub together the granulated sugar and grapefruit zest until the sugar is fragrant.
- Beat the remaining 8 tablespoons softened butter with the grapefruit granulated sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth.
- Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl, along with the brown sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth; the mixture will lighten in color and become fluffy.
- Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for one minute more.
- Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated.
- Use a spatula to fold in the white chocolate chips and pecans and finish incorporating all of the dry flour bits into the dough.
- Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Flatten it slightly into a thick disk, and refrigerate for at leas t1 hour. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to begin baking, place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave about 2″ between the cookies; they’ll spread as they bake.
- Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt, to taste — as much or as little as you like.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving them.
- Serve warm; or cool completely, and store airtight at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.