blueberry muffin-top browned butter cookies
Blueberry muffins and chocolate chip cookies better watch their backs because this blueberry-studded cookie is seriously coming after them and has a good chance of stealing their limelight. Plump, sweet berries are enveloped in the crunchy outer and chewy-soft inner of this nutty, toffee-tasting browned butter cookie dough.
These summery little treats bring the best of part of blueberry muffins – the blueberries – to the table in a form that’s easier to snack on than a giant blueberry muffin that you can’t possibly finish and less shameful than munching on itty-bitty, bite-sized ones until, oh look at that!, they’re all gone. And, more importantly, with blueberry cookies, you can personally ensure that each and every cookie has several bites of blueberries to it. Even if you’re not the baker, you can visually assess each cookie before you commit. Gone are the days of sad, fruitless hunting through a muffin to in a vain attempt to find the juicy blue pearls of sweetness you desire.
Not that the muffin doesn’t have its charm. Light, fluffy, and mysterious, the muffin offers you the opportunity to play a game of chance. Which of these four contains the most blueberries? Should I go with the one that features a heavily studded muffin top? Is that a promise of what lies beneath? Or is it a mere ruse? Maybe the one with a more moderately blueberried top is hiding an abundance of berries beneath.
Who knows? Even the baker probably spent minimal time concerned with whether berries evenly distributed themselves among muffins and more time trying to churn out the batter, pour it into muffin cups, toss them in the oven, and hand out fresh, warm muffins as fast as your chubby little hands could grab them on a Saturday morning at the pastry shop.
But speaking of muffin tops, that’s really the best the muffin has to offer. Especially the slightly crunchy, chewy, chubby edges that peer over the less desirable muffin bottom. And that part – the undeniably tastiest part – is much more cookie-like than muffin- or cake-like in texture and has the more concentrated, nutty-toffee flavor associated with cookies.
That being said, blueberry muffin-top browned butter cookies are something you need to try. Just barely healthier than your favorite chocolate chip cookie, but there’s something about fruit peeking out of baked goodies that makes them look even more delicious.
Fourth of July bonus: For a fun, festive red-white-and-blue dessert, try these with half blueberries, half raspberries. You could even add some chopped strawberries, but due to their high water content, I’d recommend roasting the strawberries first, then draining them to get some of that water out before adding them to the cookie mix.
Blueberry Muffin-Top Browned Butter Cookies (dough adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes 2 dozen cookies
I would recommend forming the cookies by hand or being selective with your cookie scooper to make sure each cookie gets several blueberries in it. No one wants a blueberry-less cookie, and blueberries, unlike chocolate chips, are a little too fragile to roughly stir them into the batter until evenly distributed. Also, technically, per the original recipe, you can just use regular, ol’ melted butter; but having recently discovered how much more amazing browned butter makes most baked goods, I have to tell you that you’d be missing out, and this particular tweak to the original recipe only adds 5 or 6 minutes to the prep time. Entirely worth it.
1 3/4 c. flour (I decreased this from 2 c., as my cookie dough was a tad drier and crumblier than I would have liked)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 c. fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter cubes. Continue cooking, stirring periodically, until butter is browned. Pour browned butter into a glass bowl, measuring cup, or mug, and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the browned butter and both sugars until blended. Add vanilla, egg, and egg yolk, and beat until creamy. Add flour mixture, and mix together just until blended.
Pour blueberries into the bowl with the cookie dough. Depending on how firm your berries are, you can carefully stir them into the dough by hand, or just start scooping some cookie dough into your hand/spoon/scoop and manually mix (i.e., gently push, but don’t squish) a few berries into each cookie. Drop cookie dough onto a cookie sheet, keeping a couple inches between each cookie.
Bake cookies in oven until the edges are barely toasted. Baking time will vary, depending on how large or small you make your cookies; for reference, my cookies were 2-3 Tbsp. (i.e., a large, rounded, overflowing Tbsp.) in size, plus a few berries, and they took 12 minutes to bake on a regular (NOT nonstick) baking sheet. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for a couple minutes before transferring them to your mouth a serving plate for two accompanied by a glass of milk for sharing a wire cookie rack to cool completely.