Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter

Back to school with an American favorite, Scandi-style

Photo: Kristi Bissell
Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter give a Nordic twist to an all-time American favorite.

Kristi Bissell
Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American

Ever wondered if Norwegians enjoy the great American speciality of the Chocolate Chip Cookie? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” The famous cookie, also known as the Toll House Cookie, is popular around the world, and is a favorite snack for kids heading back to school.

The recipe was invented in 1930 by Ruth Wakefield, who ran the Tollhouse Inn with her husband, Kenneth, in Whitman, Mass. She was in charge of the kitchen and was known for her good food, especially her desserts and pastries. One day, she was looking for something new for her customers and came up with the Toll House cookie by adding chopped-up bits from a Nestlé semisweet chocolate bar to a cookie. The rest is history.

Today, there are many variations on the original Toll House Cookies recipe. Our own Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies are a sophisticated and delicious take on the classic recipe with a Nordic twist. Made with rye flour, brown butter, and a sprinkle of sea salt, these crave-worthy cookies are sure to become a new family favorite!

Why this recipe works

These Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies are a step up from your basic chocolate chip cookies because:

  • They contain rye flour, which brings a pleasantly nutty, earthy flavor to the cookies.
  • The butter in the recipe is heated on the stove until it becomes toasty and caramelly, which perfectly complements the rye flour.
  • A little sprinkle of flaky sea salt before baking accentuates the subtle sweetness of the cookie and enhances the chocolate flavor.

Expert tip & tricks

  • Keep a close eye on the butter while it is browning. Brown butter can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds. Keep swirling the pan as it cooks and once it begins to turn golden brown and smell nutty, take it off the heat and immediately transfer it to a separate bowl to cool.
  • Don’t over-mix the dough after adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. This can lead to tough cookies. A gentle folding motion is best, and just until everything is incorporated.
  • Don’t over-bake the cookies. If anything, err on the side of underdone. The cookies should be puffed and golden, and if there are cracks where you can see that the dough still looks a little wet and shiny in between, that’s okay. Your cookies are done and ready to come out of the oven.
  • To store: Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Freeze for longer storage (see instructions below).
  • To freeze: You can either freeze the baked cookies in an airtight, freezer-safe container once they have cooled completely or freeze the dough balls and bake them from frozen. The easiest way to do this is to portion out the dough into balls and place them on a freezer-safe plate. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm. Once they are frozen, transfer to a gallon-sized freezer bag and seal tightly. When you are ready to bake, simply take out as many cookies as you would like and bake according to the recipe directions, adding a minute or two of baking time if necessary (no need to thaw first).

RYE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES WITH BROWN BUTTER

Makes 22 cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 stick + 6 tbsps. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
  • 1¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  • Flaky sea salt such for sprinkling

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the butter in a large skillet (preferably not nonstick or cast iron so that you can more easily see the color change) and heat over medium heat, swirling the pan frequently. Once the butter has melted, continue to cook over medium low, swirling the pan frequently, until the butter has a nutty aroma and is golden brown in color. Transfer brown butter to a large mixing bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  3. Whisk rye flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and fine salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the cooled brown butter. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Add the vanilla, egg and egg yolk and whisk vigorously until the mixture is golden brown and smooth and homogeneous in texture.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  6. Drop balls of dough (2 tbsps. each) onto each prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each cookie (about 8 cookies per sheet). Sprinkle each cookie with flaky sea salt. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookies are golden brown and puffed in the center. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

This article originally appeared in the August 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Kristi Bissell

Kristi Bissell is the founder of True North Kitchen, a Nordic food blog designed for the American home cook. She enjoys creating recipes that celebrate her Scandinavian heritage and that approach traditional Nordic ingredients in a modern, fresh and approachable way. Kristi is a native of Minneapolis and currently resides in Omaha, Neb. When she’s not cooking and baking in her cozy kitchen, Kristi teaches private and corporate yoga classes and leads Scandinavian cooking and baking workshops. For more information, visit her blog, www.true-north-kitchen.com.