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Author Notes: I've been going a little nuts for cookie brittle since I found a version by Moon Dance Baking on the shelf of our local market. It's this crazy, buttery, crunchy treat that is technically a cookie but thin and decadent and rich like candy. After tracking several online versions down to a Nestle recipe site, I had a roadmap. In went the brown butter, out went the chocolate chips and nuts. In went all the great spices of Fall, plus pepper and a hint of coffee, because, in the spirit of inventors everywhere, why the hell not? The results...amazing. Invent your own version asap, or just copy mine. I'm fine with that. —cheesypennies
Makes about 30 cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. After the butter melts, continue cooking for 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently. It may foam up, which is fine. Watch carefully, as your goal is to see the milk solids and salt in the butter begin to turn brown, but you don’t want to have them burn. When the butter is a light tan/golden color and begins to smell toasty, immediately remove from heat.
- Allow to cool slightly, then stir the vanilla and the spices into the saucepan. Feel free to get creative with the spice list, but the key is to add them to the warm brown butter so they get an extra boost in the cookies.
- Stir in the brown sugar, sugar and salt with a wooden spoon or a spatula, then stir in the flour. The mixture will start off smooth but become drier and almost crumbly as you stir and the butter cools.
- If you want your brittle to be shaped like biscotti, divide cookie mixture into two equal portions on your prepared baking sheet. Using your hands, form the dough into two long rectangles, each about 6 inches across, and press down with your fingers to a thickness of about 1/3 of an inch. Otherwise, you can press all of the dough out into one large rectangle on the baking sheet, and press away. It may not fill up the entire sheet...that's fine!
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown in the center and slightly darker on the edges.
- If you are forming biscotti shapes, immediately cut through the long rectangles with a sharp knife, at about 1 inch intervals. The cookies will harden quickly as they cool, making cutting difficult, so you want to do this while they are fresh out of the oven. Otherwise, allow to cool completely, and break up into tasty pieces by hand.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Edible Gift