Not Your Average Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip Cookie (brown butter chocolate chip cookies)

by Irvin on November 10, 2011 · 25 comments

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“If you have time, would it be possible for you to whip up a dessert for my birthday?” asked my friend Glenn. Normally I would automatically answer “Of course!” but Glenn was celebrating a “milestone” birthday by throwing a big weekend getaway event down in Monterey, completely with a dinner banquet. I was concerned that he wanted me to create some ersatz tiered-wedding cake extravaganza but thankfully I was told that it didn’t have to be like that. Just something simple and quick would be ok. You know, for 45 people. That also somehow referenced the theme for the party, which was nautical. With some creative naming, my brown butter chocolate chip cookies could fit this nautical theme, with the title “Not Your Average Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip Cookies”.


Not your average Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Now the week before his birthday was crazy hectic. I had been in a stressed-out panic state for various reasons (which I won’t go into right now) for the past week or two, and the weekend was quickly approaching. I was so pressed for time in fact, that I did not have a moment to make my usual chocolate chip cookie dough, the one that I cure in the fridge for 72 hours. The night before I sat down and thought to myself, I gotta bake something nautical themed for 45 people. Not one to give into a challenge, I figured out a way to make a darn good cookie, without the long wait involved.


Thank goodness for creative naming...

Thankfully the cookies turned out ok. In fact, they turned out better than ok, with people raving about these soft chewy cookies at the party. AJ and I had driven down and put on our nautically themed clothing (apparently it’s not too hard to figure out a nautically themed outfit from your everyday wardrobe, well my everyday wardrobe at least) and enjoyed ourselves immensely.


Karl, myself and AJ working the nautical theme. Note the awesome retro tie and red belt I'm wearing.

AJ and I were relatively low key in our ensembles but many others went all out. Especially impressive was Jane who had a custom “Nauti-Girl” t-shirt and wore a lobster in her hair and a walked around with a fishing net around her shoulders. I LOVE that. Jane, flew in from London to help celebrate Glenn’s birthday. Though this is utterly stereotypical, and I think it had everything to do with the fact that she has a British accent, I pretty much felt like I was hanging out with Dawn French from French & Saunders whenever she opened her mouth (it helped that she was ridiculously funny like Dawn French too).


Sara and Jane dress nautical

The nautical theme party was pretty darn fun. Even the kids got into theme, dressing like pirates, or in some cases, like a shark. I love theme parties where even the kids get into it!


Argghhh matey!


Shark attack!

Not only did people dress the part, they acted the part…of drunken sailors. At one point Glenn’s friend chased him around with the birthday cake, threatening to smash it into his face. I can’t remember the circumstances to why this happened. I’m also guessing that she can’t either.


Words were said. Looks were exchanged.


A chase ensued.


It almost came to physical blows!

The homemade cookies were a massive hit. In fact people seemed to be sneaking them off, taking them back to their room and talking about them left and right. Seems that everyone LOVED them. Beyond loved them in fact. Glenn’s boyfriend Curtis squirreled away six leftover ones, so that he and Glenn could enjoy them all for themselves post-party. He shushed me on more than one occasion when people complained that there weren’t any leftover cookies and I let them know that Curtis has a few in hiding.


The entire nautical themed party was a blast.

The rest of the weekend was pretty magnificent as well. For some reason, after living in California for 13 years, AJ and I still had not made it to Big Sur. We fixed that by driving down and checking out the stunning cliffs on Highway 1. We stopped and got sandwiches at Café Kevah, the café underneath Nepenthe. The view made the generous sized sandwiches (seriously, we could have split one and been more than filled) even more fantastic. I’ve been slightly obsessed with Nepenthe after getting both the My Nepenthe cookbook by Romney Steel at a cookbook swap hosted by 18 Reason and Omnivore Books (A book I totally pounced on when I saw it), as well as Plum Gorgeous, the second book by Romney Steele, the granddaughter of the Nepenthe owners.


The cliffs from Big Sur were gorgeous.


A historic bridge on the drive down Highway 1 to Big Sur.


I made AJ stop the car numerous times so I could get out and instagram my experience.

Heading back, we had a fantastic dinner with Glenn, celebrating his “milestone” birthday, enjoyed ourselves with friends, new and old and just generally had a blast. People kept on talking about my cookies, and asking me if I could give them recipe. I hadn’t planned on posting about, especially since I already have a chocolate chip cookie recipe here, but there is always room for one more chocolate chip cookie recipe right? Especially one that doesn’t require the long curing time in the fridge.


Astrid and Glenn celebrating his milestone birthday.


Glenn's mom giving a toast.


Even spiderman showed up to the party!

Happy birthday Glenn. I hope you have a great year. I was thrilled to be a part of your celebration.


Glenn and his mom, with his cake (which, thankfully, I did not have to make).

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

raffaella November 10, 2011 at 6:42 am

Awesome pics, awesome people, awesome cookies! Thank you for sharing, Irvin!


Irvin November 11, 2011 at 1:45 am

Thanks raffaella! Hope you are adjusting to London!


The Suzzzz November 10, 2011 at 8:23 am

I Think I’ll make these for my father’s coffee club friends as a Veteran’s Day “Thank You” tomorrow. They are all WWII vets and I was trying to come up with an American-As-Apple-Pie type dessert that I haven’t already taken to the guys (I’ve done apple pie, pumpkin pie, cornbread, coffee cake, lemon rolls, cinnamon rolls, spudnuts, and Mary Todd Lincoln White Almond Cake).


Irvin November 11, 2011 at 1:45 am

Thanks! Let me know what your father’s coffee club friends think of them…


The Suzzzz November 11, 2011 at 7:04 am

They are in the oven right now, that is the best smelling chocolate chip cookie dough ever!


The Suzzzz November 11, 2011 at 8:45 am

The cookies turned out great! I also made your sister’s ginger spice cookies and they are awesome. Heading out the door to coffee club now. Thanks for the recipes!


The Suzzzz November 11, 2011 at 10:16 am

They were a hit! There were 7 WWII vets there today, including my father and our friend “Uncle” Jim. I took a plate of the spice cookies and a plate of the chocolate chip, between the coffee club guys and the kitchen and wait staff there wasn’t a single crumb left.

“Uncle” Jim is a southern gentleman from Arkansas and was married to Martha “Mother”, she passed away in July 2010. Martha was the consummate housewife, by comparison she made Donna Reed and June Cleaver look second rate. She had hot breakfast ready for her husband and boys 7 days a week, packed lunches ready first thing in the morning, and a 4 course hot dinner every night with dessert and coffee after…no leftovers for dinner ever. At her funeral almost every memory shared involved her food somehow, she was an insanely good cook. So believe me when Jim told me “SuzyQ I do believe these are better than Mother’s.” it is a true compliment. He is always complimentary of everything I bring, but he has NEVER compared any of it to Martha’s.


Irvin November 15, 2011 at 1:08 am

I love that. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. It makes me SO. HAPPY. to hear that they were loved that much!

And the cookies fantastic? Why does brown butter make everything better? It just does.


Morgansmenu November 10, 2011 at 10:36 am

They look like they have such HEFT! I can envision the dense, chewy love that only the best quality cookies have. I can’t wait to make them. Also, a request: can you pleaaaaase make Christina Tosi’s corn cookies (I’m not sure if the recipe is in the new Milkbar cookbook, but I sure hope so!).


Irvin November 11, 2011 at 1:51 am

LOL. I have the Milkbar cookbook at home, but I haven’t had a chance to flip through it yet (so behind on cookbooks) but she did include the corn cookie recipe in the book.

In fact, you can bounce over to the amazon page for the book, and get the corn cookie recipe right there! I might have to make my own adaption of it sometime…


Jessi @ Quirky Cookery November 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm

What a great idea to play off the name like that. I never would’ve thought of it myself!

And I’m loving the red belt, hehe.


Kelly @ Foodie Fiascof November 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Gosh, if I make those cookies I’ll probably eat the whole batch. 😉 Out of curiosity, how much would it cost for you to design a button for me? Thanks.


Jonathan November 11, 2011 at 12:00 am

I love those make-it-work moments when stress is in abundance and time is beyond limited. While I don’t love being _in_ those moments, I do enjoy the surprise of the end result, which as you put it, is often “better than ok.”

btw- Those pictures from Big Sur are amazing! Definitely makes me want to go back to California much sooner rather than later. Thanks for sharing!


Irvin November 11, 2011 at 1:52 am

Big Sur is gorgeous! I can’t believe that I waited 13 years to finally drive down there and experience it on my own. I hope to go back and visit again soon.


Chrissy November 11, 2011 at 10:52 am

HELP! I can’t stop eating the dough… I can only imagine how good the baked cookies will taste! 5 more minutes! I always find it so amazing what a little browned butter can do….


Elina (Russian Bites) November 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm

These look fantastic. So impressed you created these beauties without much planning.


Elaine November 13, 2011 at 7:29 am

Its an amazing recipe! The cookies turned out big, rounded and cutely crackled just like in your pics and the aroma that the browned butter imparted was second to none. Thank you!


Kristin Friedersdorf November 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Hey Irvin,
It was nice to meet you at IFBC this weekend. I was glad to see your post about Big Sur because I’m just about to go for the first time next weekend. Thanks for the tips! Keep me posted on any new Thai food/Korean food spots you find next time you’re passing through LA.


Irvin November 15, 2011 at 1:10 am

When you go to Big Sur, be sure to stop by the Big Sur Bakery. I was SO sad that it was closed by the time we headed back, but I have their cookbook and though I have yet to make anything out of it, everything in it looks incredible.


Kristin Friedersdorf November 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Thank you! I have big plans to go there in fact (it may or may not be 1/2 the reason I signed up to run the Big Sur 1/2 marathon, so I would have an excuse to pass through town and make a stop at the bakery. Not during the race, but I made dinner reservations for after.) I also have their cookbook and agree: it looks amazing!! I promise to report back with all the details.


Culinary Collage November 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm

These cookies sound amazing!!!


Run Fast Travel Slow November 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Can’t go wrong with brown butter!!

It’s so fun to play around with classic recipes. My special version of chocolate chip cookies subs in a ton of shredded coconut for the flour.


Megan December 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I just wanted to say I made these for a cookie recipe exchange and they were RAVED over. I think you’ll be getting 14 more followers now. Thx for such consistent, wonderful recipes and blog posts. I’ve enjoyed reading and baking from your blog for the last several months. 🙂


Irvin December 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Yay! So glad you (and your friends) loved them!


Tina September 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Hi Irvin 😀

I made a batch of these today and they were amazing! (a bit too sweet for our Asian taste buds or it just might be we couldn’t wait long enough for the cookies to cool down completely; amazing!! nonetheless) I’ve been baking for years but oddly never baked chocolate chips. Thank you for making this first time a wonderful wonderful experience!


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