Pumpkin Waffles, A Halloween Tradition

Happy Halloween!

So, I live in a totally backwards area where we celebrate Halloween the Thursday before Halloween.  So, while its Halloween for you, its old news for me.  I’ve moved on to bigger and better things.  My area is so backwards that if Halloween falls on a Thursday, we celebrate it the Thursday before Halloween.  I’ve asked people who are originally from here why this is a tradition, no one has an answer.  I’m going to petition against it because it’s stupid.

Last year was our first “with kids” Halloween, so we wanted to start a tradition the night of Trick-or-Treating.  We decided on breakfast for dinner.  We all know that breakfast for dinner is awesome!

This year our breakfast was Pumpkin Waffles.  I’m getting sick of all things pumpkin.  I’m down to my last can, so I can soon move on.

I’m going to apologize for my unappetizing picture of these waffles, but we were rushed trying to get costumes on, cleaned up, and out the door for trick or treating.  They taste much better than they look, and come highly recommended.

Have a great Halloween! Stay safe, if you have kids!  Remind them to say please and thank you.  I think 10 of the 100 trick or treaters I had remembered.

Pumpkin Waffles

from Smitten Kitchen, see the original post here


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil for brushing waffle iron or cooking spray

Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron. Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices. Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl with buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined.

In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Fold them gently into the waffle batter, until just combined.

Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter (about 2 cups for four 4-inch Belgian waffles) into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.


Mac and Cheese: Two Ways

So, let’s talk about Thanksgiving.  Why, when Halloween hasn’t even arrived?  Well, for two reasons:

1.  I live for Thanksgiving.

2.  If Target, Walmart, and the other major chains have bypassed it, and headed straight into Christmas, then it deserves a bit of respect and recognition.

Today’s subject:  Favorite Holiday Side Dish

Here it is, hands down:

Martha’s Perfect Mac and Cheese

So cheesy, so gooey, so true to its name.

When you’re eating turkey covered in gravy, with a side of mashed potatoes oozing with butter, why not add mac and cheese to the mix?

And what is the best part of mac and cheese?  The leftovers!

Is there anything more American than Fried Mac and Cheese?

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by OXO.

Martha’s Perfect Mac and Cheese

Serves 12

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole
6 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to l/2-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyère or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.

2. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère (or 1 cup Pecorino Romano); set the cheese sauce aside.

5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano), and the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes (though we needed a bit more time to get it brown, but your oven may vary). Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.


Alton Brown’s Next Day Mac and Cheese Toasts


  • Leftover baked macaroni and cheese, refrigerated for at least overnight
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 ounces water
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for deep frying, preheated to 375 degrees




Cut refrigerated macaroni and cheese into slices or bite size pieces.

Season the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne. Dredge each piece through the flour and gently tap off excess. Dip in the egg wash and then coat with the bread crumbs. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes so the crust can set. Very carefully drop into the oil and fry until golden brown. Remove to a baking sheet fitted with a rack and rest for 2 minutes before serving.






Blueberry Muffins

Dear Mom,

You should really come visit me more often.

I would make these for you, if you would.

I know how much you love your blueberry muffins.

I’m only a train ride away.

And these yummy muffins would be waiting for you upon your arrival.

Hope to see you soon!

Love, Kara

Blueberry Muffins

Barely Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, Originally Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces or 71 grams) unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) dark brown sugar (originally white sugar)
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I used Plain Non-fat Greek)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces or 191 grams) all-purpose flour (I used wheat flour)
1 1/2 teaspoon (7 grams or 1/4 ounce) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces or 105 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, don’t bother defrosting)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then yogurt and zest. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears. Gently fold in your blueberries. The dough will be quite thick (and even thicker, if you used a full-fat Greek-style yogurt), closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups. You’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full, nothing more, so you might only need 9 instead of 10 cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean. Let cool on rack.

Cod and Chorizo, yes please-o!

Folks, do you hate doing dishes?  I do.  I didn’t always, but now that I do it for four people, I hate it.  I hate it more than laundry, and I despise laundry.  

I was so excited that I made something that involved a pan and a knife.  That was it.  Want to know something even better?  It was really good.

From start to finish, it took me 30 minutes.  Rachel Ray, eat your heart out.

Baked Cod and Chorizo

from Real Simple

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces chorizo or smoked sausage (such as kielbasa), thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (peel first, if desired), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds cod fillets
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • Heat oven to 400° F. 

    Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown on both sides. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the leeks, broth, saffron, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Bring to a boil. 

    Meanwhile, rinse the cod and pat it dry with paper towels. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Place it on top of the potatoes and drizzle with the remaining oil. Bake until the cod is the same color throughout and flakes easily, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley and transfer to individual plates. 

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies

My husband wanted cookies, but I didn’t have enough of anything to make a specific type cookie.  So, I just made them all.  

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 3/4 cups oatmeal
1/2 chocolate chips

1/2 C white chocolate chips

1/2 C dried cranberries

1/2 C sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 C walnuts


Cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add Baking soda, powder, and salt and mix. Add flour, oatmeal and chocolate chips and anything else you want to throw in. Mix until combined. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.



Meatless Monday: Pumpkin Soup with Rosemary Popovers

So, usually, my Meatless Monday’s are REALLY healthy.  Today, not so much.  BUT, before you run away, it’s not horribly unhealthy.  So, please, stick around.

Let’s talk pumpkin soup first, shall we?  This soup is creamy and velvety, and reheats really well.  The original recipe calls for Evaporated Milk, I’d tell you I had none, but that would be a lie.  What really happened is that I brought my EM out from my pantry, made the full recipe, and opened my can of EM, only to find it had completely gone bad, and in a really disgusting, foul way.  We’re talking mold on the inside of the can.  I checked the expiration date, sure that there had to be some manufacturer’s error, to find that it expired in 2006.  Things that have happened to me since I bought that can of EM:

I bought my first house, got a dog, got a teaching job, had my first son, moved to my new house, and had my second son.  Needless to say, that can has seen a lot.

So, frantically, I searched for something in my fridge that would do the job.  I had used the last of my milk for the popovers, so what I had left was plain greek yogurt.  I am happy to tell you, it worked out really well.  

And, this soup goes awesomely with these bad boys:

I had some leftover rosemary from my Sweet Potato Pierogies, so I threw it in with the popover batter.  This resulted in something beautiful.  This one was my favorite:

I love popovers.  Has anyone else gone to Afternoon Tea at the Jordan Pond House in Acadia, Maine?  Such a cool place.  If you can get there, go.Popovers are one of those things that someone must have totally messed up when they were making rolls, and came up with something even better.

Enjoy this combo!  I know I did!

Pumpkin Soup

4 Tablespoons Butter***
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole Onion, Diced
1-¼ teaspoon Curry Powder
½ teaspoons Salt (omit, if using greek yogurt, combine and puree, then salt to taste)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Ground Coriander
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspince
⅛ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper 
3 cups Chicken Broth (I used Vegetable Broth, for a truly Meatless Monday)
1 15 oz can Pumpkin (Not Pumpkin Pie filling)
1 C plain greek yogurt, original calls for Evaporated Milk

Melt butter and saute onions and garlic until golden brown. Add spices and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Stir in broth and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Add pumpkin, stirring till smooth. Add yogurt. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes; do not boil.

In batches, transfer soup to a blender or food processor. Process till very smooth. Serve hot. 

**You can probably cut the butter down by half and have the same flavor and texture.


Rosemary Popovers

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

2 eggs

1 C Milk

1 TB melted butter, cooled

1 C flour

1/2 tsp salt

5 tsp oil (If using a muffin tin…if you are cool and have a popover pan, then it would be 3 tsp, 1/2 tsp for each popover cup)

1 Tb fresh rosemary

1 Tb parsley

In a blender, combine milk, eggs, and butter until smooth. Add flour and salt.  Blend at high speed until combined and bubbly, about 1 min.  

While you let the batter sit, move the oven rack to the lowest setting, and preheat the oven to 450.  Prepare muffin tin by placing 1/2 tsp of oil in each of the ten outer tins, leaving the inside two empty.  Put in oven for about 2 minutes (at 450).

Remove pan from the oven and quickly fill the outer tins with batter.  Return to the oven for 20 minutes.  DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!

Rotate the pan and reduce heat to 350.  Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Sweet Potato Pierogi with Rosemary Brown Butter

I love, love, love these pierogies!  They are beyond awesome.  I’ve made them a bunch of times, and they’ve been good every time.  They are a little time-consuming, as you have to make your own dough, but they are SO worth the effort.  The recipe also makes a ton of pierogies, and they freeze really well, so you can have them next week, the week after, AND the week after that!  Beautiful.  

If you have some time to kill, it should definitely be spent making these.

Ben (my husband) had eight of them.  I had to cut him off.  He claims at 30, he’s a growing boy, but I’m suspicious of that.

 In other news, I’m considering this as a Halloween costume for my two year old and husband.  What do you think? 

Sweet Potato Pierogies

Barely Adapted from Katherine Sacks


(makes about 3 dozen)


Pierogi Dough (adapted from Martha Stewart Living, April 2010)
1 egg
3 tablespoons sour cream

1 cup milk

1 cup water
3 cups all -purpose flour
2 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon salt


* Start with step one for the filling, then proceed with the dough. (1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a sheet tray with parchment or a silpat. Place the sweet potatoes and yam on the tray and roast for one hour, or until soft.


1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg lightly. Add in the sour cream and combine until smooth. Whisk into this mixture the milk and water. Add the flour, one cup at a time, transferring to a wooden spoon when batter starts to get thick. Combine the salt with the last cup of flour, and add it to the dough (this will make sure that the salt is evenly distributed to the dough).


2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (the dough will be sticky). Knead gently, adding flour if needed, for five to 10 minutes. The dough will come together as you knead, so make sure not to add too much flour, as this will make the dough tough. Roll into a ball and cover with a clean, inverted bowl. Let sit for one hour.


3. While the dough is sitting, proceed with the filling, at step 2.


4. After one hour, line a baking sheet with a silpat or a clean towel, and generously dust with cornmeal. Divide the dough evenly into four pieces. Re-cover three pieces and place the fourth on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 1/8-inch round.


5. Using a 3-inch cutter or glass, cut circles out of the dough very close together so as to not waste any dough. Place a small spoonful of filling near the top of each circle, and fold the dough over in half to cover the filling. Gently pick up the crescent and pinch the edges closed. Repeat with the rest of the dough.


6. While you are shaping the pierogi, bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. When water is boiling, place five to eight pierogi in the water. The dumplings will sink to the bottom, so stir gently to avoid sticking. When the pierogi rise to the top of the water, cook for two more minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean tray lined with a silpat or parchment.


7. After all pierogi are boiled, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium high heat. Place one tablespoon of butter in the pan and allow to melt and get hot. Cook the pieorgi in batches, frying lightly for one to two minutes, on each side. Add more butter when necessary. Serve with fried onions and drizzle with rosemary butter. *If you do not want to cook all pierogi at once, place extra on a lined sheet tray that is dusted with cornmeal. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze. When you cook, boil pierogi straight from the freezer, do not thaw.


Sweet potato filling
2 sweet potatoes
1 large russet potato
3 tablespoons butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a sheet tray with parchment or a silpat. Place the sweet potatoes and yam on the tray and roast for one hour, or until soft.


2. When potatoes are cooked through, remove from the oven and take off skins. You should be able to just peel off the skins, but use a paring knife to help if necessary. Place the potatoes in a medium sized bowl. Using a potato masher or hand held blender, mash the potatoes until fairly smooth. Add the cream cheese, butter, salt and combine.


Rosemary butter

2 Shallots, sliced

3 Cloves Garlic, minced

1 Stick of Butter

2 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary


Heat one stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Skim the white foam that rises to the top of the melted butter off, discarding. This is the process for clarifying butter. When all foam (the milk fats) have been skimmed, add shallots, garlic, and one or two sprigs of rosemary. Cook over medium low heat until the solids at the bottom of the pot begin to brown slightly.



Orange Infused Pumpkin Custard, Crock-Pot Style

So, I’m not really big on using the crock pot.  It’s not that I don’t like it, I just haven’t found a recipe that hasn’t come out either dry or gushy or flavorless.  

That’s not true.  I like a Cranberry Pulled Pork recipe.  But other than soup, chili, and shredded things, I just have not been successful in the crock pot realm.

So, this week’s Holiday Exchange recipe was for Crock Pot meals.  My thought, sigh.  I could have skipped it I guess, but I’ve had fun the past two weeks making new things, and seeing what everyone else linked up.  I just didn’t want to pass it up.  So, I thought I’d go outside of the box.  (For me, at least)

This custard was pretty good.  It basically tastes like the inside of a pumpkin pie, but with a hint of orange.  The problem with it was that each bite I took, I expected to taste crust, and I didn’t.  I would make it again because it was so easy, and nice to have a pain free dessert waiting.  But, if you’re going to have pumpkin pie, have pumpkin pie.  You know?  

I think this would be awesome in chocolate.  I’m going to try to create something magical and chocolatey in my crock pot.  Oh, the excitement…

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by West Bend

Orange Pumpkin Custard

From Better Homes and Gardens


3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 C Pumpkin, canned 

1/2 C sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp freshly grated orange peel

1 C evaporated milk (13 oz)


Combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and orange peel; stir in milk. Pour into a 1 qt souffle dish. Cover tightly with foil.  Take 2-20 x6 sheets of foil and fold in thirds. Crisscross sheets and place souffle dish in center.  Lift from foil and place into a 4-5 qt crock pot.  Fill crock pot with 1 1/2 inches of water.  Cook on low for four hours or until a knife comes out cleanly.  Lift from foil and remove from crockpot.  Serve warm or cold with whipped cream and chopped pecans.

Meatless Monday: The Ultimate Veggie Burger


Before I jump into the recipe, I was pondering Meatless Monday.  Why is it important? Well, we all have families, loved ones, and people who we care for deeply.  They are the reason for Meatless Monday.  

The goal of Meatless Monday is to encourage healthy eating through vegetables and whole grains, so that we can take care of our bodies, and in turn, hopefully live longer and healthier for the ones we love.  I am encouraged by the fact that my two-year old loves Tofu and Edamame.  I count that as a major success!

I have two reasons for making Meatless Mondays a priority.  Here they are:

My babies!  Now, if they’d only stop growing up, that would be wonderful.

So, Meatless Monday…do it for yourself and  your family.  Your body will thank you.

I have tried to make many a veggie burger.  They are usually mushy and bland.  This one was neither.  The use of cashews and mushrooms gives it a meaty flavor without trying to replicate a real hamburger.  Give yourself about an hour for prep, but it is an hour you won’t regret.  Plus, you can freeze the ones you don’t use!  See notes at the end of recipe.

The Ultimate Veggie Burger

From Cook’s Illustrated

3/4 cup dried brown lentils
3/4 cup bulgur
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp table salt
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup leek or scallion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. cremini or white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup unsalted cashews
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used light sour cream)
2 cups panko

Bring lentils to boil in 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 25 minutes, until falling apart. Drain in a mesh strainer, dry and set aside. While lentils are cooking, boil 2 cups of water for bulgur, add bulgur and turn off heat. Let it cook until water is absorbed. Put bulgur aside. In a large pan, heat oil. Add onions, celery, garlic and leek or scallion, and cook for about 8 minutes. Set aside, then add mushrooms to the pan and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. In a food processor, process cashews until fine. Combine cashews, lentils, and bulgur with cooled vegetables and cashews. Add mayonnaise. Food process (pulse) in batches until mixture is cohesive but roughly textured. Stir in panko, and salt and pepper to taste. Form into 12 patties. Cook on the grill or in a pan, about 5 minutes per side. 

**These freeze really well.  You can make them completely, but don’t cook.  If you’re going to freeze, add 1/2 tsp of panko bread crumbs for each patty you are planning on freezing.


Chocolate Chip Cookies


Stop what you are doing right now and get in your kitchen.

I’m serious, go. If you don’t, you’re missing out on precious time. Time that would be better spent eating these cookies.

Can you see how amazing they are? I mean, look at the inside of that cookie. Oh, I am just drooling everywhere, and I already got to eat it! I can’t imagine what you’re doing right now, but let some one else clean up the puddle around you because you’ve got to get baking.

If you remember my post from Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies, you’ll recall that I am a self-proclaimed cookie connoisseur. So, when I tell you these are some amazingly good cookies, you should believe me.

I wasn’t even going to bake anything, but we went to see family and I didn’t want to go empty handed. I cracked open my foodie bible (Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook) and said to myself, “Hello! It’s time.” These cookies have been calling me for quite sometime. I’m just depressed thinking about how long I waited and how many batches of cookies I’ve made when this recipe has been here all along. I’m so sorry to anyone who has eaten one of my cookies up until now. I thought they were good, but I was wrong.

These cookies are EXACTLY how they are described. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. They are the perfect cookie. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Make these cookies. Seriously, do it.

Cook’s Illustrated Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 3/4cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2teaspoon baking soda
  • 14tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
  • 1/2cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 3/4cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (see note)
  • 1teaspoon table salt
  • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1large egg
  • 1large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (see note)
  • 3/4cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)


  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

  2. 2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.

  3. 3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

  4. 4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)

  5. 5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.