Buttermilk Fudge Cookies
Your one stop recipe for fluffy and/or chewy cookies. I have experimented a lot with these cookies so that I could create a versatile recipe which you could make the most out of. With just a few alterations you can go from fluffy to chewy and it's super easy.
This recipe is also a bonus food waste tackler. I made this recipe specifically to use up any milk that may be getting to the end of its life and is about to be thrown away. Instead, that milk can be transformed into buttermilk and made into some amazing cookies.
In this post:
The Science behind buttermilk fudge cookies
So, I did a lot of experimentation with this recipe to make sure I could give you the perfect cookies. When I say a lot, I mean I gained a couple of kilos for this recipe but it was in the name of science and it was all for you— so I can't really complain.
What I wanted to do was to see, for myself, how different factors affect cookies such as temperature and cooling time etc. What I created was a one stop recipe for fluffy or chewy cookies. The main recipe in this post is for fluffy cookies but don't worry, I will let you in on the method for chewy cookies too.
If you are interested in my experiments' conclusion here they are:
Temperature— the hotter you bake cookies the fluffier they will be. This is because the shock in temperature allows the cookies rise and then creates a crust on the cookie that means it maintains that risen shape. When you bake cookies at a lower temperature, around 180C/160C fan, it allows the butter to melt slowly and lets the cookies spread before the final shape is made.
To rest or not to rest the dough? That is the question— so many cookie recipes suggest that you put the dough in the fridge overnight. This is because it gives the flour time to absorbs moisture in the dough and, in turn, increases the ratio of sugar to moisture in the dough. The higher the sugar ratio the chewier the cookie.
How to get chewy or cakey cookies
So, if you want fluffy cookies, you can jump to the main recipe. If you want chewy cookies then here's a few extra steps for you to follow while using this same recipe.
Before baking and rolling in to balls, you want to put the dough in the fridge for at least an hour, ideally overnight. The longer the dough rests the chewier that cookie will be.
You also want to bake this recipe at 180C/160C fan instead. This will give the cookies time to spread and caramelise in the oven. Because you are baking the cookies at a lower temperature you will also need to bake them for 3-5 minutes longer.
All other instructions are the same.
How do I store buttermilk fudge cookies?
Buttermilk fudge cookies are definitely best eaten the same day but they do keep quite well for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
If you are making the chewy version of the buttermilk fudge cookies then they do keep longer and, I thought, they were actually better the next day for some reason.
Can I make buttermilk fudge cookies in advance?
Similarly with many cookie recipes, you can also make buttermilk fudge cookies in advance. If you want to make the cookie dough a few days ahead of time, you can leave the full bowl of dough, covered with cling film, in the fridge. When you come to rolling the dough into balls just remove the dough from the fridge about 5 minutes in advance and then roll as normal.
Can I freeze buttermilk fudge cookies?
Of course— you also have options for which stage you want to freeze your buttermilk fudge cookies.
The cookie dough can be frozen for 2 months. Just roll it into balls, place on to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and then into the freezer. Once the cookie dough balls have frozen, they can go into a sealed freezer bag or airtight container. When you want to bake them, just remove from the freezer and let them come to room temperature for 15-20 minutes. You might need to bake them for an extra 2 minutes or so but that's not a hard price to pay for having, almost, instant cookies.
The baked cookies can also frozen. So many options, which one to choose. When you want to eat the frozen baked cookies just leave them on the side to come to room temperature and then enjoy.
How to make buttermilk
I made this recipe specifically to use up milk that could potentially be wasted and because you can use regular cow's milk to make buttermilk it seemed like an easy solution.
Note: homemade buttermilk will never be as thick as what you can buy from a store but it works just as well.
For every 250ml of milk just add 1 tbsp of lemon juice or white wine vinegar. Leave in a warm place for, at least, 15 minutes to thicken. Easy peasy
Buttermilk Fudge Cookies (extended)
100g Salted butter, softened
200g Light brown sugar
1/2 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Vanilla extract
275g Plain flour
1 tsp Baking powder
¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
100g Fudge pieces, chopped into small pieces
Making the buttermilk fudge cookie dough
Mix lemon juice, milk and vanilla together and mix thoroughly. Set aside in a warm place for at least 15 minutes to thicken and become buttermilk. It won't get as thick as buttermilk you would buy from stores but it works similarly.
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan and line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment.
Chewy cookie variation— if you want to make chewy cookies you will need to preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan after the dough has been in the fridge for at least an hour, ideally overnight.
Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
Add the buttermilk and mix— it doesn't need to be fully combined at this stage and it may split but don't worry.
Add the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and mix until mostly combined and then add the fudge. Mix for a few more seconds and then roll into 12 equal balls (if the dough is too soft to roll, place in the fridge for 30 minutes).
Baking the cookies
Evenly distance the rolled dough balls onto the prepared baking trays and bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are slightly golden around the edge.
Chewy cookie variation— if you are making chewy cookies then you will be baking the cookies at a lower temperature. This will mean your cookies will take an extra 3-5 minutes to cook.
Allow to cool and then enjoy!