Irresistible Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

published Aug 14, 2022
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Meet the life-changing and tantalizing brown butter chocolate chip cookie.

Makes20 (4-inch cookies)

Prep45 minutes

Cook12 minutes

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Photograph of brown butter chocolate chip cookies stacked into a pile.
Credit: Maria Do

Warning! You are about to meet the cookie that will ruin every other chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever tasted: the life-changing, tantalizing brown butter chocolate chip cookie. I didn’t know the classic chocolate chip cookie could be beat, but boy was I wrong.

With crinkled edges and a gooey interior with nutty, caramelized notes, these brown butter chocolate chip cookies are a dream. Who knew you could accomplish so much in one cookie?

First, What Is Brown Butter?

Brown butter is butter that has been melted and gently cooked until it is light brown. When butter is browned, the butter makes cracking sounds as water evaporates and milk solids fall to the bottom of the pot where they get toasted. It adds a deeper nutty flavor to baked goods.

Credit: Maria Do

Why this Recipe Is the Best

  • There’s no mixer. Because the butter is melted, there is no need to cream the butter with sugar in this recipe. Thus, no mixer.
  • You only need one bowl. Everything goes into the same bowl. I tested it both ways, and there’s no need for mixing dry and wet ingredients separately.
  • You don’t need to wait for the butter to soften. My favorite convenience of all is not needing to wait for butter to reach room temperature. Instead, you can use the butter straight from your fridge. 

Tips for Making Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Watch the brown butter carefully. When browning your butter, don’t turn your back on it for too long because it goes from perfectly browned to burnt very quickly.
  • Use dark brown sugar. The high ratio of dark brown sugar in these cookies is intentional! Brown sugar complements the nutty brown butter very well. If you don’t have dark brown sugar, light brown sugar will work as well. (I prefer dark for its deeper molasses flavor.)
  • The dough will look wrong. Brown butter cookie dough is toffee-colored, dense, and a glossy. It looks wrong if you are used to light and fluffy cookie dough made with room-temp butter, but this dark, glossy dough is exactly what you are looking for!
  • Chill the dough. It’s very important to chill your cookie dough before baking! There’s a lot of flavor magic that happens when melted butter, sugar, and flour get time to fully meld. The end result is a delicious caramel-y cookie with crinkled edges and a chewy interior. 

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Meet the life-changing and tantalizing brown butter chocolate chip cookie.

Prep time 45 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes

Makes 20 (4-inch cookies)

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons)

    unsalted butter

  • 8 ounces

    semi-sweet chocolate, or 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 1 cup

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 3/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • Flaky salt, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Let 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk sit on the counter until room temperature.

  2. Melt 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to foam and bubble, about 4 minutes. Swirl the pan occasionally. About 2 minutes later when the cracking sounds stop, continue to swirl the pan or stir with a heatproof spatula until brown bits start to form at the bottom and the butter starts to smell nutty. When the bits are amber in color and the butter is light brown, immediately remove from the heat.

  3. Pour into a large heatproof bowl, scraping all the browned solids into the bowl. Let cool until warm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks (about 1 1/2 cups), or measure out 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips.

  4. Add 1 cup packed dark brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar to the browned butter and whisk to combine. Add the egg, egg yolk, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk until smooth and glossy.

  5. Add 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Stir with a flexible spatula or wooden spoon until the flour is not yet fully absorbed but mostly incorporated. The dough will look darker and dense unlike most cookie doughs – this is just because of the brown butter!

  6. Reserve 1/4 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips for topping the cookies. Add the remaining chocolate to the dough and stir to combine. If the dough is firm enough to scoop, you can do it now. If the dough is too soft, cover the bowl and freeze until the dough is firm enough to scoop, about 15 minutes.

  7. Line a large plate or baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the dough out with a 2-inch cookie scoop or roll into 20 (about 3 rounded tablespoons or 50 grams each) portions, and place on the lined plate or pan. Press the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate into the tops of the cookie dough. Gently flatten each dough ball with the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup until about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly cover and refrigerate overnight.

  8. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the cookie dough balls on the baking sheets, spacing them evenly apart.

  9. Bake until the cookies are light brown and puffed, and the centers look set with no wet spots, 11 to 16 minutes. Immediately sprinkle with flaky salt if desired. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cookie dough balls can be frozen solid after they are pressed, then stored in the freezer in a zip-top bag up to 2 months. Baked from frozen, they will take about 18 minutes total bake time.

Storage: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.