Sourdough Chocolate Chunk Cookies

published Nov 30, 2023
Holiday Cookies 2023
Sourdough Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe

Use up your discard sourdough starter in these thick and chewy cookies.

Makes26 (3.5-inch) cookies

Prep40 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Overhead view of cookies on a cooling rack.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Jason Schreiber

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If you want to impress your family and friends with your serious baking skills this holiday season, then this is the cookie for you. Meet: sourdough chocolate chunk cookies. 

For this particular cookie the flavor is enhanced by incorporating sourdough discard for a nice fermented flavor, as well as a small percentage of spelt flour. The addition of browned butter creates a slight nuttiness that is complementary to all of the other flavors. Lastly, I love using single-origin chocolate from Latin America (an ingredient that originated there), as the quality is outstanding and it stays true to the beloved ingredient’s indigenous roots. I’m partial to chocolate from a brand called Slow Cocoa

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Jason Schreiber

The key to achieving a balanced fermentation with sourdough cookies is to mix the dough and let it chill in bulk in the fridge. Then, I scoop the cookies, wrap them, and let them hang out in the fridge overnight. From there, you can bake them the next day or freeze them to enjoy later. Baking them from frozen creates a thicker, chewier cookie, whereas baking them straight from the fridge delivers a wider, crispier cookie. 

Sourdough Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe

Use up your discard sourdough starter in these thick and chewy cookies.

Prep time 40 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Makes 26 (3.5-inch) cookies

Nutritional Info


  • 3 sticks

    (12 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 2 1/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons

    spelt flour

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 20 ounces

    dark chocolate chunks or chopped chocolate (about 4 cups), divided

  • 1 cup

    plus 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    plus 2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1/4 cup

    discard sourdough starter

  • 1 tablespoon

    plus 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Flaky salt (optional)


  1. Melt 3 sticks unsalted butter in a large, light-colored skillet over medium heat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk solids have separated from the fat and turn dark golden brown and smell nutty, 8 to 10 minutes more. Carefully scrape the browned butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (or large heatproof bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Refrigerate until firm and cold to the touch, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  2. Place 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons spelt flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Chop 20 ounces dark chocolate into pieces no larger than 1/4 inch if needed (about 4 cups).

  3. Add 1 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar to the browned butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in 2 large eggs, one at a time, waiting until the first is completely incorporated before adding the next. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula.

  4. Add 1/4 cup sourdough starter and 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until combined and smooth, about 1 minute.

  5. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on the lowest speed until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add half of the chocolate chunks (about 2 cups) and beat until just combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to scoop, 1 to 2 hours.

  6. Place the remaining chocolate chunks in a medium bowl. Scoop the dough out in 1/4-cup portions (50 grams each). Form into balls, then roll in the chocolate chunks so some of them adhere. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days.

  7. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  8. Transfer the dough balls to the baking sheets, spacing them at least 3 inches apart, 8 per baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets between racks and from front to back. Bake until the edges are starting to brown and the centers are set, 6 to 7 minutes more.

  9. Sprinkle with flaky salt if desired. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. Repeat baking the remaining dough balls on cooled baking sheets, you can reuse the parchment or baking mats.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cookie dough balls can be frozen solid on a baking sheet, then stored in a zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 2 months. Bake from frozen; they may need 2 more minutes baking time.

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

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