Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

You haven’t had a chocolate chip cookie until you’ve had a brown butter chocolate chip cookie.

Sally's Baking Addiction Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies-- you haven't had a chocolate chip cookie until you've had a brown butter chocolate chip cookie.

Warning: These brown butter chocolate chip cookies will make your clothes shrink.

Wink wink.

So, we made it to the final recipe in Christmas Cookie Palooza. I’ve seen about 4857029145 cookies go in and out of my oven this past month. Kevin’s coworkers have never been more well fed, my friends have never been so sugared-up, and my treadmill has never seen so much of me. Also: the only things in my freezer are peas, cookies, the top tier of our wedding cake, cookies, ice cubes, cookies, and biscotti. All in a good month’s work.

 Are you sick of cookies ye… I can’t even finish asking that. Cookie monsters, we are.

You haven't had a chocolate chip cookie until you've had a brown butter chocolate chip cookie! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let me present you with the grand finale. brown butter chocolate chip cookies. Or you can call them by either of their 2 nicknames: Not Your Regular Chocolate Chip Cookies and/or The King of Cookies. Both quite fitting.

There’s as much flavor in one of these brown butter chocolate chip cookies as there is in an entire batch of ordinary chocolate chip cookies. If you’ve ever browned butter before, you’re familiar with the unsurpassable nutty and caramel flavors that come along with it. Browning butter, a simple technique, can be done on the stovetop. You’re literally just browning butter. The aroma of browned butter alone is enough to make me salivate and the flavor is absolutely marvelous. Nutty and caramel-y as I mentioned, like toasted hazelnuts swimming in a pool of caramel sauce. YES.

Doing this extra step to the butter you use in a cookie recipe makes an already good cookie recipe, even butter. I just typed butter. Instead of better. Again. Now, this isn’t a technique that will work with ALL cookie recipes. Typically the recipe requires some testing if you’re replacing creamed butter with browned butter. Or even melted butter with browned butter. During the browning process, as butter goes from yellow to amber in color, it loses some moisture– about a 20-35% loss. This is a lot of moisture to leave out of your cookie recipe! Maybe adding a little extra butter or another egg yolk to the cookie recipe will make up for this moisture loss? But then you may have too much concentrated fat in the cookie recipe. Confused? Trust me, I even confused myself testing this recipe.

Let me make it nice and easy for you. Browning butter = unbeatable flavor + moisture loss. Cookie dough using browned butter needs extra moisture. Milk = creamy, low-fat moisture. Low fat milk is the answer. Just look at this dough. ↓ ↓

Brown butter chocolate chip cookie dough recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Brown butter chocolate chip cookie dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now that we have that milk/browned butter business out of the way, let me explain a few things about this cookie dough before you begin.

After browning the butter, chill said browned butter. Chilling the brown butter will solidify it. Obviously. Once chilled into a solid mass, cream it with brown and granulated sugars as if you were creaming softened butter. The key to chilling the brown butter? Do it in a large tupperware or baking pan. The larger the tupperware or pan, the thinner the layer of butter will be. And the quicker it will solidify. Save time when you can.

You haven't had a chocolate chip cookie until you've had a brown butter chocolate chip cookie! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You haven't had a chocolate chip cookie until you've had a brown butter chocolate chip cookie! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

After the cookie dough is all mixed up, you have to chill it again. Am I a broken record? I know I always, always talk about chilling cookie dough but there is a reason for it. Chilling cookie dough not only ensures a thicker, more solid cookie but an accentuated flavor. I actually got to talking with my friend’s mom about cookie dough chilling the other night. I don’t seek people out and begin talking about cookies, I promise. She brought it up! But we discussed that chilling develops a heightened buttery, caramel-y flavor. Pair this with the flavor of brown butter? MIND BLOWING. Yes, all caps mind blowing!

I’m a chilling cheerleader.

I’m not going to tell you to chill this cookie dough for days on end. No one has time for that. And I’m not waiting 3 days for a batch of chocolate chip cookies. (If you want to, be my guest! You’ll love the flavor that comes with aging cookie dough for that long.) Chilling for about 3-4 hours is perfect. So on top of chilling your brown butter, which takes about 3 hours, and chilling the cookie dough– we’re looking at 6-7 hours in the refrigerator. Just enough time for the cookie dough to thicken, develop its flavor, and allow its moisture to distribute evenly. Thus resulting in a cookie so thick, so chewy, so flavorful, and soooo unlike any other chocolate chip cookie.

It’s not even fair how good these cookies are. And I know what you’re thinking– how does this recipe compare to my Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies? That cookie uses melted butter, not browned. You could sub browned for melted (in fact, some readers have!) but I find the resulting cookie to be a little crumbly. Which is in part to the missing moisture, explained above.

You haven't had a chocolate chip cookie until you've had a brown butter chocolate chip cookie! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

To Know Before Beginning:

  • Do not leave out the cornstarch. It creates a softer cookie.
  • For pretty cookie tops, press a few chocolate chips into the tops of the finished cookies as they cool. (As instructed in the recipe below.)
  • Make sure you plan ahead and have enough time for both stages of chilling. Chilling is everything in this cookie recipe.
  • More brown sugar than white = chewier, softer cookie.
  • An extra egg yolk = chewier, richer tasting cookie.
  • Low fat milk = low fat moisture into the dough (see above for more detail).
  • The milk makes up for the loss of moisture in the browning butter process.
  • Want to make cookie bars? Use a 9×13 pan and bake for 24-28 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top. No need to chill the cookie dough, just chill the brown butter as directed.
  • Feel free to add chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts, making sure to leave the total amount of add-ins (including chocolate chips) at 1 and 1/2 cups.
  • Wait until you try them on day 2. If there are any left on day 2. Still so soft and an even better flavor. Flavor, flavor, flavor.
  • Sandwich butter pecan ice cream in the center of two cookies. You’re welcome.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

You haven't had a chocolate chip cookie until you've had a brown butter chocolate chip cookie.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar (or dark brown)
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature preferred
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (312g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) low fat milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (270g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Brown the butter according to my instructions below this recipe. Once browned, immediately remove from heat and pour into a large tupperware or a 9x13 baking pan. Try to leave some of the browned solids/bits in the pan, unless you like a slightly more complex browned, almost burnt-like flavor. I like to leave them behind and discard. Cover tightly, place in the refrigerator, and chill until solid, about 3 hours (or even overnight or up to 1 day).
  2. Remove solid brown butter from the refrigerator and spoon into a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer). Using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the chilled brown butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined, then beat in the milk on medium speed. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Add the chocolate chips and mix on low for about 5-10 seconds until evenly disbursed. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3-4 hours1 and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough. The longer the better; I always chill for at least 4 hours.
  4. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes-- if the cookie dough chilled longer than 4 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  6. Once chilled, the dough may be slightly crumbly, but will come together if you work the dough with your hands as you roll into individual balls. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls.
  7. Bake the cookies in batches for 11-12 minutes, until slightly golden brown around the edges. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so, be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. If the cookies are too puffy, try gently pressing down on them with the back of a spoon. During this time, you can press a few extra chocolate chips into the top of the warm cookies-- for looks. The cookies will slightly deflate as you let them cool. After 5 minutes, transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.

Recipe Notes:

  1. You can chill the dough using this alternative: chill the cookie dough as a whole for 1 hour. Then remove from the refrigerator and roll into 1.5 Tablespoon balls, as the recipe suggests before baking. Continue to chill the cookie dough balls for the remaining 2-3 hours (or freeze them as suggested in the last step). Some readers find this easier! If you do this, you do not have to let the cookie dough sit at room temperature in the next step.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Hi! Me again. Let me show you how to brown butter.

  1. First, slice up your butter. Slicing ensures the butter melts down evenly. It doesn’t have to be Tablespoon slices, just slice it up into smaller blocks. Melt over medium heat in a skillet. Ideally, you want to use a pan with a light colored bottom so you can keep track of the butter’s color.
  2. Stir the butter occasionally to ensure the butter is browning evenly. Once completely melted, the butter will foam up. You’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Smell the butter; it should begin to have a nutty aroma. One it begins to turn tan, remove from the heat and place on a cool surface to stop the cooking process. Burnt butter is bitter; if your butter is extremely dark, it is burnt and time to start over.
  3. The time it takes to brown butter depends on your pan and your stove. For me? It usually takes about 6 minutes. Hopefully you can kind of see the color of the butter in the right picture.
  4. Once browned, pour into a container or pan as instructed in the recipe. Try to leave some of the browned solids/bits in the pan, unless you like a slightly more complex browned, almost burnt-like flavor. I like to leave them behind and discard.
  5. That’s it! Chill as directed in the recipe above and use in the cookie recipe.

How to brown butter on sallysbakingaddiction.com

230 comments

  1. Hi Sally– these look seriously amazing. I recently had a baby and I can’t seem to get intrusive thoughts of !COOKIES! out of my head (Maybe because I now have an excess of milk?).  These are next on my list for sure.
    Do you think these would be good with sea salt sprinkled on top, or would it be a bit too much with the salt already in the recipe? I love salty ccc’s!

  2. Hi Sally….. I just love your cookie recipes & have tried almost all of them. I have become a cookie expert thanks to you

  3. I made these : chopped up heath tofee bars in them and reduced chocolate chips. Same recipe, otherwise. Turned out really well! Thank you for a reliable, functional recipe that allows me to add my own flair to the base mix. 

  4. Browned Butter chock chip cookies are The Best 
    Want to make peanut butter choc chip. 
    What changes to basic recipe  to add p nut butter. Want to keep same texture. Crispy on outside chewy in the inside. 
    When using browned butter keep or strain particles?
     Thanks 

  5. Hi Sally! I have a few questions:
    1) I love chocolate chip cookies that are flat and chewy. Your pictures don’t show the cookies spreading that much. How can I make them spread more while in the oven?
    2) If I overbrown the brown butter, can I just strain out the burnt milk solids and use the liquid? Or does it spoil the whole batch?
    3) Since everybody browns butter to a different degree each time, the volume of brown butter surely varies. Does this severely affect the results of the recipe? How much brown butter should come out of a cup of butter?

    • Hi Christina! Some answers for ya:

      1) You can skip a chunk of the cookie dough chill time to encourage a little spread.
      2) It leaves the flavor in the whole batch of brown butter, so it’s best to start over. To avoid it, work quickly 🙂
      3) It doesn’t, though that is a great question. Since I published this recipe, I’ve made these quite a few times and usually have about 3/4 cup brown butter.

  6. Hi Sally,
    My browned butter is chilled and I am ready to make this dough! 🙂 Quick question– what is the difference in chewiness, texture if I decided to go with the bar cookie version? I quadrupled your giant cookie recipe for my daughter’s 4th birthday party to make a huge cookie cake and it was AMAZING. Like a million times more delicious than my favorite local bakery cookie cake which is extremely yummy (don’t tell them!) If I went the bar route would it be like your giant cookie? But with nutty brown butter flavor? Thanks so much for all of your recipes– I have never been disappointed!

    Sarah

  7. Hey Sally! I’ve got a couple questions about these cookies. What is the shortest amount of time that I can chill these cookies on the second chill? These looked amazing and I want them in my life as soon as possible. If I was wanting to make these into sandwich cookies, can I make frosting from brown butter as well? Thanks so much!

  8. Has anyone tried making these with coconut flour as a gluten free option? 
    Just wondering if quantities would need to change. 

  9. Well, my husband loves chocolate chip black walnut cookies. I have tried dozens of recipes. The dough is ALWAYS insipid–and darn it those chips and nuts are expensive. So they need a magical dough. This just might be it. I’m going to try it today. This site gets bookmarked. I am going to go on a binge and make your slice and bake logs and make them int a variety of cookies for Christmas. My (30 yr old!) son is asking for Christmas cookies.  I jsut wanted to comment about putting dough in the fridge. My cookies are generally pretty good texture, and most have divine flavor. And I ALWAYS store the dough in the fridge. There are only two of us most of the time. I make the dough, store in a container in the fridge, and bake a few at a time  over about a week. A half a dozen in the oven after dinner makes great dessert. It is much easier to store a batch of cookie dough than a batch of cookies–besides it is better on my waistline as well.  Happy holidays everybody! And thanks Sally for some GREAT slice and bake and master cookie dough recipes. GReat jumping off points, all.  

    • Hi Judy! Let me know how you liked this dough after you make it! I hope it is just what you have been looks for! And we are never too old for Christmas cookies 🙂

  10. Hi Sally: Well. I made these yesterday. Had to do the brown butter twice–the first time it went from brown to burnt in a flash!  The second time, I took it off the burner just as the first bits were beginning to brown. By the time I had transferred the butter to my  pyrex baking dish, the rest had turned golden brown. I seems that it keeps cooking for a bit because it is so hot in the pan. I used a stainless steel frying pan.  The cookie dough came together beautifully.  I let it chill for about 3 hours, then put out a dozen cookies. I used a 2 inch cookie scoop, not really thinking.  These spread out into a very thin cookie about 4″ in diameter with no height. Nicely crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle. I baked them about 11 minutes.  The flavor was pretty good, though not extraordinary. My husband liked the texture, and thought they were better than most that I make with this type of dough. He did suggest that they could have cooked about 2-3 minutes more.  Did the brown butter make a difference in the flavor? I’m not sure.  (I used great butter–kerry gold). Should I have used a bit more flour for height? I’m not sure.  Or perhaps more cornstarch?  Will have to think on it.  I saved half the dough to use as the cookie in salted caramel thumbprint cookies.  I am not sure it will work as there is so little structure as this dough is now. .  So I may have to tweak this dough until I get it right.  Or try you slice and bake dough.  Thanks for a great evening of fun experimenting, and learning a new kitchen skill–browning butter.  I’ll let you know how the salted caramel ones come out. I’ll try those this evening!

  11. I just made me these cookies for my family–they were devoured within an hour. These are honestly the best cookies I’ve ever eaten, so thank you for the fantastic recipe.

    Note: We were out of low fat milk when I made the dough, so I used almond milk instead. It worked perfectly. I also ended up adding slightly more than 2 tablespoons so that the dough came together properly.

  12. Hi ! I made these for Christmas and let me just say WOW !! I mean it. These cookies are so delicious ! They are chewy, thick as a brick, (but not hard as a brick !!), the brown butter gives them a unique caramel-ly kind of flavor .

    Outstanding !

    Thanks so much for giving out this recipe. Chilling the dough really does make a difference too !

  13. Sally,

    Happy New Year!

    I’d like to say, thank you so much!! Your break down of the basics of baking, particularly of cookies, is so amazingly easy to understand and follow that I’ve been SUCCESSFULLY (after many unsuccessful attempts prior to reading your blog) able to translate your tips to create the most PERFECT eggless cookies ever (I’ve got an egg allergy with a sweet tooth in the house :P).

    You’ve satisfied my inner nerd and cookie monster, thank you. <3

  14. I loved the idea of rolling the cookie dough into balls and then putting them back into the refrigerator to chill!  I made a double batch.  I was glad I did not need to worry about rolling them out but could just put them on the baking sheet to bake.  I will be doing this from now on!

  15. Hi Sally
    So I just made this cookie dough and as it chills in the refrigerator I read over the recipe and I just realized that I only used half a cup of each sugar instead of a full cup of brown sugar.   Do you think this will turn out ok or will it be a disaster?  I should have listened when you say to read the directions.  Hope they still turn out ok.  I’m thinking though that they may not be real moist.  What do u think?  

  16. Just made your brown butter sugar cookies and used all the brown bits from the butter in the dough and had fabulous results… my question is, can I leave those bits in for this dough or do you feel it will ruin it? Thanks!

  17. I just made 4 dozen of these cookies and I had a difficult time not eating a single one!  I made these for a youth event so they should enjoy each bite.  I will say I did see first hand a differenc in the dough when it is over mixed versus not over mixed.  Either way they smell amazing.  I will drop the baked cookies off early in the morning so they have the correct amount for the group.

    -no store bought cookies coming from me!  Thank you for this delicious recipe.  It’s a keeper.

  18. Hai Sally! If the brown butter already solidify after one hour in the refrigerator, it is necessary to chill until 3 hours? 

    • If the brown butter already solidified, no need to chill longer. But you will need to chip the cookie dough in step 3 🙂

  19. Sally, let me say. Before coming to your site, I had never baked a day in my life. But, after trying some of your recipes, I am hooked! This browned butter cookie recipe is the bomb! I always get so many compliments when I make them!

  20. Sally if I leave out the cornstarch will I have a crisper cookie? I do not like soft chocolate chip cookies!! My mom use to make them with shortening and I loved their texture.

  21. Hi Sally, I wanted to remove extra yolk from the recipe as I m using egg replacer powder instead of actual egg.as I don’t know how to use tht powder just for yolk.
    Would love to make this for my son’s birthday tomorrow. Pls advice 

  22. Hi Sally! Long time reader, first time commenter. 😉

    We really, REALLY love these cookies — the flavor is so amazing! But we can’t quite seem to make them as thick as yours!

    The first time, we: 1) weighed the flour; 2) used parchment paper; 3) chilled the whole dough overnight, then thawed and rolled into balls before putting into the oven. The result: the cookies were quite flat (but still chewy and delicious).

    So, the second time, we: 2) correctly spooned and leveled the flour; 2) used baking mats; 3) chilled the whole dough for 1 hour, rolled into balls and froze them overnight, then put them straight from the freezer into the oven. The result: the cookies again are flat (but delicious and chewy). Not as flat as before, but not nearly as thick and robust as the ones in your pictures.

    I’m just not sure what we’re doing wrong! I was wondering if perhaps there’s something else that might be a factor, like not properly creaming the butter and sugars, using a metal bowl, etc. Our baking times were 11 minutes and 12 minutes, respectively, and we have an oven thermometer and a kitchen scale for measuring (along with cups and spoons).

    I’ve never been so determined to figure out a recipe before! I thought I’d ask for your advice, since you’re the real pro here. =)

    ~ Flummoxed in Flavortown

    (P.S. We really love all your recipes, and every time one of us wants to bake something, we always ask, “Is there a Sally recipe for it?” So, thank you for bringing delicious joy into our home!)

    • Hi Hayley, Sounds like you are doing everything right! Have you tried to make “tall” cookie balls instead of perfectly round balls? So they are shaped almost like an egg….

  23. Ok this is SERIOUSLY the best cookie I’ve ever baked -or eaten- my entire life!! Thank you Sally, the browned butter surely does add an amazing aroma. Will make it in bulk and keep it in the freezer at all times!
    Greetings from Egypt 🙂

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