Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown butter chocolate chip cookies are thick, chewy, and unlike any other chocolate chip cookie. There’s as much flavor in one of these brown butter chocolate chip cookies as there is in an entire batch of classic chocolate chip cookies!

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.

Welcome to Day 10 of the 2014 Sally’s Cookie Palooza. Are you sick of cookies ye… I can’t even finish asking that. These brown butter chocolate chip cookies are simply amazing with a flavor you can’t quite put your finger on until you realize it’s all BROWN BUTTER.

Welcome to your new brown butter addiction.

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

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 browned butter before, you’re familiar with the unsurpassable nutty flavor that comes along with it. Browning butter, a simple technique, can be done on the stovetop. The aroma of browned butter alone is enough to anyone salivate and the flavor is absolutely marvelous.

What is Brown Butter?

Browning butter is a basic technique that considerably changes the flavor of anything it touches. I wrote an entire tutorial on how to brown butter if you’re interested in learning more about this one ingredient wonder. Browning butter is very easy because all you’re doing is gently cooking butter. This melting method gently cooks the butter until it develops a nutty flavor and toasted aroma. It’s like toasted hazelnuts swimming in a pool of caramel sauce. So good! You can taste this upgraded flavor in recipes like blondiesbrown butter pound cakebrown butter cream cheese frosting, brownies, and today’s chocolate chip cookie recipe.

How to Brown Butter

How to brown butter: Cut the butter into pieces and place in a light-colored pan or skillet over medium heat. A light colored pan helps you determine when the butter has browned. This is important because there are only a few seconds between beautiful brown butter and burnt butter! Stir the butter as it melts. After the butter has completely melted, continue cooking on medium heat until the butter turns a light amber color and smells nutty. Immediately remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl. There will be little bits of milk solids at the bottom of the pan. Don’t leave those behind! The toasted milk solids carry a lot of the brown butter flavor.

Brown butter

Can I Use Brown Butter in Any Cookie Recipe?

Going the extra mile to brown butter for cookie recipes makes a good cookie, a great cookie. But browning butter 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 melted butter with browned butter.

What’s the reason? 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 considerable amount of moisture to leave out of your 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 was too.

Let me make it easy for you. Browning butter = unbeatable flavor with moisture loss. Cookie dough using browned butter needs extra moisture. Adding 1-2 Tablespoons of milk will add the proper amount of moisture back to the dough.

Brown butter chocolate chip cookie dough recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Brown butter chocolate chip cookie dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Chilling is Crucial for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Chill browned butter: After browning the butter, chill it in the refrigerator. Chilling the brown butter will solidify it. Once chilled into a solid mass, cream it with the sugars just as if you were creaming softened butter. The key to chilling the brown butter? Chill it in a large container or baking pan. The larger the container or pan, the thinner the layer of butter will be and the quicker it will solidify.
  2. Chill cookie dough: After the cookie dough is all mixed up, you have to chill it again. This takes another 3 hours, but there’s a reason for it. Chilling cookie dough not only ensures a thicker, more solid cookie but an accentuated flavor. Time in the refrigerator develops a heightened buttery and caramel flavor. Pair this with the flavor of brown butter? MIND BLOWING.

Chilling the brown butter until it’s totally solid takes about 2-3 hours and chilling the prepared cookie dough requires the same. We’re looking at 4-6 hours of chill time. Taking this times guarantees a thick and majorly flavorful chocolate chip cookies. I promise they’re worth the wait!

Brown butter chocolate chip cookies

How does this recipe compare to my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies? That cookie uses melted butter, not browned. You can definitely sub brown butter for melted (in fact, some readers have!) but I find the resulting cookie a little crumbly which is in part to the missing moisture, explained above.

Quick Tips for Perfect Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch creates a softer cookie. Do not leave it out!
  • Sugars: Use more brown sugar than white for a chewier, softer cookie.
  • Eggs: An extra egg yolk equals a richer tasting cookie.
  • Milk: Milk makes up for the loss of moisture in the browning process.
  • Plan Ahead: Make sure you plan ahead and have enough time for both stages of chilling. Chilling is everything in this cookie recipe.
  • Nuts: 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.
  • Pro Tip: Sandwich butter pecan ice cream in the center of two cookies. You’re welcome.

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

If there’s any cookies leftover, wait until you try these brown butter chocolate chip cookies on day 2. The flavor is out of this world!

Print

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 7 hours
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Brown butter chocolate chip cookies are thick, chewy, and unlike any other chocolate chip cookie. There’s as much flavor in one of these brown butter chocolate chip cookies as there is in an entire batch of classic chocolate chip cookies!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure 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) milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (270g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Brown the butter: Have a large flat heat-proof baking dish, such as a 9×13 inch pan, handy. Slice the butter into pieces and place in a light-colored skillet. The light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning. Melt the butter over medium heat and stir or whisk constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring/whisking. After 5-7 minutes, the butter will begin browning and you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. It will have a nutty aroma. See photo above for a visual. Once browned, remove from heat immediately and pour into dish. Cover tightly, place in the refrigerator, and chill until solid, about 2-3 hours (or up to 1 day). A large flat dish, as opposed to a bowl, helps the butter solidify quicker.
  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 extract 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 thick. Add the chocolate chips and mix on low for about 5-10 seconds until combined. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2-3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough or else the cookies will over-spread.
  4. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes as you preheat the oven. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll. (If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.)
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. 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 dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls.
  7. Bake the cookies 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 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. This is just for looks! The cookies will slightly deflate as you let them cool.
  8. After 5 minutes, transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Dough Chilling 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

255 Comments

  1. I love how methodical you are with your cookies. I am the same way 🙂 And all the details and why they matter and yes they do. And they all add up! They sound like incredible cookies with all the rich nutty flavor from the browned butter..yes, I’ll take a dozen 🙂 Pinned!

    1. Then I’ll take 2 dozen for the record. These cookies look chewy yet soft and perfectly brown buttered delicious. Can’t wait to try! Mine always fall so flat. Oh well. And I’ve heard (via my niece) that Santa wants Chocolate chip cookies this year……better send some his way =)

  2. I love ALL your cookies, have tried so many of them. How does this compare to your other brown butter cookie recipe “the best chocolate chip cookie” ? Which I just love.

    1. Hi Yvonne! That cookie uses melted butter, not browned. I’m sure you could sub browned for melted (in fact, some readers have) but I find them to be a little crumbly doing that. Which is in part to the missing moisture, explained in this post.

  3. Oh gosh Sally, don’t hate me but… I still haven’t made browned butter. It’s practically a sin!! And it’s officially going on my list of “Things to Cross Off My Baking Bucket List” for 2015. Especially with your hazelnuts swimming in a pool of caramel sauce description. Oh my! 🙂

  4. There is no way I could stop at one of these! Between these and your funfetti supreme cookies, my clothes will definitely be shrinking 🙂

  5. Browning butter definitely imparts so much flavour, these cookies look amazing! Thank you for the science about the moisture loss, I will use that trick!

  6. Thank heaven cookies can freeze! Otherwise, what on earth would we do?
    I’m loving this. Can you roll the dough into balls before chilling, or is that not advisable? Just wondering, because someone gave me that tip recently and I wasn’t sure if it would work. Cookies don’t forgive mistakes!

    1. Absolutely, Mir! However, I suggest chilling the cookie dough for 1 hour and then rolling and then chilling the balls for the remaining 2-3 hours. The dough is a little sticky for rolling right away.

  7. I’m so happy you provided instructions for making brown butter! My mom can’t eat chocolate and was wondering if you have a suggestion for another type of chip to use? Thanks! Huge fan :)!

    1. instead you can use 1 and 1/2 cups of any of these: peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, cinnamon chips (I find them at Walmart– yum!), toasted pecans, toffee bits, the possibilities are endless!

  8. In the dictionary, the entry for “chocolate-chip cookie” should have a picture of THESE! They look absolutely perfect, delicious, and just what a cookie should be 🙂 No wonder everyone loves chocolate-chip cookies; they have simple ingredients and wonderful taste and texture, and yours win 🙂

  9. I have been wanting to try using browned butted in something for over a year. I’m horrible at remembering this! And all these bloggers keep reminding me of that fact!! So much so that I’m trying it for the VERY FIRST TIME in my gingerbread men this weekend. I can’t even wait! I’m so excited!! These are the things that excite you when you love to talk about things like chilling cookie dough, amiright? 🙂

    1. Really? My iPhone thinks I wanted to type “butted” there? Really? Ugh. Brown butted sounds like a terrible thing to be. Sorry, Sal, for taking this post south (literally).

  10. Oh….yum….absolute yum! They look great. Maybe I’ll make a batch of these along with your butter pecan cookies! One thing I really like is….with my chocolate chip cookies, I am a bit of a purist. Don’t like the nuts along with the chips….and any chip will do…mint, peanut butter, dark chocolate, white chocolate (I just want them to be the star I guess). And this one has the chips minus any other add-in. Yeah! I just made your Mint brownies for my work holiday party today. One thing I’ll say is….I am not you. I still have a ways to go to make them look as pretty as you do. But they did turn out pretty well and very fudgy. I had a lot of pieces that did not chip, but some did. I used a non-serrated knife to cut them (someone I know suggested that to me). I think everyone will enjoy them (the little chunks that came off that I ate tasted grrrrrreat)!

  11. These cookies look wonderful! I will try to bake these before Christmas, if not after. I also have a freezer full of cookies in my basement. I am baking lekvar cookies right now, and have orange flavored dough in the refrigerator chilling. Have a blessed holiday season.

  12. I have to make cookie bars and am curious if this dough would work if pressed into a 9X13 pan. What do you think? Thank you!!

  13. Thank you, Sally! THANK YOU for making this holiday season more enjoyable and yummy with your cookie recipes. I bake a lot during December and tend to get burned out but everytime I read your blog it gives me that extra ounce of holiday cheer I need to bake one more batch of cookies. Love how your write… makes me feel you’re in my kitchen talking to me face to face. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2015! Happy Holidays!

  14. Love browned butter and all the amazing flavor it adds…I can only imagine the wonderfulness it adds to these cookies! They look so good!

  15. These look so yummy but more importantly I have to ask where you got your spatula from? I think that’s the cutest one I’ve ever seen!! Love the picture instructions for the butter,they really help me know if I’m doing it right 🙂

  16. Help!!! I need a way to keep cookies fresh for a week. Last year I had to give away hard cookies because they obviously weren’t stored properly. I need some advice on how to make them last a week.

  17. I never thought about the aspect of brown butter losing it’s moisture through the foam. It seems like it would be obvious, but I never put two and two together. I made a brown butter banana bread cookie skillet (I know!!!) and it was just freaking awesome. You definitely notice the nutty/caramel flavor. It was almost like a caramelized banana cookie. Yes. Just, yes.

  18. Wow, these look amazing! I’m definitely making these for Christmas. Can the recipe be doubled? I’m anticipating these getting eaten up very quickly…

    Thank you for yet another delicious recipe!

  19. I love your writing style! “I’m a chilling cheerleader” made me laugh! Not only is this well written, but the cookies look delicious as well. Will definitely be trying these soon!

  20. Yikes! These cookies are screaming at me to be a hostess gift this weekend, that is if I don’t eat them all first. If there any chance I could use the 30 calorie almond milk since that’s the only milk I keep on hand?

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