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!

brown butter chocolate chip cookies

Brown butter chocolate chip cookies on a white plate

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 in a skillet

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

brown butter chocolate chip cookie dough balls on a silpat baking mat

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 on a white plate

How does this recipe compare to these popular 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.

brown butter chocolate chip cookies

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
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
brown butter chocolate chip cookies

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 (313g) 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 light in color and combined, about 2 minutes. 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.

135 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. What would the outcome be if I don’t chill the butter or dough? My family likes flat chewy cookies that spread so I’m trying to achieve that result. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Olivia, You need to chill the butter until it’s solid so that you can properly cream it. You can certainly try chilling the cookie dough for less time, maybe 1 hour instead of 2-3, so that they spread more. Without chilling the dough at all your cookie sheet would likely turn into one giant greasy puddle!

    2. I used your brown butter technique in a different cookie recipe and it was AMAZING. Wonderful tips — thank you. I am tempted to keep a cup of browned butter in my fridge at all times — imagine what it could do for toast or pancakes, or anything else…

      1. That’s a great idea for the browned butter, Love! Thanks for that.

  2. This recipe turned out perfectly and is our new #1 chocolate chips cookie recipe. Thank you for including weights for flour.

  3. This recipe got me baking after years of not baking, and I’ve made them 8-9 times during COVID quarantine. I’ve also gained 20 pounds….thanks Sally! I’ve also baked a cherry pie using Sally’s recipe (not the crust, but the filling, I wanted an all-butter crust) and I’ll be making two recipes of pie filling to freeze for cherry pie in January, and one to make a second pie with lattice crust.

    I have a bunch of hippy urban farmers coming over to shoot some video of them working in my garden, so Ima make a cherry pie and a batch of these here cookies. My only change will be to add some toasted pecans and subbing this gorgeous dark Muscovado sugar I found at HOFU for the brown sugar.

    If this turns out well, I think I’m gonna try doing a butterscotch chip batch for friends that don’t like chocolate (GASP!).

  4. Bel Masters says:

    So this is what all the fuss with “browned butter” is about. The aroma while making them and then the taste is worth all the extra effort. I split the dough in two. Rolled them into logs. Wrapped in plastic wrap…chilled for 3 hours. Then sliced them about 1.5 inches wide. Since I put them right in the oven when they were super cold I increased the back time to 15-16 minutes at 350. Now if I just kept chilled browned butter on hand in the fridge I’d always be ready 😉

  5. This is without a doubt the best chocolate chip cookie recipe i have ever made. SO delicious. I usually add 1 full tsp of kosher salt because we love the sweet and salty combo, and use jumbo chocolate chips for the recipe (just slightly larger than regular chocolate chips). But using browned butter for chocolate chip cookies? Genius. Thank you for this!

  6. Tejaswini Vij says:

    How long can we keep the cookie dough in the refrigerator ?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You can chill the cookie dough for up to 3 days.

  7. These are our “special treat” cookie. They take time and prep, but man are they worth it! This is my go to chocolate chip cookie recipe to recommend to others.

  8. I really like the flavor, but wow, too much butter! They do not remind me of cookies as much as toffee. I think I would like to try about half the butter and maybe more egg.

  9. This is the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever made! Will not go back to any of my old recipes. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  10. What do you think about adding crushed pecans to the recipe?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Barbara, that would be delicious. We recommend replacing some of the chocolate chips with the crushed pecans — keep the total amount of add-ins to 1 1/2 cups. Enjoy!

  11. Annika Koester says:

    Would I be able to substitute AP flour for bread flour in this recipe?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Annika, we’d strongly recommend using AP flour for this recipe. Bread flour isn’t ideal because of how dense and chewy the cookies would become. Best to stick with AP flour here!

  12. Hi, what could I use instead of cornstarch? (I live in the UK)

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You can leave out the cornstarch without any other changes, Lilly. Enjoy!

    2. Hi Lilly, we do have cornstarch in the UK – it’s just called cornflour 🙂

  13. WOW. Outstanding cookie. Made as a thank you gift for my in-laws. Didn’t want to give them up after tasting. I may have kept half the batch.

  14. I’ve made this recipe 5 times in the last 2 months. People just keep asking for it!!
    So inevitably, I’d like to double by 1.5. My only question is, what should I do about the eggs? 2 full eggs + 1 yolk?

    Thanks!!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Eliraz! Our general rule for halving an egg is to crack it open, beat the yolk and white together with a fork, measure the volume (should be a few Tbsp), then use half.

      1. Thanks!
        So then I shouldn’t add an extra yolk on top of the beaten half egg?

      2. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Eliraz, I should have been more clear. Yes, you can still add the extra yolk on top of the egg and a half to make a 1.5x batch of the recipe. Hope that makes sense. You could also make a double batch and freeze the extra cookie dough for later for later. Let us know how they go!

  15. I love this recipe!
    This week I made two batches of brown butter at once, to have it on hand (500g of butter), but now don’t know the right weight of butter to use for this recipe.
    Do you know about how many grams 230g of butter becomes once browned? 200g maybe?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christine! We’re unsure of the exact weight after browning as it can vary – your guess sounds close. If you don’t have a kitchen scale to measure it, you could melt it again to measure, and let it come to room temperate to use for baking. Hope this helps!

      1. Michael Kane says:

        I’ve made these cookies before, loved them. Today I am going to use butter that I browned and froze last month. I use unsalted Kerrygold butter for baking, that’s what I used to make the browned butter I froze. I made two batches following your “how to brown butter” recipe, each with 115g butter. Both batches (and others I’ve made) weighed 93g after browning. If nothing else, I am consistent! We’ll see if 186g browned butter works for this recipe today!

  16. Delicious, browning the butter gives it a more complex flavor. Texture is nice also, thx!

  17. Woah! Brown butter is LEGIT!! I have been converting all the butter in other recipes to brown butter, and have heard no complains from the fam 😉

  18. I just did a chocolate chip cookie challenge with my family for the second year in a row. I made six different cookie recipes over the past couple weeks. I reheated samples of all of the cookies in the oven, and had everyone try each one while blindfolded. They then ranked them in order. (Yes, I’m a baking nerd.) Last year’s votes were all over the place, but this year your recipe was the clear winner! Now I probably won’t make chocolate chip cookies for a loooong time.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      So many chocolate chip cookies! Thank you for giving this recipe a try, Megan. We’re glad they were a hit!

      1. Yes, it was time to stop after six recipes. I’m running out of freezer space!

  19. Laurie Malone says:

    Can I substitute half a cup of ground oatmeal for a half a cup of the flour?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laurie, you can certainly try, but we fear that may dry the cookies out too much. For best results, we recommend using all-purpose flour. Let us know what you try!

  20. Love this recipe, it’s So good and not overly sweet. But I gotta ask- my cookies always turned out cracked around the edges even though I clearly saw it perfectly round in the oven. Did I put it in too long? Or is my temperature wrong because I do it in celcius and it converts to 176.67deg so usually I’ll preheat to 180 and bring it down to 175.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Gen, a little cracking around the edges is normal (you can see it in our photos), but you can also try baking for a minute or two less next time. Glad you enjoy the cookies!

      1. I tried baking for a minute less and even after resting it became a gooey mess! Then I found out the problem, when I baked on wax/baking paper instead of my silicon mat, it held its shape perfectly and was really round. Just an FYI for anyone who encountered the same problem as me 😀 Thanks for the advise tho!

  21. Delicious cookies! Great change up if you want chocolate chip cookies with a little something extra.

  22. Chocolate Chip Cookies have got to be my favorite sweet treat, hands down. This recipe delivered! The brown butter supplies an interesting flavor and the extra step is worth it. This will be my new go-to recipe, for sure. Thank you, Sally!

  23. hey I tried the recipe and followed the instructions about chilling the butter and the dough, but the cookies came out flat and had multiple folds on the side. How come they flattened? how can I avoid this? (p.s. the taste was great thought!)

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Liz, For help troubleshooting cookies that spread, visit the post 10 Guaranteed Tips to Prevent Cookies from Spreading.

  24. Oh my gosh! These are delicious! Last time I made them I used 1 cup chocolate chips and half a cup caramel chips because I didn’t have enough chocolate chips. It was next level good!

  25. What can I substitute for the milk? Non dairy or cream?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mary, non dairy milk will work here!

      1. Thanks for your help.

  26. Flavour was great but mine were so flat! Definitely needed more flour next time. I followed the recipe exactly including refrigerating the browned butter and the dough for 3 hours. Not good enough to give away but my husband will eat them.

  27. Can I substitute gluten free flour? Does this affect the baking time?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jaden, we haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flours. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

1 2 3

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

Every December we publish 10 new cookie recipes in a row! The 2021 Sally’s Cookie Palooza begins 11/29. Sign up via email and we’ll send you my most popular recipes and all the new cookie recipes once the palooza begins!

View More

Pie Week is all about baking the BEST pies! Sign up via email and we'll send you my most popular recipes and all the new pie recipes once Pie Week begins!

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×