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

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

Brown butter chocolate chip cookie dough on

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

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!


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


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!


  • 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


  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.


  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.


  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!

    1. Did not find anything extraordinary about this cookie. Perhaps I didn’t brown the butter enough? But I had a lot of browned bits in the bottom of my pan. I strained the butter through cheesecloth so none of the browned bits made it into the cookies. Maybe that’s why the lack of flavor? The cookies really have no standout flavor. I do like the consistency change using more brown sugar than granulated. But otherwise, I would rather have a Tollhouse cookie. Just not worth the effort.

      1. You definitely need those browned bits! I’ve been making my own version of brown butter cookies for a couple of weeks and I literally have people clamoring for the recipe. Try it again and this time definitely add the browned bits (it even speckles the dough and makes it look kind of pretty in my opinion) and you will notice a toffee like flavor. Someone ever asked if the secret ingredient was Heath bar.

  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?

  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?

    1. 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!


  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.  

    1. 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? 

    1. 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 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!)

    1. 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 🙂

  24. Hello Sally this is an amazing recipe, tried it and loved it . I have a question I would like to know if I decided to replace the vanilla extract with almond extract or even add almond extract to the recipe altogether, how many teaspoons would be needed? 

  25. Made the butter 4 days agp, the dough 2, and baked the cookies last night and they are SOOO good my grandmother in law loves them. My only thing is they came out so small and I tried the egg shape thing and the thickness was great, but they were sto tiny, then i tried regular portioned balls that I made pretty big and again they were small. What was I doing wrong? Why did the cookoes not spread at all? I have never had cookies come out so miniature before.

  26. I was a little disappointed in these cookies as they spread more then I was expecting and they turned out a little flat. I made the brown butter on Sunday evening and refrigerated overnight. I made the cookie dough on Monday morning. Chilled for 1 hour, rolled into balls then chilled again for about 24 hours. I baked them on Tuesday morning.

    The only changes I made to the recipe were, I used Chopped chocolate instead of chips and also used half m&ms. I also made a double batch so ended up with 56 cookies.

    I didnt have any issues with the regular cookies using melted butter so I was wondering if the brown butter makes them spread more? I am from the UK so i weighed the ingredients rather then measured in cups as that is what I have been brought up to do. So i doubt there is any issue with the weights of ingredients. They taste great though so thanks a lot.

  27. Hi Sally! I love your recipes, these look so amazing. I have a question about halving this recipe. Would I leave out the egg yolk and just use the whole egg or just use one yolk? I know that egg whites take away moisture while the yolk give richness and moisture so would it make sense to maybe use the whole egg and keep the same amount of milk that’s in the full recipe?

  28. My wife and I made these cookies last night, And they were great right out of the oven! unfortunately, the next day, they are already dried out. We live at high-ish altitude, and I’m thinking that could be a factor. Any help you could offer?

    1. Hi Tyler, I wish I could help, but I have no experience baking at high altitude. I know some readers have found this chart helpful:

  29. Hi Sally! I make these cookies all the time and always get rave reviews. I know the cornstarch is pretty important however I have a close friend with a corn allergy and was hoping you had a suggestion for a substitute?
    Thanks so much. I love your site and it’s my go-to for baking! You’re awesome.

    1. Hi Molly, You can leave it out. You will notice that they aren’t quite as soft but for someone who has never had them before they would never know and they will still be equally delicious!

  30. Hey Sally — For years I have made cookie recipes from your site. Best ever!
    I have never used browned butter. Trying it now. I wish I could send you a photo. I wonder if I could IG it? I need to know if my butter is too brown? I do see “bits” in the bottom. But they don’t look scorched. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Mary! You can always email me a photo! info(at)
      Is the butter a little darker yellow? It shouldn’t look burnt, so it sounds like what you have is perfect.

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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