Brownie Cookies

We all know that homemade brownies are exceptionally rich. And when it comes to brownie cookies, these are the richest– trust me, I’ve done my research! They’re extra chewy with soft fudge-like centers and only require about 20 minutes of chill time before baking. For best results, use pure baking chocolate. See all of my success tips below.

brownie cookies on cooking rack

Why make a brownie cookie when you can literally just have a… brownie? A very good question and I have a very good answer. A pan of traditional brownies has varying textures. You have slightly crisp and chewy edge brownies with softer, fudgier brownies in the center. When you bake brownies as cookies, you get both in 1. A super chewy and textured edge with that beloved fudge center.

So the real question is this:

Why make a brownie when you can have a brownie cookie?


Tell Me About These Brownie Cookies

  • Texture: Talk about a satisfying texture. If you love fudge brownies, you’ll appreciate all this cookie has to offer– chewy edges, soft centers, gooey chocolate chips when they’re fresh out of the oven.
  • Flavor: These brownie cookies are for pure chocolate lovers. No caramel, nuts, fruits, or candies in the way. The wonderful part is that you can control the chocolate’s sweetness and strength. I recommend semi-sweet chocolate and adding a touch of espresso powder, which deepens the chocolate flavor. For sweeter cookies, use milk chocolate. For bittersweet cookies, use bittersweet or even unsweetened chocolate. (Warning– unsweetened chocolate lends a very deep, dark chocolate cookie!)
  • Ease: Though this recipe much easier than, say, chocolate croissants, it’s not quite as simple as mixing brownie batter together. You need 3 main bowls– one for melted chocolate, one for dry ingredients, and one for other wet ingredients. Shaping the dough is a cinch, though. Use a cookie scoop to keep things uniform.
  • Time: Some cookie doughs require chilling in the refrigerator and others don’t. This recipe requires just 20 minutes in the fridge, which is just enough time to quickly clean up and preheat the oven. You’ll be enjoying these cookies in under 1 hour.

stack of brownie cookies

Video Tutorial: How to Make Brownie Cookies


Have you made my brownie walnut chunk cookies? This recipe is pretty similar, except the cookies aren’t quite as thick. I wanted a cookie with a little more spread and chew, so I reduced the dry ingredients and chill time. And if you’ve tried my Midnight Brownie Cookies in Sally’s Cookie Addiction cookbook, today’s cookies are similarly rich. I use oil in the cookbook version, which helps create a moist cookie with crisp edges. (If you love chocolate, brownies, and cookies, you can’t go wrong with any of these 3!)

Recipe Testing: What Works & What Doesn’t

When I was working on today’s recipe, I wanted to experiment with 2 variables: consistency of butter and chill time in the refrigerator. There are 4 cookies pictured below, with the bottom right cookie as the winner (today’s recipe). Each cookie was made with the same measurements and ingredients. For the cookies made with melted butter, I melted the butter with the 8 ounces of chocolate, then whisked in the sugars, eggs, and vanilla before beating in the dry ingredients.

Let me explain each.

  1. Top Left – Melted Butter + No Chilling: 5 Tablespoons of melted butter with no cookie dough chilling lended greasy cookies that over-spread. The edges burned and crumbled.
  2. Top Right – Melted Butter + Chilling: 5 Tablespoons of melted butter with 20 minutes of cookie dough chilling. Cookies were thicker, but tasted like pure chocolate. Delicious and rich, but didn’t really have a brownie texture.
  3. Bottom Left – Softened Butter + No Chilling: 5 Tablespoons of softened butter with no cookie dough chilling. The cookies had more of an irresistible brownie texture, but spread a little too much. The edges burned quickly.
  4. Bottom Right – Softened Butter + Chilling: 5 Tablespoons of softened butter with 20 minutes of cookie dough chilling. These cookies were the clear winner with nice spread, fudge brownie centers, crackly tops, and chewy edges.

4 brownie cookies from test batches


Best Chocolate to Use

Most of the cookie’s chocolate flavor comes from melted chocolate. Do not cut corners here– use pure chocolate baking bars. You can find them right next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle. They’re typically sold in 4 ounce bars, so you’ll need 2. I’m not affiliated or working with this brand, but I strongly recommend Ghirardelli (pictured below). This chocolate simply produced the best tasting and looking cookie. The cookies made with Baker’s brand chocolate were great, but the cookies didn’t really have the crackly tops.

  • I use and recommend semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate for a much darker flavor.
  • If you can find it and want to splurge, use 8 ounces of semi-sweet Scharffen Berger Chocolate. These are sold in 3 ounce or 9 ounce bars. My regular grocer carries it in the baking aisle, but you can find and purchase it online.

one photo of ghirardelli baking chocolate bars and another photo of melted chocolate

Overview: How to Make Brownie Cookies

The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the recipe so you understand each step before you get started.

  1. Melt the chocolate. Start by melting the chopped chocolate. I recommend doing this first so it has a few minutes to cool down before you need it in step 3 below. (Don’t want to melt the creamed butter or scramble the eggs!)
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  3. Work on wet ingredients. As detailed in the recipe below, cream the butter and both sugars together. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then beat in the melted and cooled chocolate. Pay attention to your mixing times. We want to beat long enough to whip some air into these ingredients, which helps achieve a crackly brownie appearance on the cookies. (Which are usually created by deflated air, melted sugar, and quality chocolate.)
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  5. Chill as oven preheats. Chill the cookie dough for just 20 minutes. This quick chill time helps slightly solidify the chocolate and butter in the dough, which gives the cookies a nice spread (not over-spread). Chilling for longer creates thicker cookies where, in some cases, they may not spread at all. Some of you have mentioned little to no spread in my brownie walnut chunk cookies, so if you use that recipe– just skip or reduce the chill time OR add 1 cup of chopped walnuts to this cookie dough.
  6. Scoop and bake. Dough is thick and sticky, so I strongly recommend using a cookie scoop. The medium size is perfect because each dough ball should be around 1.5 Tablespoons.

chocolate brownie cookie dough ingredients mixed together in different bowls

Pictured above are our 3 bowls: 1 for dry, 1 for wet, and 1 for melted chocolate. When it all comes together, expect a thick and sticky cookie dough.

brownie cookies cookie dough in glass bowl

brownie cookie dough balls

overhead photo of brownie cookies with crinkly tops

And for those of you who want your brownie cookies AND brownies… 😉

Brownie Recipes

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brownie cookies with one broken in half

Brownie Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These are extra rich, extra fudge-like, and extra chewy brownie cookies. For best results, use good chocolate and follow this recipe closely.


Ingredients

  • 2 four ounce bars (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup (21g) natural unsweetened or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (5 Tablespoons; 72g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: 3/4 cup (135g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or use the microwave. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring after each until completely melted. Set aside to slightly cool (so it doesn’t melt the butter or cook the eggs).
  2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat on high speed for 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl, then beat on high for 1 more minute. Pour in the slightly cooled melted chocolate and mix on medium-high speed for 2 full minutes.
  4. Pour in the the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined. Finally, beat in the chocolate chips.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. As the oven preheats, continue to step 6.
  6. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for just 20 minutes as the oven preheats. This quick chill time helps slightly solidify the chocolate and butter in the dough, which gives the cookies a nice spread (not over-spread). Chilling for longer creates thicker cookies where, in some cases, they may not spread at all. If chilling for longer than 20 minutes, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling and baking.
  7. Roll or scoop the dough into balls, 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each. I recommend a medium cookie scoop. Place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets and bake for 12-13 minutes or until the edges appear set. (The centers will be quite soft, but will set up as the cookies cool.)
  8. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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. Cookies won’t spread as much if dough balls were frozen, so about halfway through bake-time, gently press down on the baking cookies with a spoon to help get them to spread. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Chocolate: Use pure chocolate baking bars. You can find them right next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle. They are sold in 4 ounce bars, so you’ll need 2. I strongly recommend Ghirardelli brand. I’m not working with this company– this chocolate simply produced the best tasting and looking cookie. I use and recommend semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate for a much darker flavor. If you can find it (my regular grocer carries it in the baking aisle) and want to splurge, use 8 ounces of semi-sweet Scharffen Berger Chocolate. These are sold in 3 ounce or 9 ounce bars.
  3. Espresso Powder: Espresso powder deepens the chocolate flavor. You can skip it or use 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder instead.

Keywords: brownies, brownie cookies, chocolate

brownie cookies with one broken in half

220 Comments

  1. These cookies are absolutely delicious. Five stars. Ten stars. Just fantastic.

  2. Hi, is it okay to do without espresso? What will be the difference?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nadiah, Espresso powder deepens the chocolate flavor (it doesn’t make the cookies taste like coffee). You can simply omit it if desired.

  3. Mine also did not spread and I followed the recipe exactly with the 20 min chill. the only significant thing I did differently was use a dark 75% cocoa chocolate bar. I will say that i did get all my ingredients from Whole Foods so the white sugar I used is unbleached and has a larger grain size, and my brown sugar is noticeably different from the generic kind I’ve used in the past. This may have been my downfall. It’s not inedible but it is far from chewy

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Gigi, it’s possible that the ingredients were the culprit here. A few other troubleshooting tips for next time. Be sure to to measure the flour and cocoa powder correctly (spoon and level, don’t scoop). Too much dry ingredients will soak up all the liquid and prevent the cookies from spreading. You can also try skipping the chill time next time. (Great news! Quicker cookies.) Chocolate can thicken back up pretty quickly which may have prevented them from spreading. Finally, halfway through bake time, gently press down on the cookies with the back of a spoon to help get them to spread. Hope this helps and thanks for giving this recipe a try!

  4. Followed the recipe exactly, and cookies turned out perfect!
    When I saw this recipe I knew it could be trusted because it was one of Sally’s
    and I’ve had much luck with her recipes before ❤️

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We’re so glad you loved these cookies, Joy!

  5. I would love to send these cookies to my children and grandchild as a Christmas gifts. I live in the Midwest and they on both coasts of US. What advice can you offer re: packing and mailing?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Selena, this post on the best way to ship cookies should be helpful!

  6. Can I use this recipe and get jumbo cookies like 4 oz each. If so how much time for baking and what temperature. Thanks

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Patricia, We have not tried to make cookies that large with this recipe before. If you wish to try it, use a relatively lower oven temperature. 325°F should ensure that the massive cookies cook evenly, instead of over-browning on the edges and tops. We are unsure of how long your bake time should be. Let us know if you give it a try!

  7. These are SO amazing. I used Country Crock Plant Butter (w/ avocado oil) and Baker’s Chocolate because its ingredients have just a “May Contain Milk” note and thankfully my son’s allergy isn’t *quite* that sensitive. Turned out SO delicious and beautiful. I love that the recipe is so precise and well-written. Perfect amount of time to clean up while the dough chilled.

  8. Followed this recipe exactly ,even got the ghiradelli chocolate and it turned out to be the best brownie cookies ! I have made diff brookie recipes in the past,&they were ok, but this one is exactly like a brownie in a cookie form!When ever I need a trusted recipe,I look up Sally’s.

  9. Ten stars. One of my new favorite cookie recipes. So, so good. More flavor and depth than your average cookie. Only had 1/2 cup chocolate chips left in my pantry to throw in at end, and wondered if it was necessary since the batter seemed so decadent already. Trusted Sally and tossed them in, and boy was I glad I did! Lesson: Never doubt Sally. 🙂 I did add some holiday decoration on a few in the form of a very light dusting of powdered sugar and red sugar sprinkles (after cookies cooled). But the cookies w/o added decoration were equally delicious.

  10. Cynthia Porter says:

    So delicious. I left out the espresso powder. Like others have commented, the dough did not spread while baking. However, that didn’t bother me as the taste was still awesome!

  11. Lexi,
    Thank you for all your amazing recipes. Do you think I could add peppermint to this recipe?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely!

  12. Are these sturdy enough for sandwich cookies? I attempted the cookie dough fudge and but it never set, so I’d like to use it as filling for a “half baked” style cookie sandwich.
    Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Courtney, The centers are pretty soft, especially when still warm. But the cookies should be sturdy enough to sandwich. Sounds delicious!

  13. Hi Sally!

    I want to make a mini version of these? What adjustments should I make to the oven temperature and baking time?

    Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dorar! We haven’t tested it, but don’t see why a mini version would be an issue! Same oven temperature, keep an eye on them in the oven as we’re unsure of the exact baking time.

  14. These are just what I hoped: dramatically chocolatey!

  15. Hello 🙂
    I would love to try these, but do you think that is possible to add some fruit to them to balance the chocolate richness? for example raspberries? if so, when would you add them to the recipe?

    thanks 🙂

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Erika! Adding fruit would require additional testing as the extra moisture from the berries would likely cause these cookies to spread too much. If you test anything let us know!

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