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.
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.
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 Brownie Cookies: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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!)
- Whisk dry ingredients together.
- 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.)
- Combine wet and dry ingredients.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
And for those of you who want your brownie cookies AND brownies… 😉
- Homemade Brownies
- Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Mint Chocolate Brownies
- White Chocolate Brownies
- Skillet Brownie
These are extra rich, extra fudge-like, and extra chewy brownie cookies. For best results, use good chocolate and follow this recipe closely.
- 2 four ounce bars (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/4 cup (18g) 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
- 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).
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
- 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.
- Pour in the the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined. Finally, beat in the chocolate chips.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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