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.
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, or my peppermint frosted chocolate cookies or peanut butter filled brownie cookies, today’s cookies are similarly rich. If you love chocolate, brownies, and cookies, you can’t go wrong with any of these 4!
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.
- 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.
- 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, the same exact size I recommend for double chocolate chip cookies.
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
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes (includes chilling)
- Yield: 24 cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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 (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
- 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. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze 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
Reader Comments & Reviews
Just finished making this and they turned out great! Gewy, chocolaty, the perfect cookie for brownie lovers!! ♀️
Thank you for sharing, as always your recipes are amazing
I just baked these cookies and topped them with peppermint buttercream frosting and they are heavenly! Thanks for sharing your delicious recipes with us all.
Yum! I bet they were incredible with peppermint buttercream. A match made in heaven!
These cookies are DELICIOUS!! Brownie cookies are my new favorite cookie. They’re soft and fudgy on the inside but still have that wonderful outer cookie crunch. I’ve made Sally’s walnut brownie cookies before, which are also delicious, but I like the pure chocolate indulgence of these more. They spread just right for me and are pretty quick/easy to make! Highly recommend!!
Yummm how can cookies taste like brownies?! It’s just some xmas magic and exactly what we needed to close out the year! Thank you for the testing to get these just right!! I appreciate all that you do for us.
Thank you for the kind note, Pam – I appreciate your loyal readership!
Sally, thank you for answering my previous question regarding freezing the cookie dough balls. I am in the midst of making the dough now and my dough is very loose, just like a brownie batter. I always bake with grams msmts – I went back to cross checking your post and I think 1/4c cocoa powder might be around 30g instead of 17g (as listed above). I used Valhrona choc bars. I’m going to go ahead and add more cocoa powder to my batter and hope that it turns out okay. Otherwise, it’d be a shame if I wasted all my ingredients. Fingers tightly crossed – pls let us me know if there’s anything else I could do to save the dough …. thx.
Hi, my batter looks the same way 🙁 were you able to make it work? Does the batter thicken once chilled? Thanks
Anisha, I had to end up adding 25g flour and 15g cocoa powder to my batter. It was still pretty loose at this point (certainly not thick or moldable). I refrigerated it for an hour and then was able to scoop and form the cookie balls. The cookie balls went back in the cooler for 3-hrs. Then I baked them up. They spread quite a bit on their own but held shape. I certainly did not have to flatten them midway through baking. The family said they tasted great. I didn’t try one. I will attempt to make another batch. Hope this helps.
I just finished making these. You weren’t kidding about the dough being sticky. LOL! 😀 They are so yummy!! I posted a picture on Instagram because I didn’t know if I could include one here. If anyone is interested, I was able to cut the sugar in half and they still came out sweet and chocolatey enough for us. Figuring out the sugar percentage was over 200% for the recipe, bringing it down to 100% was just fine. I wouldn’t cut any less, though. I will definitely be making these again – they’ll hold up well for giving out to the neighbors, family, etc. Unless I eat them all first. LOL!!
I would like to make these in advance and freeze the cookie balls (as I do with many of my holiday cookies). Do I understand correctly that I will have to flatten the cookie balls before baking them up as they may not spread too much on their own? Or perhaps I will need to flatten them half way through the baking process? Any thoughts or recommendations? Thank you in advance.
Hi Faye, that’s right– halfway through bake time, gently press down on the cookies with the back of a spoon to help get them to spread. (See freezing instructions– sorry if that wasn’t clear.)
Thanks for another great recipe.
Mine had kind of the opposite effect in that they didnt spread as much as I would have liked (think 2 bite brownies). Any guesses as to why? Followed the recipe to a T with the baker’s brand chocolate bars. (i.e. didnt refrigerate for more than 20 minutes)
Hi Rachel, 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.
Good Morning Sally! May I suggest an edit under the”Tell me about these cookies” section? How about, “Guaranteed to satisfy the most diehard chocoholic in your family. Don’t expect to eat just one!” BTW, I always get a kick when you write chocolate is optional…..chocolate is NEVER optional in this house! So I just took one batch out of the oven, and I’m going to experiment with the rest of the dough and try to make Hanukkah shapes out of these, I’ll just let them chill longer in the fridge and we’ll see how it goes. I admire your patience with your recipe testing, and also appreciate the perfectionist in you! BTW, who is the lucky recipient of all your rejects? Feel free to send them up to Boston, LOL!!!
Do you think I could replace the white sugar in the recipe with Swerve granulated sugar?
Hi Kim, We haven’t tested this recipe with any sugar substitutes but let us know if you try anything!
These are the most chocolateful brownie-type thing I’ve ever tried, yum! Glass of cold milk pairs well. The crackly tops are beautiful.
Thank you for the positive feedback, Laura! I couldn’t agree more – what a perfect pair with a tall glass of milk 🙂
I want to make these but all I have is unsweetened chocolate. Should I use regular cocoa instead of dutched so they aren’t overly chocolatey? These look so delicious
Hi Nicole, Yes you can use regular cocoa but either way with unsweetened chocolate you will have very deep, dark chocolate cookie!
These are absolutely yummy! I am only sorry they only made 28 cookies!! Mine looked just like yours! A new recipe for my file.
If we use pure baking chocolate, should we up the sugar?
I usually swap bittersweet for semisweet in your recipes, and im just worried trying it with the baking chocolate would make a bitter cookie.
I actually like a slight bitterness to balance out the sweet, but wondering how it turns out
Hi Jenna, I use pure baking chocolate in this recipe. Usually Ghirardelli brand, but Baker’s works too. You can use semi-sweet or bittersweet. There’s enough sugar in the dough that the cookies won’t taste bitter.
I made these yesterday. Followed the recipe as it is (with the exception that I’m not entirely sure if the unsweetened cocoa in my pantry was Dutch process. I had it in my own labeled container and hadn’t indicated other than unsweetened) and the cookies were really good. They didn’t spread quite as much as the ones in your photos, but we gobbled them up! Thanks for another great recipe!
The chocolate cookie to end all chocolate cookies My son and I baked these and they are divine! We followed your directions to a T and they baked up SO nicely.
Love to hear that they were a big hit with you and your son, Emma – thank you both for giving these a try!
Hi Sally, quick question. Is it okay not to put espresso powder? If not, what can I use for a substitute? Thanks! ☺
Hi Kristiene, You can leave it out or use 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder instead.
Simple and delicious! Fabulous for an evening sweet tooth. The cookies came out fudgy and soft. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to seeing more of your recipes!
Hi Sally, can I omit the espresSo powder?
Sure can! No need to replace with anything.
when you say “chill”
is it in refrigerator or freezer?
Hi Maria, the refrigerator.
If I wanted to give these a Christmas flair, do you think crushed candy canes would work as an add in?
Definitely! The cookies may spread a little more due to the melting candies, so I recommend chilling it in the refrigerator for closer to 30-45 minutes before baking.
Literally can’t go wrong with any of Sally’s recipes. I omitted the espresso powder simply because I did not have that or instant coffee. Delicious. Already sent the recipe to my mom and sister! Obsessed!!!J
Hi Sally! Is it possible to use a Trader Joe’s Pound Plus chocolate bar instead of the ghiradelli or bakers bar?
That should be just fine. Enjoy!
As soon as I got this recipe in my mailbox, I knew I had to try it like… now! And taking a day off today couldn’t be more appropriate.
They really taste like brownies in a cookie shape: sooooo delicious!!! And, to my surprise, they spread less than I expected from the pictures above — which is good to me, as I like thicker cookies more 😉
I only have one quick question: I noticed that my cookies kept spreading while cooling on the baking sheet, so they ended up thinner than when I took them out of the oven. Is this normal? Any idea how to prevent this? They spread “just right” while in the oven…
Hi Gabriella, it’s normal for cookies to keep spreading and cooking even out of the oven. Try my little spoon trick– use a spoon to push the edges back towards the center of the warm cookie. They should move since they’re warm. Or you can very carefully transfer the warm cookies to a cooling rack to stop the spreading/cooking process. However, they’re pretty flimsy right out of the oven so be careful!
I just made these and the dough was extremely dry. The only thing I did differently was the bakers brand of unsweetened chocolate bars. Because it was so dry I didn’t refrigerate dough but maybe 5 min and they didn’t spread at all. Any suggestions??
Hi Lindsey, I wonder if the chocolate cooled for too long? All is not lost, your dough needs to warm up before baking. This sounds crazy, but it works– place the dough in a heat-proof bowl and microwave it (yes! microwave the dough!) for 10-12 seconds. This loosens it up and the cookies should spread a bit more. A little trick I depend on from time to time. 😉
Made today in honor of National Brownie Day. Absolutely delish!
Hi Sally, quick baking question for you…… For the chocolate, can I use chocolate chips instead?
P.S. Can’t wait for another fam update! Hope everyone is doing well!
Hi Bree, I strongly do not recommend chocolate chips as the base of the cookie. You really want pure baking chocolate. Hope you’ll give these a try and thank you for the well wishes!
Can I use semi sweet chocolate chips for melting? I just ask because its easier to find allergen free chocolate chips than it is to find an allergen free chocolate bar.
Hi Maria, I strongly do not recommend chocolate chips as the base of the cookie. You really want pure baking chocolate. Sorry! You may enjoy these inside out chocolate chip cookies instead. Awesome chocolate flavor from cocoa powder.
Thanks!!! I will make these! By the way, I made the Chocolate Coconut caramel cupcakes this weekend, made the caramel with coconut milk instead. YUM!!!! They came out sooooo good!!! You are my go to website for baking!!
Sally, these look delicious (and your brownie recipe is my go to recipe). Can you tell me if you roll the dough into balls, or just scoop them onto the tray? I can’t tell from the picture. Thanks!
Hi Julie, I use and recommend a cookie scoop. They are scooped and placed on the baking sheet.
This looks delicious…. Thank you Sally!