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

197 Comments

  1. This recipe is AMAZING I am blown away! ❤️ I was going to make these for friends and family this year for Christmas but I don’t think they will be making it out of the house

  2. I made these tonight and they are so delicious! You really do get the best of both worlds with crunchy edges and fudgy middles.

  3. Julia Stevenson says:

    Hi Sally. I can’t wait to make this recipe! I have 2 questions:

    1. I don’t have access to espresso powder. Is there something else I can use? Would instant coffee work? Or brewed coffee?

    2. We don’t have Ghirardelli baking bars available in Canada. Would a high quality pure chocolate bar work – something like dark or milk chocolate? I am thinking of Lindt/Lindor brand possibly.

    Thanks so much for your help!

    1. Hi Julia! I’m happy to help. 1) Instant coffee works. It’s not as concentrated as espresso powder, so use 2 teaspoons. (See recipe note.) Do not use brewed coffee. 2) Lindt is an excellent choice for these cookies. I recommend the dark chocolate.

  4. Hi Sally – I’ve been struggling with creaming butter and sugar the last couple days trying some of your cookie recipes. It just clumps together in more of a soft, solid piece and doesn’t really look creamy as much as I whip it (using Kitchenaid mixer with paddle attachment on medium-high speed for the designated time). I left out butter (chopped in tablespoon sticks) for over an hour and a half and no luck… Should I warm the butter more or could something else be an issue? Thanks!

    1. Hi Vickie, it may be useful for you to leave the butter out a little longer– perhaps up to 2 hours. It’s odd that it’s remaining so solid during the creaming process. As it’s creaming, it might also be helpful for you to stop the mixer, scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl, then start the mixer again. The butter and sugar may just need a little help from you in the bowl! Let me know if these suggestions help.

      1. Thank you all for the helpful comments! Ive started leaving it out 2+ hours and it’s turned out better. And the time it wasn’t creaming well, I ran some warm water outside the bowl to warm it a bit more and that helped.
        Sally, your site is so helpful and fun! I’ve made 6 or 7 of your desserts this holiday season and it’s been a blast! Thank you again for all you do!

    2. Vickie,
      I had the same problem creaming the butter and mine was left out all night. I ended up just warming my mixing bowl a little bit but running the bottom under hot water for a minute or so. Put it back on the mixer and it creamed up perfectly! Hope this helps!

    3. Hi, Vickie. I’ve ran into the same problem, especially when using my kitchenaid with the stainless steel bowl. I’ve found that wrapping the bowl in a hot, damp dishcloth and letting it mix on med-low speed for a minute or so almost always works.

    4. I have had that problem several times with a few recipes and discovered that for me, it was because I reflexively creamed the butter before adding the sugars, instead of adding them all together THEN mixing like it says. When I stopped creaming the butter first I stopped having that problem personally!

  5. Really delicious! Better than a normal brownie in my opinion! I followed the recipe exactly, using Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate, and it came out great. I think for people who don’t have a strong sweet tooth can reduce the sugar a bit.

  6. I followed the recipe precisely and OMGoodness!!! They are Perfection! Soft with just the right amount of crisp around the edges. My oldest daughter moved away this year, from SC to Michigan, and I’m putting a Mom Package together to ship off this week, so she has a little taste of home. Thank you for the amazing addition to her holiday and ours!

    1. That’s so sweet of you, Donna – these will be such a delicious addition to her care package. I hope your daughter enjoys them just as much as you do!

  7. Doubled the recipe and thanked the heavens for my stand mixer! Followed the recipe exactly but cut the size of the cookie down and adjusted baking time. Awesome! Timing is everything on these to properly come together. Thank you for being specific on how long to cream and incorporate as well as weight measurements.

  8. I know you recommended to use chocolate bars, but if I use chocolate chips will it mess up my dough?

    1. I recommend pure baking chocolate for melting. Chocolate chips don’t melt into the same consistency as pure chocolate since they contain stabilizers.

  9. I just finished baking the brownie cookies and am not a fan of this recipe. They taste dry and too much like unsweetened chocolate. I did room temp butter with the 15 minute chill. But quite disappointed! They dont have much flour in them so I dont get the dry flavorless mouthfeel. I dont think they have enough liquid – maybe an extra egg? Anyway. #fail.

  10. Can you add toasted pecans to this recipe? Would they taste as good?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes! You can add 1 cup of your favorite nuts to this cookie dough.

  11. Yup. This is it. My new go-to chocolate chocolate cookie recipe. I was using an old one from Cook’s Illustrated that had corn syrup in it to keep the cookies chewy, but this recipe tops my old one for sure! Mine didn’t quite spread as much as yours, as they may have gotten a little too cold (I chilled them outside in freezing weather) but honestly I like them exactly as they turned out! Dense, doughy in the middle, and with a perfectly crackly, crispy, brownie-like top. These are getting distributed to all of my friends for the holidays! Thanks and I love your recipes!

  12. These cookies are CRACK. I added Nestle Espresso morsels in lieu of the “optional” 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. If you follow the directions, they’ll bake perfectly. I am making them tomorrow morning for my coworkers…for the third time in less than two weeks! I may have to try adding some hazelnut extract…

  13. Perfection! Thank you for sharing this incredible recipe. These cookies are deeply delicious, they capture the brownie experience and, I think, are actually superior. The inside is moist and dense (not too dense though), the tops are delicately flaky-crisp, and the bottoms are almost caramalized-crispy. The instructions, tips, and photos were very helpful. Upon presenting these cookies I heard many OMG’s as first bites were enjoyed. Thank you, Sally!

  14. These were YUMMY DELICIOUS! I wanted to make something for co-workers and instead of making numerous cookies, I just topped these brownie cookies with different toppings, e.g. mint glaze, chocolate ganache, etc. They came out pretty and tastes great, AND they hold up very well. Best of all, I love brownies so this hit the spot!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Love those topping ideas. Thank you so much for making these cookies, Eva!

  15. Just finished baking these Brownie Cookies. All went together as expected. They smelled great in the oven but they barely spread to cookie shape and were a touch raw in the middle. I tried a little less dough per cookie. No change. I baked for 14 minutes and burned the bottoms of those cookies.
    Against my better judgement, I put the first two batches back in the oven
    For a bit. They did not turn into little rocks. They tasted ok. A bit too sweet for me but they were still brownie like. Any thoughts on the cookies not spreading. I weighed the flour. The only item I left out was the espresso powder. I will try these again another day.

  16. My cookie dough was very dry not sticky. I formed balls and baked them, but my cookies did not spread. My butter was out for about an hour and a half. The butter and sugar was not creamy. Is that my issue?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kim, Did you happen to chill the dough longer than 20 minutes? Chilling for longer creates thicker cookies where, in some cases, they may not spread at all.
      Also, if the dough was dry 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.

  17. I’ve followed the recipe exactly and the cookies come out PERFECT every time.
    Chewy, soft, fudgy with slightly crisp edges. Very deep, rich flavor – amazing with some flaky sea salt on top. If you, like my husband, don’t like dark chocolate, I suggest leaving out the espresso powder and adding milk chocolate chips at the end instead of semisweet to make the final product a little sweeter.
    This is definitely one of those recipes where every step is super important. If the butter is even a little too soft, the dough becomes more of a batter. I’ve found it’s better to err on the side of too cold and then warm up the bowl with a hot dish towel if it isn’t creaming together properly. The melted chocolate has to be totally cool and has to be mixed in at high speed for the dough to become the right consistency. 12-13 minutes is perfect, a minute too long and they become dry and bitter. Basically you should take them out as soon as the tops look right – they’ll be under done in the middle so you really do need to leave them on the sheet for 5 minutes and let the residual heat work it’s magic. It’s a finicky recipe for sure, but once you get it right the final product really is worth it.

  18. I hate giving a low rating because I probably screwed something up. Everything went together easily and my dough looked like yours before going into the fridge for 20 min … I even set a timer. When I took the bowl out of the fridge the dough was like concrete. I couldn’t scoop anything. I let it sit for 30 min and then was able to scoop but the dough was very stiff. I cooked a batch and they didn’t spread at all. They tasted like very dry chocolate cookies … I tossed everything out. Where did I go wrong?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Karen, if the dough was dry 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 yield a stiff dough.

      1. Sadly, I had the same experience. I measured the cocoa and flour perfectly but my cookies are SO stiff. I even left the batter out of the fridge for 1/2 hour and it’s still hard like a rock. It’s winter here in Toronto and the air is dry. Could that have something to do with it? PS- I have tried many of your recipes and this is the first one that bombed.

  19. Hi Sally, i have tried soo many of your recipes to the last gram and all of them have turned out perfect. I find your tips and instruction very useful. The brownie cookie however did not turn out the way it should have. The batter was runny like the cake batter. May I know how to fix it. It tastes amazing, but the batter had spread out like one giant cookie. Please help.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rashmi, Thank you for trying this recipe! Make sure your melted chocolate has cooled down enough, that your butter isn’t too soft (here is what room temperature butter means), and that you have chilled the dough for 20 minutes.

  20. Oh my heavens these are SO FREAKING GOOD! I just made these today, and they are perfect! Delish in every way. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us!

  21. I followed the recipe exactly, literally set the timer for the mixing time between ingredient additions!! The cookies are beyond delicious with a chewy edge, nice fudge center & the perfect amount of rich gooey texture from the chocolate chips! I added a cup of chopped walnuts! This recipe will be added to my annual Christmas gift baskets! Thank you so much Sally for the detailed wonderful recipes!!

  22. These are incredible! Going to be my new go-tos to give to friends for sure. They’re irresistible. I had to actively restrain myself from the batter and from eating half the batch myself. With that said, I refuse to make anymore chocolate cookie doughs until I buy a cookie scoop. One too many batches of sticky hands this year, this one no different. Cookie scoop is a must for choc dough!

  23. Just made these cookies yesterday! I took them out after about 9/10 minutes and they were perfect! So delicious and chocolate-y! I didn’t have espresso powder hanging around either and they were still delicious. Loved the recipe, thank you Sally!

  24. Hi Sally! I made these tonight and absolutely obsessed! I’m wondering if you can add m&m’s to this recipe last instead of chocolate chips? xoxo

    1. These are so good. I added Caramel M & M’s instead of chocolate chips and a dash of cinnamon.
      My expresso powder was dried up so ran it in my coffee grinder. Worked perfectly. I am now storing it in the frig.
      Thank-you Sally for my granddaughters’s favorite recipe.

  25. Definitely brownie in a cookie form! Easier than it seems.

    I did notice my cookies spread pretty thin, but eventually set and were crackly and chewy which was like the corner piece of a brownie (definitely not complaining about that). But I am wondering what I may have done wrong. I do live at 6500 ft elevation so maybe I need to adjust for that? Any thoughts Sally? Otherwise delish recipe!

  26. Hi Sally. Can I use cocoa powder instead of chocolate bars?

    1. Hey Reina, I’m afraid you wont be able to… as it’s a really impotrant ingredient… but I’m sure there are ways to make chocolate using cocoa powder @home.
      Hope this was useful

  27. DELICIOUS!! Super simple, quick and makes your home smell like a bakery. These cookies will be made again and again.

  28. Excellent, best brownies cookie recipe I’ve made! Thank you. I used 1 1/3 cups 67% chocolate chips that I melted. Did not spread, thick batter, very soft on inside and flaky top, did not need much refrigeration.

  29. amazing brownies, thanks a lot. when freezing the cookies, should I envolve them in aluminium paper or just put in a glass box?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Bianca, we like to layer them between pieces of parchment paper in an air tight storage container.

      1. Thanks a lot, good point!

  30. Hi sally! I have a questions could I chill the dough overnight?

    Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rachel, sure thing, just allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling and baking. With such a long chill time the cookies may not spread as much, so you might want to gently press down on them with a spoon about halfway through baking. Enjoy!

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