Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft, chewy centers with crisp, buttery edges. Nothing is better than these brown butter chocolate chip cookies. 

  • Butter – We’re going to brown this butter up until the milk solids caramelize and give off that irresistible nutty scent. 
  • Brown sugar – When paired with the brown butter, it gives the cookies a butterscotchy/caramely flavor. I prefer to use dark brown sugar when I can, but light brown is just as good, so use what you have available. You can even make your own brown sugar, if necessary.
  • Granulated sugar – We don’t want to use all brown sugar because we d0n’t want the molasses flavor to compete with the brown butter, so we also add granulated sugar. 
  • Egg + yolk – This adds structure as well as moisture and richness from getting that double yolk. 
  • Vanilla – I’ve been using vanilla bean paste lately, but vanilla extract is my usual go-to. 
  • Heavy cream – The dough itself tends to be a little dry. This is because a lot of the liquid from the butter evaporated when we brown it. We help make the dough workable by adding a little moisture. The cream also adds richness. 
  • Cornstarch – This adds tenderness and structural help. 
  • Flour – Use all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached. Cake flour will be too tender, while bread (or strong) flour will add too much toughness and chew. 
  • Chocolate – I always use a mix of chocolate in my cookies. I like to use a super dark chocolate and a sweeter milk chocolate for balance. 
  • Salt – To balance out all the flavors we need salt. I use sea salt in all my baking. I also top these cookies with a flaky fluer de sel, but you can also use any flaky sea salt you have – I recommend Maldon. 

How to brown butter

I love brown butter. It is probably the best thing to ever happen to both sweet and savory food. I even wrote out a whole post to help people understand how to make browned butter. It is a very simple process, but sometimes people get scared they’ve burnt their butter.

Here’s the biggest tip I can give you: if it smells nutty and nice, it’s good. If it starts smoking a lot, smells bitter, and the milk solids are all black, it’s burnt. You will 100% know if you’ve burnt your butter when you see it. 

  1. Heat your butter in a saucepan or skillet on a medium heat.
  2. Continue to heat it, stirring frequently. The butter will start to bubble and you might get some foam. Soon, the butter will begin to darken, and you will notice the smell becoming a little stronger. 
  3. Stir more frequently until you notice the butter is a darker color, and the milk solids at the bottom are turning a dark caramel brown color. You should also smell a wonderful nutty scent. 
  4. Remove from heat immediately. 

How to make

Unlike regular chocolate chip cookies where you beat room temperature butter with sugar, we start things off by browning butter. This means we have melted butter on our hands to start with. So, we need to chill our butter just a little before we can use it. 

  1. Chill your butter until it is partially solidified, but still a little melted in the middle. 
  2. Beat the sugars into the butter, then beat in the egg, cream and vanilla. 
  3. Mix together the dry ingredients and then add it to the butter mixture. 
  4. Fold in the chopped chocolate. 
  5. Portion out and bake until delicious. 

Tips for the best cookies

There are a few tips I want to share with you so you can have the best brown butter chocolate chip cookies ever. 

  • Use chopped chocolate. I love chocolate chips, but cookies these good deserve the pools of chocolate you get when you use chopped chocolate. Experiment with different brands of bars. If you find a salted chocolate, even better! 
  • Allow the dough to rest. I like to let the dough rest for about 30 minutes before I turn on the oven to preheat. This allows all the flavors to meld together and make them even better. You don’t need to chill the dough when you rest it, but it can help, if you also prefer your cookies to not spread as much. 
  • Yes, you really do need to separate an egg just to use the yolk for this recipe. We need that extra richness. Using two whole eggs is just too much. If you’re worried about wasting an egg white, I like to freeze mine for later use (or add into my breakfast the next day). 
  • Don’t skip the flaky salt. For me, its a game-changer. Table salt or kosher salt won’t work. It has to be a flaky sea salt. The salt I used here is from Beanilla. 

Storing and freezing tips

Finished cookies last at room temperature for about a week in an airtight container. You can freeze finished cookies in an airtight container for about 2 months. Leave them at room temperature to thaw them. I also like to put them in the microwave for 5 seconds to give them that freshly baked feel. 

Cookie dough can be frozen about 2 months in an airtight container. I recommend portioning out the dough into balls, then freezing them on a parchment-lined sheet. Once they are frozen, place them in an airtight container. 

You can bake brown butter chocolate chip cookies from frozen, but will need to add an extra couple of minutes to the baking time. 

Recipe F.A.Q.

Can I half or double the recipe?

Absolutely! This recipe multiplies and divides wonderfully to make as much as you need.

Can I make the cookie in a skillet?

To turn this recipe into a skillet cookie, just make the full recipe and bake it in a cast iron skillet. It will need about 5 – 10 minutes more for the cookie to bake through.

Can I add mix-ins?

Definitely! You can add in so many things like nuts, chopped pretzels, and even a tablespoon of instant coffee for extra oomph.

Other recipes you may like

Brown butter fans, unite! And let’s make some brown butter rice krispie treats together. Or maybe some brown butter banana bread. If you want to try the best thing ever, this brown butter banana cake with brown butter frosting is the best thing to ever happen. Get seasonal with brown butter pumpkin snickerdoodles or brown butter chai sugar cookies. My other favorite cookie are these brown butter snickerdoodles. 

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