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Welcome to my favorite Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies have a deep, nutty flavor to them; they’re made with two types of chocolate, chopped walnuts (optional!) and flakey sea salt on top. Their texture is perfection: crispy edges with soft and chewy centers–yum!
It is no secret that I love brown butter. It makes everything better. Maybe you’ve seen my Brown Butter Scallops with Butternut Squash Risotto or my Brown Butter Apple Crumble. Savory or sweet, it truly makes EVERYTHING better.
Ingredients For Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate – I like using a bar of bittersweet chocolate (we will chop this) AND semi-sweet chocolate chips. This gives great chocolate dimension to these cookies.
- Sugars – This recipe uses white sugar and brown sugar. The ratio is definitely more brown sugar to white, resulting in a chewy cookie.
- Eggs – Whole eggs and an egg yolk. The egg yolks adds a nice richness to the dough that feels luxurious.
- Butter – I like using unsalted butter so we can control the salt amount in the cookies. And of course, using good quality butter helps. I used KerryGold for this recipe.
- Baking soda – This gives a nice color to the cookies as well as helps with spreading.
- Vanilla extract – I love making Homemade Vanilla Extract. Of course, store-bought is fine!
For the full list of the ingredients, please see the recipe index card below!
How to Brown Butter
I like to start with the butter cubed. And place it in a shallow pan over medium heat. You will slowly see it foam up (this is all the water evaporating out of the butter). Give it a stir regularly. Slowly you will start to see the milk solids caramelize, resulting in brown butter! I like to take my brown butter pretty far. You want it to be golden, dark brown. Immediately pour it into a bowl so it stops cooking.
How to Make Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1. Whisk together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt.
2. Brown the butter, allow the butter to cool for five minutes. And then whisk in the sugars. You really want to cool down the brown butter so it doesn’t melt the chocolate when we add it later on in the recipe.
3. Add in the eggs and egg yolk and whisk until very smooth. We want a cohesive wet mix!
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until all cohesive and you don’t see any speckles of flour.
5. Pour in the two types of chocolate (chopped and chocolate chips) and the walnuts. At this point we don’t want to over-mix our dough so I like to add all the mix-ins at once!
6. Chill the dough for 1 hour or overnight. Next you want to scoop out balls. I used a 2-ounce cookie scoop to get a good size cookie.
7. Place your cookies on a baking sheet, about 4 inches a part (they do spread). And bake for 8 minutes. At the 8-minute mark, remove the cookies from the oven and use a large cookie cutter to help shape them a bit (if they look wonky). This is absolutely optional.
8. At the 12-minute mark remove the cookies, or until the edges look lightly golden brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack. Serve them warm!
Styling Tip for these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Place chocolate chips on top. I like to place a few chocolate chips on top of the balls of dough so they look the best.
Use a large cookie cutter. This is called ‘scooting’. I like to do this to shape my cookies into perfect circles. It’s totally optional.
Tips for the Best Cookie Results
Weigh your flour – For quick breads (like my Easy Banana Nut Bread), weighing flour isn’t that necessary but I find with cookies it’s critical to get the perfect consistency.
Use light colored baking sheets – My favorite are from NordicWare. I own a few of them and they’re amazing. Dark colored baking sheets will result in darker bottomed cookies that are burnt or overbaked.
Browning the butter gives these chocolate chip cookies a nutty quality to them that isn’t all that distinguishable. It adds a depth of flavor and caramel notes that is hard to pin point. You don’t eat these and think to yourself, “Oh this is brown butter!” Their flavor is more subtle. That caramel-like flavor that lives in these cookies goes SO well with sea salt. Yum.
I always use light brown sugar. The subtle molasses flavor makes for a more balanced cookie. I actually ONLY buy light brown sugar vs. dark brown sugar. Because I personally enjoy the flavor a bit more. Feel free to use either. If you use dark brown sugar, your cookies will turn out a little browner in color.
To Freeze this Cookie Dough
I have a whole post on How to Freeze Cookie Dough. But quickly, here’s how:
- I like to scoop out the doughs of cookie dough and place them on a plate or baking sheet (whatever fits in your freezer).
- Place them in the freezer for 30 minutes. This is known as flash freezing them.
- Then add the to a freezer-safe bag. Bake them straight from the freezer; you’ll most likely need a few minutes longer.
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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 3 (360g) cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, (we're going to melt it so it can be straight from the fridge)
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 large whole eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (from a bar)
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.
- In medium saucepan, set over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Take out a silicon whisk and give the butter a stir. It will begin to foam up and bubble. Stirring frequently, allow it to keep going until it goes from a pale yellow color to a light brown color. Once it hits a light brown color, I like to give it a few more stirs just so I can monitor the color. This process happens quickly so don’t walk away! Keep stirring it until it goes from a light brown color to deep golden brown. Remove it from the heat and give it a few more stirs.
- I like to let it continue to cook until it’s dark brown. Immediately pour it into a large bowl. Whisk in the two teaspoons of water. Allow the brown butter to cool for about 10 minutes. (If you don’t do this, when you add the chocolate, it’ll melt.)
- Next, whisk in the sugars. And then, add the eggs and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Lastly, fold in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using). Stick in fridge for 1 hour to chill.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Scoop out 2-ounce balls of dough and roll them between your palms; place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet spacing them 4 inches apart.
- Bake for 8 minutes. At the 8-minute mark, remove them from the oven to shape them (this is optional). Rotate the pan and bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden brown.
- The cookie dough can be made, scooped out into dough balls and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bake them straight from the fridge.
- Some people’s cookies have come out a bit domed and not as flat as pictured. The biggest trick is be sure to weight your flour. With cakes and other baked goods, a bit more flour won’t alter the state of the appearance but with cookies it’s really important to weigh out the flour.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
*The original post is from 2019; this recipe has been updated and new photos have been taken. I can guarantee this recipe is SO much better. For clarity, the leavening has been adjusted, new chocolates are being used. But that’s it!