brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe

Cookies Currently Craving Seasonal

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 28, 2024

I try not to play favorites when it comes to cookies, but I definitely have a soft spot for anything […]

I try not to play favorites when it comes to cookies, but I definitely have a soft spot for anything with brown butter. If I’m in the mood for a no-frills, leveled-up spin on the classic chocolate chipper, I head straight for my OG Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. It’s seriously so good and gets rave reviews. But, let’s be real. One can never have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes in their back pocket and life’s too short not to enjoy ALL the cookies.

Which is why I developed this recipe for the best ever Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Think of them as a sophisticated twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie. They have buttery crispy edges, chewy, gooey chocolate filled centers and are brimming with a rich, caramely deliciousness that only brown butter can deliver.

best ever brown butter chocolate chip cookies

What makes these cookies so good?

Pour yourself a tall glass of cold milk and settle in while I tell you all about the best brown butter chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever make. These cookies aren’t just good. They’re great. Scratch that. They’re INCREDIBLE. Life-changing actually. Here’s a few reasons why you’ll love these cookies:

Amazing flavor. The combination of brown butter and milk powder is the secret to the rich, caramely flavor of these cookies. The cookies are studded with pools of melted chocolate and dusted with a sprinkle of sea salt for salty meets sweet perfection.

Incredible texture. These brown butter ccc’s are unlike any cookie you’ve had before. Thick but not too thick, perfectly crispy on the outside, deliciously chewy on the inside and studded with pools of melted chocolate. They are impossible to resist!

Easy to make. This recipe is a bit more fussy than your typical chocolate chip cookie recipe, but none of the steps are complicated or difficult. You’ll need to brown the butter (takes just 5 minutes), chill the dough and use every ounce of willpower not to eat all of said dough before baking the cookies. You’ve got this!

Better than a bakery. Tote these cookies along to book club and bbq’s and they will earn you all kinds of “oooh’s and ahhh’s” and “omg, who made these?” This is not just ANY cookie, this is a cookie meant to impress. You’ll earn star baker status when you share these gems with your family and friends.

brown butter chocolate chip cookie with bite taken out of it

Ingredients

These brown butter chocolate chip cookies are made with all of the usual ingredients you’d find in a regular chocolate chip cookie. Butter, flour, sugar, eggs – you know the drill. But to really amp up the flavor, we’ll brown the butter and then add a sprinkle of nonfat dry milk powder for added depth. An extra egg yolk helps make the cookies perfectly chewy and heaps of both chopped chocolate and chocolate chips deliver pools of melted chocolatey goodness in every bite! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Flour – measure your flour with a kitchen scale for best results.
  • Butter – brown butter makes everything better. iykyk!
  • Sugar – light brown sugar and granulated sugar add flavor and texture. If you don’t have light brown sugar on hand, dark brown sugar will work.
  • Eggs – set your eggs in a bowl of warm water while the butter is browning to bring them to room temperature.
  • Water – a couple of tablespoons replaces the liquid that is lost when browning the butter.
  • Nonfat dry milk powder – my favorite secret ingredient that gives cookies a rich, toasty flavor and distinctive chewy texture. I keep this one stocked in my pantry.
  • Vanilla – Good cookies are only as good as your ingredients. Use the good stuff for the best flavor.
  • Baking soda – helps the cookies rise and spread.
  • Chocolate – a combination of chopped chocolate and chocolate chips adds a variety of flavor and texture that makes these cookies extra delicious!
  • Salt – makes the brown butter nuttier and the chocolate sweeter. A sprinkle of flakey sea salt makes these cookies look (and taste) gourmet!
chocolate chip cookies made with brown butter

How to make brown butter chocolate chip cookies

These cookies are made with just a bowl and a whisk. No need for a mixer or any other special equipment. Follow this simple step by step guide and check the recipe card below for ingredients and detailed instructions.

Step 1: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir every minute or so until fully melted.

Step 2: As the butter melts it will start to foam and you’ll want to stir often, keeping one eye on the pan at all times. The butter can go from light golden to totally burnt in seconds so the pan does require a steady watch. As the butter begins to foam and bubble it will make a low crackling sound. Keep stirring and watch for golden brown bits to form in the pan.

Step 3: Once the butter turns a toasty brown color the crackling sound will stop and you’ll smell a toasted, nutty aroma that is heavenly. You’re looking for a golden brown, amber color in the center of the pan. Little bits of brown butter goodness will fall to the bottom of the pan and grow darker the longer you leave the butter over the heat.

Step 4: Remove the pan from the stove top and carefully transfer the hot butter (and all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan) to a medium bowl.

how to make brown butter

Step 5: Set the bowl of brown butter over a larger second bowl filled with ice. Add two tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of non-fat dry milk powder. Whisk to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Step 6: Begin whisking the brown butter vigorously. It will begin to return to a more solid state. Continue whisking for 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 7: Whisk until the mixture thickens and resembles a thick paste.

whisking brown butter in bowl

Step 8: Add the light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine well, about 30 seconds.

Step 9: Add the vanilla, egg and egg yolk, mixing until fully incorporated.

Step 10: Add the dry ingredients, folding the dough together using a large spatula or wooden spoon. Do not over mix. Stop when a few streaks of flour remain.

how to make brown butter chocolate chip cookies

Step 11: Add the chopped chocolate and chips, folding together just until combined. The dough should be soft.

Step 12: Using a large cookie scoop, portion the dough into 2.5 ounce balls. Set on a parchment lined cookie sheet and chill for 3 hours or overnight.

bowl of brown butter chocolate chip cookie dough
chocolate chip cookie dough balls ready for baking

Step 13: Transfer 6 cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet, allowing 2 to 3 inches between each cookie. Bake the cookies at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are set and the centers look slightly underbaked but not raw. Do not over bake.

Step 14: Remove the cookies from the oven and use a large cookie cutter or the inside of a fork to carefully “scoot” the edges of the cookies toward the center so that the cookies are round and uniform in size. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips for the best chocolate chip cookies

Follow these tips for the perfect brown butter chocolate chip cookies every time!

Brown the butter. Don’t even think about skipping the brown butter. The cornerstone of this recipe is the brown butter – and the fact that we return it to a semi-solid state once it’s browned. Browning butter is easy to do and takes 5 extra minutes. Trust me, it’s so worth it.

Measure the flour correctly. The number one reason that recipes fail is that too much flour is added. To measure dry ingredients accurately, use a digital kitchen scale. It makes all the difference!

Use two kinds of chocolate. The perfect chocolate chip cookie has a variety of flavors and textures in every bite. I like to use both chopped chocolate and chocolate chips. For added depth of flavor, combine both dark or bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate.

Chill the dough. I know, I know. When I read a recipe that calls out the dreaded words “chill the dough”, I want to run for the hills. As tempting as it is to ignore the instructions, it is true that good things come to those that wait. Chilling the dough before baking will make for a chewier cookie with a richer, more complex flavor. Basically, your cookies will be MORE delicious and who doesn’t want that?

closeup of single brown butter chocolate chip cookie topped with sea salt

How to store

These cookies are everyone’s favorite so it’s not likely you’ll have a single morsel left over. If you do happen to have a few extra cookies, store them tightly covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.

To freeze the cookies, cool them completely before wrapping in a layer of plastic wrap and placing in a large freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature or reheat in a 300°F oven for about 5 minutes before serving. You can also freeze the cookie dough itself. Chill the scooped cookie dough until firm and then place the balls in a large freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake the dough according to directions straight from the freezer. I recommend adding one to two minutes of baking time.

chocolate chip cookies lined up on parchment paper

FAQ’s

Can I use salted butter?

Yes. If using salted butter, omit the additional salt in the recipe. You can still top with flakey sea salt if desired.

Do I have to chill the dough?

Yes….and no. Allowing the dough to rest before baking gives the dough time to hydrate and helps marry all of the flavors together. You’ll get a slightly thicker, chewier cookie with a more complex flavor if the dough is chilled. If you bake the cookies right away, they will bake up flatter and thinner with less chew. If possible, try to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

I don’t have nonfat dry milk powder. Will the cookies taste the same?

Omitting the dry milk powder will alter the flavor and texture of the cookies slightly. Nonfat dry milk powder adds a rich, caramely flavor to cookies and is the secret ingredient takes these brown butter cookies from pretty good to perfectly irresistible! The good news is, milk powder (also called powdered milk) will stay fresh for months if properly stored so one package will make many batches of cookies!

Can I use a mixer to make the cookie dough?

I don’t recommend it. When you use a mixer to combine the ingredients, you incorporate air into the dough which makes a fluffier cookie. For a chewier, denser cookie, mix the dough by hand using a spatula or wooden spoon.

Can I add nuts?

Absolutely! Feel free to add chopped nuts, pecans or even walnuts. A handful of chopped toffee bits or a teaspoon or two of espresso powder would be delicious too!

Can I make these gluten free?

Yes. Keep in mind that the flavor and texture will be slightly different if using a gluten free flour.

brown butter chocolate chip cookies sprinkled with flakey sea salt
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brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Heather Mubarak
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 14 to 16 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A sophisticated twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie. These brown butter chocolate chip cookies have buttery crisp edges, chewy, chocolatey centers and are filled with a rich, caramely deliciousness that only brown butter can deliver.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespooons nonfat dry milk powder
  • 2/3 cup (133 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, plus one egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 5 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • flakey sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir every minute or so until fully melted.
  2. As the butter melts it will start to foam and you’ll want to stir it a bit more frequently while keeping one eye on the pan at all times. The butter can go from light golden to totally burnt in seconds so the pan does require a steady watch. As the butter begins to foam and bubble it will make a low crackling sound. Keep stirring and watch for golden brown bits to form in the pan.
  3. Once the butter turns a toasty brown color the crackling sound will stop and you’ll smell a toasted, nutty aroma that is heavenly. You’re looking for a golden brown, amber color in the center of the pan. Little bits of milk solids will fall to the bottom of the pan and grow darker the longer you leave the butter over the heat.
  4. Remove the pan from the stove top and carefully transfer the hot butter (and all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan) to a medium bowl.
  5. Set the bowl of brown butter over a larger second bowl filled with ice. Add two tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of non-fat dry milk powder. Whisk to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes.

  6. Begin whisking the brown butter vigorously. It will begin to return to a more solid state. Continue whisking for 4 to 5 minutes until the mixture thickens and resembles a thick paste.
  7. Add the light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine well, about 30 seconds.

  8. Add the vanilla and eggs, mixing until fully incorporated.
  9. Add the dry ingredients, folding the dough together using a large spatula or wooden spoon. Do not over mix. Stop when a few streaks of flour remain.
  10. Add the chopped chocolate and chips, folding together just until combined. The dough should be soft.

  11. Using a large cookie scoop, portion the dough into 2.5 ounce balls. Set on a parchment lined cookie sheet and chill for 3 hours or overnight.
  12. Bake the cookies at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are set and the centers look slightly underbaked but not raw. Do not over bake.

  13. Remove the cookies from the oven and use a cookie cutter or the inside of a fork to carefully “scoot” the edges of the cookies toward the center so that the cookies are round and uniform in size. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with flakey sea salt before serving if desired.

 

 

 

 


Notes

Store cookies tightly covered for up to 4 days.

May be frozen. Defrost at room temperature before serving.

  • Reply
    Beth
    July 2, 2024 at 9:06 pm

    What a beautiful recipe!
    I upped the brown sugar to white sugar ratio, and replaced 1/2 the flour with quick oats (trying to use up these oats!)
    Best tip: scooping dough while it’s soft, THEN chilling. This surgically repaired shoulder appreciates the help.






  • Reply
    Mary
    June 29, 2024 at 7:31 pm

    Can you replace the chocolates (both) for butterscotch chips for those who do not like chocolate? Or if I replace the chocolate chips with butterscotch, what would be a good substitute for the “chopped” chocolate? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      June 29, 2024 at 9:00 pm

      Of course! You can sub all butterscotch chips in place of the chocolate. You could also add toffee bits in with the butterscotch chips. Enjoy!

      • MARY
        July 1, 2024 at 3:58 pm

        Ooh – I love the idea of toffee and butterscotch for the non-chocolate lovers (not me, but I know of some!)! Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Mary
      June 29, 2024 at 9:29 pm

      Essentially I’m trying to understand the purpose of the 2 different semi-sweet chocolates – is it more for texture/visual appeal/interest?

      • Heather Mubarak
        June 30, 2024 at 5:57 pm

        Yes, I like to combine chopped chocolate bars and chocolate chips for a variety of flavor and texture in the cookies. Love a chopped dark chocolate bar mixed with a semi-sweet chocolate chip! Or a semi-sweet bar with 60% bittersweet chocolate chips.

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