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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown butter and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt make these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies every bit as delicious as a fancy bakery cookie. You won’t believe you were able to make them at home! 

Baked brown butter chocolate chip cookies on a piece of parchment paper set on a wire cooling rack

Like so many people, I downloaded TikTok last spring as everything was shutting down. It offered a bit of entertainment during a very unsettling time. And along with my friend Stephie and Joshua Weissman, it taught me how to make one hell of a loaf of sourdough bread.

I was all-in and even bought a fermentation station – if you know, you know.

Over a year later, I still love TikTok and if I’m being honest, my FYP is pretty much loaded with food and beauty content. I love finding simple recipes to make for dinner while learning which new highlighter is all the rage.

Many months ago, I stumbled upon a recipe for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and I could not get them off my mind. Although I didn’t save the recipe, I did remember that the creator used the recipe for Tasty’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, but browned the butter first. 

Brown butter chocolate chip cookie broken in half to show the gooey melted chocolate chips

And let me tell you, this creates one magical cookie. 

If you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you know that my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies. But not everyone wants to go purchase cake and bread flours to make a cookie recipe. 

And not everyone has 24 hours to let the dough chill.

These Brown Butter Chocolate Chip cookies are right up there with the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies and a few of my friends think they’re even better! They’re super simple to make and don’t require special ingredients, or a 24-hour chill time. 

Ingredients for brown butter chocolate chip cookies arranged on a gray countertop

WHAT IS BROWN BUTTER?

Brown butter just sounds so fancy, right? Especially if you call it by its French name, beurre noisette

Brown butter is actually just regular old butter that is melted over low heat, then cooked gently until the water starts to evaporate and the milk solids begin to brown.

This process gives the butter a beautifully nutty, complex flavor. 

Brown butter in a saucepan, with a wooden spoon set on the edge of the pan

You can use brown butter in its liquid state or chill it until it is solid again. It’s amazing in sweet recipes like Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats, Brown Butter Frosting, or Brown Butter Peach Scones

You can also use it in savory recipes, like Pan Roasted Brown Butter Radishes or even as a simple sauce for pasta.

Spoon stirring together the wet ingredients for brown butter chocolate chip cookies in a metal mixing bowl

WHY BROWN BUTTER FOR COOKIES?

But browning the butter is an extra step, so why bother?

Well, first, browning butter really isn’t hard at all. If you use a light-colored pan, keep it over low heat, and watch it closely, it’s really pretty simple!

And second, it’s a simple thing that totally changes the flavor profile of your cookies. It’s hard to exaggerate how amazing the nuttiness of the brown butter is with the chocolate in these cookies. 

Add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to the top of each cookie and you will be in absolute heaven. They taste like fancy bakery cookies that you won’t believe you made at home!

Wooden spoon stirring together brown butter chocolate chip cookie dough in a metal mixing bowl

HOW TO MAKE BROWN BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

The ingredient list for these cookies looks just like most standard chocolate chip cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½  cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½  teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (11-ounce) bag of chocolate chunks or chips
  • Flaky sea salt
Six balls of brown butter cookie dough set on a parchment-lined baking sheet

What kind of chocolate should you use? Well, that’s up to you! Use your favorite here: milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, or even dark chocolate.

Start by browning the butter: Cook butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it foams up and then browns. Remove the butter from the heat immediately and let it cool for 15 minutes.

Next, combine the sugars, salt and cooled brown butter. Mix until smooth, then add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

Close up of a brown butter chocolate chip cookie on a piece of parchment paper

Stir together the flour and baking soda and gradually add it to the butter mixture. Mix until it just comes together, but don’t overmix. Fold in the chocolate of your choice. 

Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours. I typically shoot for overnight, but you can go as long as 24 hours. 

When you’re ready to bake, let the dough sit out at room temperature while the oven preheats. It will be quite hard until it sits out for a bit. Use a medium cookie scoop to portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. You should end up with right around 24 cookies.

Five brown butter chocolate chip cookies stacked on a wooden board next to a glass of milk

Bake cookies for 12-13 minutes, or until the edges barely start to brown. The centers will appear undercooked; this is what you’re looking for. At this point, you can press some additional chips or chunks into the tops of the cookies and give them each a light sprinkling of flaky sea salt.

Technically both of these steps are completely optional, but I highly recommend them. I promise that sea salt really puts them over the top!

I know you will totally love these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Just try to stop at one! 

Baked brown butter chocolate chip cookie set on a piece of parchment paper on a wire rack
Brown butter chocolate chip cookie broken in half to show the gooey melted chocolate chips

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 32 minutes

Brown butter and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt make these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies every bit as delicious as a fancy bakery cookie. You won’t believe you were able to make them at home! 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (11-ounce) bag of chocolate chunks or chips*
  • flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. Cook butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it foams up and then browns. This should take about 6–8 minutes. Don’t take your eyes off it because no one wants burnt butter bits in their cookies. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer or wooden spoon (yes, you can mix this dough by hand) combine the sugars, salt and cooled brown butter. Mix until smooth.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Stir together the flour and baking soda and gradually add it to the butter mixture. Mix until it just comes together, but don’t overmix. Fold in the chocolate of your choice. The chocolate chips may not seem to adhere to batter very well due to the melted butter, so I like to place the dough into a gallon zip-top bag and kind of roll the dough into a log to push the chips into the dough while it chills.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I typically shoot for overnight, but you can go as long as 24 hours.
  6. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  7. Let the dough sit out at room temperature while the oven preheats. It will be quite hard until it sits out for a bit. Use a medium cookie scoop to portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. You should end up with right around 24 cookies.
  8. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 12-13 minutes, or until the edges barely start to brown. The centers will appear undercooked, this is what you’re looking for. At this point, you can press some additional chips or chunks into the tops of the cookies and give them each a light sprinkling of flaky sea salt - both of these steps are completely optional, but totally delicious. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet placed on a wire cooling rack. 

Notes

*Use whatever chocolate you prefer, milk, semi-sweet or dark - your call.

Slightly adapted from Tasty

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Nutrition Information
Yield 24 Serving Size 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 205Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 36mgSodium 226mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 0gSugar 20gProtein 2g

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Michael Kane

Thursday 29th of April 2021

I’ve made these cookies before, loved them. Today I am going to use butter that I browned and froze last month. I use unsalted Kerrygold butter for baking, that’s what I used to make the browned butter I froze. I made two batches following your “how to brown butter” recipe, each with 115g butter. Both batches (and others I’ve made) weighed 93g after browning. If nothing else, I am consistent! We’ll see if 186g browned butter works for this recipe today!

Jamie

Friday 30th of April 2021

So happy to hear you loved them, Michael! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback!

-Jamie

Jenni

Wednesday 28th of April 2021

This recipe is awful! Do not make these! I prepared these with my son last night only to find out that we had to refrigerate them for 2 hours. I refrigerated them over night. He comes home from school today so excited to bake his cookies. The dough is as hard as a rock. I guess I will let it set out for hours to come to room temperate so I can scoop the dough. A huge disappointment all around! All you can taste is butter flavor. This was way too much preparation and wait time for a butter cookie! In the trash this recipe goes!!!

Maddy

Monday 26th of April 2021

Hey jamie! I've never tried this recipe yet but I can see that this recipe will end up amazing!

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