This isn’t just any chocolate chip cookie recipe, because these cookies are baked with brown butter. These easy, chewy Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are an elevated version of a classic. They have a richer flavor, texture, and taste gourmet. You won’t make chocolate chip cookies the same way again!
What is brown butter?
It’s magical. Seriously, add brown butter to any recipe and it makes it 10x better!
Brown butter is melted butter that has been cooked down to release its milk solids. Once those have browned, you’ll see the butter transform into an amber color and release a delicious nutty aroma. It basically smells like heaven.
It’s along the same lines as roasting nuts in the oven, to release a deeper flavor.
It adds so much depth of flavor to any dish, either sweet or savory. It works perfect in chocolate chip cookies because it really shines through. You have the nuttiness of the brown butter, the sweetness of the brown sugar, and the richness of the chocolate.
How do you make brown butter?
Making brown butter is very easy to do, but is also very easy to burn. I walk you through how to brown butter more in depth in a separate post, but here are a few tips to follow:
- Use a heavy bottomed saucepan. This prevents the butter from browning too quickly.
- Melt the butter over medium heat. Stir occasionally at first.
- As the butter melts, you’ll see phases of bubbles. First, there will be a few clear bubbles. As the butter cooks, more and more bubbles will appear.
- After about 5 minutes, the bubbles will start to turn into a foam. This is when you want to switch to stirring constantly.
- Once the foam forms, the browning process will happen fast. Keep stirring to not only keep the milk solids from burning on the bottom of the pan, but to also push away the foam so you can see the butter.
- When the butter turns an amber color and you start to see little brown flecks mixing into the foam, the butter is ready.
- Remove from heat and pour into a heat proof container.
- Scrape down the bottom of the pan because that’s where all the brown bits like to stick. Don’t leave those behind! That’s where all the flavor is.
- And you’re done! Delicious brown butter to add to your chocolate chip cookies.
Tips for baking perfect chocolate chip cookies
These cookies have the best texture. They’re gooey in the middle, chewy on the outside, and have soooooo much flavor. Following these tips will ensure you’re baking them right every time:
- Brown butter – Measure the brown butter exactly to one cup. The extra two tablespoons of butter should make up for the water that’s evaporated during the browning process. If you come up short, add some water. If you have too much, remove some of the butter.
- Stick to the recipe – This may be an obvious one, but don’t leave any of the ingredients out. There are some odd ones in there, but they all matter in creating the best chocolate chip cookies.
- Good chocolate – Use really good chocolate in these cookies because it’s in every bite… so you can really taste a difference! I use Ghirardelli baking squares and semisweet chips.
- Chill the dough – Patience patience patience. Chilling the dough enhances the flavor and texture of these cookies. Baking them straight away will leave you with a very thin and sad cookie.
- Underbaked – If the cookies seem a little doughy in the center once baked, then you’re doing it right! The center will be nice and soft while the edges are golden and chewy.
- Sea salt – Don’t forget this! The sea salt on top enhances all the flavors in these cookies. I use Maldon sea salt flakes.
Why are there two different flours?
Two different flours are used in this recipe, bread flour and cake flour. These are used very strategically as they both work together to create the perfect texture.
Bread flour has a high protein content, higher than regular all purpose flour. This high amount of protein produces more gluten. And more gluten = more chewiness.
Cake flour, on the other hand, is on the opposite end. It has a lower protein content than all purpose flour and is lighter, softer, and much more fine. It produces a much more delicate texture which is why it’s great in things like, well, cake.
Pairing the two together allows me to hit that sweet spot between ultra chewy but also delicately soft. I lose that control when using just all purpose flour because it just rings in one note. Using different flours adds layers of texture to these cookies.
Can I use all purpose flour instead?
Yes… but I would prefer it if you didn’t! To get the full affect of these cookies, you really need to use the two different flours. All purpose will do the job, but you won’t be left with that perfect texture. Your cookies could also turn out a little bit drier.
Why is there lemon juice?
So you might be wonder… uhh… lemon juice?… in chocolate chip cookies? Ok hear me out!
Lemon juice is highly acidic, so adding just a touch to this chocolate chip cookie recipe helps to break down some of the gluten. This is how you get a chewy but also tender cookie… in conjunction with the bread and cake flour. Definitely don’t leave it out!
And why is there Espresso powder in these chocolate chip cookies?
The one last ingredient that might raise some eyebrows. Adding espresso powder to ANYTHING that has chocolate in it only enhances the chocolate flavor.
You can’t taste the espresso, as it’s only there to highlight the chocolate flavor. But without it, you lose that extra depth of flavor.
Why do I have to chill the dough?
I know, who wants to wait a whole day to bake their chocolate chip cookies? But trust me, it’s well worth the wait.
Chilling the dough is very important step in this recipe for a couple reasons.
First, chilling the dough gives cookies the perfect texture. As they chill, they’re also losing some of the excess water in dough. It’s both evaporating and also being fully absorbed by the flour and sugar.
This allows the cookies to spread nice and even in the oven. It’s also what gives you that chewy outside and soft and doughy inside. Chilled dough takes longer to spread and heat up in the middle, so the center is just barely baked.
Reason number two is the flavor which also comes back to the excess water. As the cookies dry out, the flavors become more and more concentrated. The same concept applies to kool-aid – if you add less water to the mix the flavor is much stronger.
In the end, you’re left with a super rich cookie with the BEST texture. See? Waiting doesn’t seem too bad after all.
How to chill the cookie dough
When the dough is freshly made, prep a small baking tray by covering it in wax or parchment paper.
Using a large 2 oz cookie scoop, scoop the cookie out onto the tray, placing them side by side.
Pop the tray into the fridge uncovered. Let the dough chill for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
Bake the chilled cookie dough straight from the fridge. The cookie dough should be almost hard as a rock when you place them in the oven.
How to bake brown butter chocolate chip cookies
These cookies are baked at 350F for at least 12 minutes. That is, if you’re baking large cookies. If you’re baking medium-sized cookies, start at 10 minutes.
They’re baked on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space the cookies 2 inches apart as they spread quite a bit. I recommend only baking 4-5 cookies at a time so you have plenty of space.
When the 12 minutes are up, the outside should be golden brown and the inside still pale and slightly doughy. As the cookies cool, they’ll settle and darken just a bit.
If they aren’t there, bake for an extra minute. You definitely don’t want to over bake these!
When they’re done, sprinkle each cookie with a little bit of sea salt while they’re still warm. This helps the salt stick.
Now dig in! They’re the best when warm.
How long do brown butter chocolate chip cookies keep?
Store your cookies in an air tight container at room temperature. They’ll still taste good for up to 5 days. More than that and they will taste a bit dry.
Can I freeze the cookie dough?
Yes! When you’ve scooped the dough, place it in the fridge for an hour to harden just a bit. Then, toss the dough balls into a freezer safe plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to bake, take the cookie dough out of the freezer for 30 minutes to thaw. Then add an extra minute on to your bake time.
This also works great as gifts! I like to send my friends and family the raw and scooped cookie dough with the instructions on how to bake and a small container of sea salt. There’s just nothing better than a warm brown butter chocolate chip cookie.
For more chocolate chip cookie recipes, check out my:
- Soft and Chewy Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Simple Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with Oat Flour
- Best Thin and Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- The Secret to Bakery-style Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Best Chewy Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and leave a review below if you make these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Total Time: 35 minutes + chill overnight
- Yield: 12 large cookies
Brown butter chocolate chip cookies are an elevated version of a classic recipe. They’re rich, chewy, gooey, and loaded with chocolate chunks.
- 1 1/4 cups (145g) cake flour
- 2/3 cup (100g) bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, browned to make 1 cup
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- Maldon sea salt for sprinkling
- Start by browning the butter. I walk through the entire browning process here.
- When it’s done, pour it into a glass measuring cup. Scrape down the bottom of the pan because you don’t want to miss those brown bits at the bottom. Make sure it measures 1 cup. If it’s a little over, take some out. If it’s a little under, add some water.
- Place it in the fridge to cool down. Don’t leave it in for more than 30 minutes. It should be a liiiiittle warm to the touch but not hot.
- While the butter chills, chop the chocolate.
- Then, combine the flours, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the sugars, espresso powder, and cooled brown butter. It will not be smooth, but do your best to combine the ingredients.
- Mix in the vanilla, lemon juice, and eggs. Finally, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients until the dough comes together – careful not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate.
- Using a large 2 oz cookie scoop, scoop out the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper to prep for the fridge. Recipe makes 12-13 large cookies. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
- Once chilled, preheat the oven to 350F and bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart. You’re looking for golden brown edges and a pale doughy center.
- Sprinkle with some sea salt when they’re fresh from the oven then transfer to a cooling rack. Doing it while they are still warm helps the salt stick. Careful when transferring as the cookies will still be soft.
- Cool completely before eating. Enjoy!
Store your cookies in an air tight container at room temperature. They’ll still taste good for up to 5 days. More than that and they will taste a bit dry.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: chocolate chip cookies, the best chocolate chip cookies, brown butter chocolate chip cookies, brown butter
Tasia ~ twosugarbugs says
These cookies look heavenly! I’m a huge fan of browned butter and I love all the thoughtfulness that went into the ingredients for these cookies. Pinning and can’t wait to try them!
Thank you Tasia!!
I tried these. Mine didnt come out super chewy. They were more crumbly, soft and a bit grainy. I’ve been curious about trying a recipe with bread flour though. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!! The cookies were yummy in their own unique way!
Hi Debra – This could have been an issue with the amount of flour used. It’s important to spoon it into the measuring cups to make sure you don’t use too much! Or the softness of your brown sugar because it can dry out so quickly. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out!
Katie G says
I just put the dough in the fridge to chill overnight – can’t wait to bake them tomorrow! I noticed the dough was stickier and less thick than the usual all-purpose flour choc chip cookies I’ve made. Does that sound right? I also came out with 23 cookies. I thought I was scooping them big, but apparently not! Would you recommend starting at 8 minutes for bake time?
This is the 3rd of your recipes I’ve tried – first was the choc chip banana bread, then the new york style cheesecake. Both huge wins with the hubby – staples for us for sure!
Yes the dough is a bit thinner than usual which is why they need to chill for so long. I use a 2oz cookie scoop for my cookies which might be why you ended up with more. Drop the bake time by 2 minutes and they should turn out just fine 🙂
I came across your delicious looking recipe today in my news feed. I am excited to try this recipe! I realize the recipe offers the suggestion to chill overnight. I am wondering, if you’ve tested chilling the dough for 72 hours? I almost always chill my cc cookie dough 72 hours – using softened butter. But, I am not sure how this will affect the taste of the cookie using browned (or melted) butter?
Thank you! 🙂
Hi Tina, I love that you have the patience for that! Chilling the dough for 3 days is totally fine, just make sure to cover the dough after 24 hours to prevent it from drying out TOO much.
Yael Orzech says
Can you use a non dairy substitute?
I haven’t tired using plant-based butter for this but it could work
Hi Jenna, Love this recipe – I make
It with all purpose flour because that’s all I have available and it still turns out great! However the past couple of times the cookies haven’t flattened properly in the oven – any idea why that might be? They still taste absolutely delicious!
It could be the flour. Always make sure to spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a flat edge. Scooping straight into the flour bag or container could lead to too much flour in the dough, making it more difficult for the cookies to spread.
These cookies are so good!! I cut the recipe in half, just to give it a try and they came out perfectly! I will be baking them again for Christmas, for sure! Thank you for the instructions on how to brown butter, too! I’ve never done that before, so it was great knowing what to look for.
Yay! Thanks for sharing!
How should I halve my butter? Just using 1 stick = 1/2 cup, and can I make my own cake flour by using cornstarch?
For the butter you would use 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp and yes, you can make your own cake flour 🙂
can you list the ingredients by grams please, it’s more accurate like that, especially when you use different flour and brown butter.
Melissa Call says
Hello! These are the best cookies ever! If I want to make with Euro butter, like you suggest in your other cookie recipe, does the quantity change? Thanks!
Nope it should be the same! Just make sure it measures out to 1 cup after it’s browned.
Pepi Light says
Hi, Jenna! I am from Bulgaria. I just mixed all the ingredients and will leave the dough in the fridge all night. However, I am worried that it will oxidize and darken from the baking soda. What is your experience? My other question is – can I put the whole dough in the fridge, as it is in the bowl and tomorrow before baking distribute it in piles on baking paper.
It will not oxidize! But I don’t suggest chilling the dough in the bowl as it will be very hard to scoop once chilled.
The espresso and brown butter make such a difference…. The texture to these is perfect for me. Has that delicate crispness on the outside and chewy inside! Thank you.
Hi. Like to ask I baked these cookies. But it didnt spread as much as yours. is that normal?
This sounds like a flour issue! Always spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a flat edge. Don’t scoop directly into the bag as this can pack the flour down into the cup, adding more flour than needed to the recipe. It could also be over mixing so stop mixing right when the dough comes together. I hope this helps!
Avishikta Banerjee says
I have been following Jenna’s page for a while and I absolutely love it! True to her name she is the “butter” goddess and when it comes to brown butter cookie or brownie or any any other dessert including brown butter, her recipes are definitely the best ones! I follow a gazillion number of pages and I have tried oh so many recipes but Jenna your recipes always stands out and the results are amazing. You give so many tips and your writing is so detailed, that it makes the entire process worthwhile. Thank you for your sharing your knowledge and your recipes and making this world a better and sweeter place :). Sending you lots of love all the way from Dubai!
This is so nice of you to say! Thank you so much!!