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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Save the recipe for these brown butter chocolate chip cookies! Soft and chewy center, slightly crisp outside, and a wonderful nutty flavor- This checks all of the boxes and will become your all-time favorite cookie recipe.

broken half chocolate chip cookie being held in a hand

Recipe Features

  • Make-Ahead: You can make this dough up to four days. In fact, I actually recommend that you make it at least 24 hours before baking. I’ll talk more about that in just a bit.
  • Freezer Friendly: I have an entire post all about how you should freeze cookie dough. I suggest the pre rolling method.
  • Family Favorite: I will tell you a hundred times how this is my personal favorite cookie but I also should mention it’s the most requested from friends and family too.

Here’s the deal. This brown butter cookie recipe is my favorite cookie OF ALL TIME. Taking a few minutes to brown the butter before adding it to the batter makes all of the difference! These are thick, soft, and full of chocolate chip goodness. You just can’t go wrong.

If you’ve never browned butter before, let me break it down. Browning butter is a super simple technique where you cook the butter until it starts to turn a light caramellike brown color and develops a wonderful nutty toasted aroma. It will elevate ANY dessert you use it in.

Don’t believe me? Try it in rice krispie treats and watch them go from basic to gourmet with one added step.

Butter slices on top of a butter wrapper

Brown Butter Cookie Ingredients

The ingredient list for these cookies is almost exactly like any other chocolate chip cookie recipe. Which means almost all of the ingredients are pantry staples and you can start baking right now! Let’s break things down farther to answer any questions.

  • Butter- SALTED butter. Yes, I know this breaks all of the rules, but the salt adds an extra special treat to this recipe.
  • Flour- I only use all-purpose for these cookies which is the typical white flour you are probably used to seeing in the stores.
  • Baking Soda and Salt- Double check that your baking soda is fresh. If it’s been open a while, consider picking up a new box. Baking soda that has been left open will start to go bad and could result in a flater cookie.
  • Espresso Powder- Optional but worth it. Espresso powder doesn’t make the cookies taste at all like coffee. It actually is in here just to give the chocolate a boost and enhance the flavor. I add the powder to all of my chocolate treats.
  • Sugar- You’ll use both granulated and brown sugar. I opt for light brown, because it’s what we have on hand, but dark would do in a pinch.
  • Vanilla- Always use pure vanilla extract and avoid imitation which could give your cookies a more chemically taste.
  • Eggs- Large eggs at room temperature.
  • Chocolate Chips- You’ve got some wiggle room with the chips. You can use regular, mini, or chunks. But ALWAYS use a darker or semi sweet. Ok, ok… Milk chocolate works too, but it’s not my fave.
Browned butter in a white bowl

What Does Brown Butter Do to Cookies?

Here’s the quick answer, adding brown butter to a cookie really only changes the flavor. It adds a rich nutty and caramel like flavor to your baked good that truly sends it over the edge. It takes your cookie from basic and delicious to bakery worthy and one of a kind. Is it necessary? No. Do you have to try it at least once? YES.

How to Brown Butter:

Browning butter is super simple, but does take a little bit of patience. Let’s walk through the process and a few easy tips to help you on the journey.

  1. Cut the butter into pieces and place into a skillet over medium heat. It’s easier to use a light colored wider skillet so you can watch the butter color closely as it cooks.
  2. Stir the butter the entire time it cooks. This will help you keep it from burning and cook evenly.
  3. Watch the butter closely once it has melted fully. Cook until it turns a light brown color and starts to smell nutty. Remove from the heat immediately.

You’ll see some solid pieces at the bottom of the pan. We consider these liquid gold and recommend never leaving them behind. This little bit holds a lot of the caramel like flavor.

Cookie dough in a mixing bowl

How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies with Browned Butter

After you have browned your butter (see steps above) , it’s time to prepare the rest of the batter!

  1. Once the butter is browned, add a tablespoon or two of water to help it reach the 1 cup mark in a liquid measuring cup.
  2. Let the butter cool to room temperature before proceeding.
  3. Add the cooled butter to a mixing bowl with the granulated and brown sugar. Mix for 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar and butter have combined and are light and fluffy.
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing them fully into the batter.
  5. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.
  7. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, making sure to stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  8. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  9. Spoon 1/4 cup amounts of the dough out onto a parchment lined baking tray, rolling them into circles if desired.
  10. Chill the dough at least 4 hours before baking.
  11. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  12. Place the cookie dough 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
  13. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown.
  14. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
one chilled and baked cookie on parchment next to a flatter darker unchilled baked cookie

Why You Should Chill Your Cookie Dough

I have made dozens of batches of drop cookies to test whether or not it is truly worth the time to chill cookie dough. Let me tell you, it IS so worth it. Here’s why:

  • Chilling your dough, even for just 30 minutes, will give you immediate differences in texture and density. The photo above shows two cookies. The one on the left was baked immediately after mixing. The one on the left was chilled for 4 hours. Same batter, same batch, completely different cookies.
  • If you like your cookies to be thick and soft, chilling will be your best friend. When you chill dough it helps to control the spread of the cookie. It solidifies the fat making it take longer to melt as it bakes vs a room temperature butter of a fresh mixed batter.
  • You get a concentrated flavor. As the dough chills the flour will start to break down allowing the other flavors to shine. It gives you a more flavorful cookie which takes them from good to great.
Browned butter chocolate chip cookie balancing on a glass of milk

Tips and FAQs

  • Use a cookie scoop to get even sized cookies.
  • Roll the dough in your hand for a more uniform bakery appeal. Mine are scooped directly on the tray for a more homemade look.
  • Shape your cookie dough BEFORE you chill or freeze. Working with a big block of chilled dough is tough and can really take its toll on your hand muscles. Scoop while it’s still soft for a quick and easy bake once the dough has chilled properly.
  • Line your baking sheets. Using parchment paper or a silicone baking mat makes all the difference when it comes time to remove and clean your trays.
  • Let the cookies cool slightly on the tray before removing to the cooling rack.
  • Freeze for up to a year for a quick bake! We always double our batch so we can have dough on hand all year long.
stack of browned butter cookies on parchment paper with extra chocolate chips

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 18
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 14 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 34 minutes

Save the recipe for these brown butter chocolate chip cookies! Soft and chewy center, slightly crisp outside, and a wonderful nutty flavor- This checks all of the boxes and will become your all-time favorite cookie recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

Broen the Butter:

  1. Cut the butter into pieces and place into a skillet over medium heat. It’s easier to use a light colored wider skillet so you can watch the butter color closely as it cooks.
  2. Stir the butter the entire time it cooks. This will help you keep it from burning and cook evenly.
  3. Watch the butter closely once it has melted fully. Cook until it turns a light brown color and starts to smell nutty. Remove from the heat immediately.

Cookie Dough:

  1. Once the butter is browned, add a tablespoon or two of water to help it reach the 1 cup mark in a liquid measuring cup.
  2. Let the butter cool to room temperature before proceeding.
  3. Add the cooled butter to a mixing bowl with the granulated and brown sugar. Mix for 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar and butter have combined and are light and fluffy.
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing them fully into the batter.
  5. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.
  7. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, making sure to stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  8. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  9. Spoon 1/4 cup amounts of the dough out onto a parchment lined baking tray, rolling them into circles if desired.
  10. Chill the dough at least 4 hours before baking.
  11. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  12. Place the cookie dough 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
  13. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown.
  14. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 281mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
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