Infused with the rich, nutty flavor of browned butter, loaded with semisweet chocolate, and topped off with flaky sea salt, these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are world-class cookies. If you’ve never browned butter before, don’t panic! I walk you through all the steps in the recipe and in my how-to video (just below the recipe).
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
I almost want to call these my best chocolate chip cookies ever. They’re just a notch below my “worst” chocolate chip cookies (nothing can top those life ruiners), so I think calling them the best might be fair.
Anyway, what really sets these cookies apart from your standard cookie recipe is one key magical ingredient: Brown Butter. Brown butter (more formally known by its French name: Buerre Noisette… fancy!), is simply butter that’s been cooked until all of the water is cooked out and the milk solids begin to turn brown. The end result is a rich, flavorful butter with a nutty, toffee-like aroma. When used in baked goods (especially cookies) it yields a buttery, rich, flavorful end product.
If you’ve never browned butter before, the idea of cooking it on the stovetop until it’s perfectly browned (and not burnt!) might sound a little intimidating, but I’ve covered all the steps in the recipe below and in my video.
So grab a saucepan and two sticks of (unsalted) butter, and prepare yourself for the most gourmet brown butter chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever tasted.
How to Make Brown Butter Cookies
The most complicated part of making brown butter chocolate chip cookies is browning the butter. It’s not difficult and I’ll walk you through all the steps in the recipe and in my video, but if you’ve never done it before the idea might be a little daunting. Once you’ve browned the butter (and have let it cool!), it’s pretty similar to making any other cookie dough.
- To brown the butter, simply cook over low/medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until browned. The butter will sizzle and pop after melting, then once the sizzling stops you’ll notice browning beginning to occur on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. (More details and photos included in the recipe below).
- Stir together cooled butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.
- Stir in (room temperature) eggs and vanilla extract.
- Combine all of your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Stir these into the wet ingredients.
- Add chocolate! I know I call these “Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies” but I honestly prefer to use chopped candy bar pieces. I do include instructions in the recipe for using regular chocolate chips, though!
- Chill the dough at least 30 minutes. This step is mandatory! Once chilled, scoop and bake your cookies.
- Sprinkle with a touch of flaky sea salt. This really adds a great flavor to the cookies!
Tips for Making Brown Butter Cookies
Cool Your Butter After Browning!
Here’s the most obnoxious thing about browning butter: You have to wait for it to cool after browning. It’s going to take about 30 minutes to an hour at room temperature for your butter to cool enough so that it’s no longer warm to the touch (it’s not necessary for the butter to re-solidify, it just should not feel warm).
If you add the sugar to your butter while the butter is still hot, you could end up melting your sugar. This is going to leave you with a greasy, runny cookie dough that will spread all over your cookie sheet if you even manage to get it to the oven. Take the time to let your butter cool!
Room Temperature Eggs
You might have noticed with a lot of my cookie recipes I call for room temperature eggs. Usually, eggs are stored cold, while the rest of your ingredients are room temperature (or in this case with our melted butter, slightly warm). You want all of your ingredients to be the same temperature so they combine properly. In this instance with our beloved browned butter, if we add cold eggs to this we could potentially shock and even curdle our butter.
Also, as this recipe can be mixed completely by hand (no need for a stand mixer, here), the eggs will be much easier to mix and evenly incorporate throughout the better if they are room temperature.
I usually set my eggs out the night before I’m going to be baking, but if you have forgotten to do this you can quickly warm them up to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of warm (not hot, you don’t want to cook the egg!) water for about 15 minutes.
Storing Cookie Dough
This browned butter chocolate chip cookie dough needs to chill for at least 30 minutes. However, it can be made up to a week in advance, just store it in your refrigerator (in an airtight container or tightly covered with plastic wrap) until ready to use. The flavors will actually develop even more as the dough sits.
Keep in mind that if your dough has chilled for longer than 30 minutes, it might be pretty firm when you go to scoop it. If it’s too difficult to scoop, just let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes so it can soften a bit.
More Recipes You Might Like:
- Brown Sugar Cookies
- Ultimate Chocolate Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Be sure to check out my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie video at the bottom of the recipe! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 100 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter cut into Tablespoon-sized pieces (225g)
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar¹ (200g)
- 2/3 cup white sugar (135g)
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (340g)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 oz semisweet chocolate² chopped into pieces (285g)
- flaky sea salt for sprinkling optional but so good!
How to Brown Butter (it's easy!)³
- Before you can go any further we need to brown our butter. Place your butter pieces into a medium-sized saucepan (preferably a light colored one--this will make it easier to tell once your butter has browned) and melt the butter over low/medium-low heat.
- Once butter has melted, increase stovetop heat to just above medium heat.
- Swirl and scrape the sides of the pan constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula - the butter will bubble, pop, and sizzle. Once the bubbling/popping slows, the butter will begin to turn brown, (it should look similar this once it's finished; the butter on the bottom of the pan might not be quite as brown):
- Watch the butter very carefully at this point, and as soon as it begins to brown (and you smell that beautiful nutty aroma of browned butter), remove from heat quickly and pour into a large, heatproof bowl.
- Allow butter to cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or until no longer warm to the touch before proceeding with the recipe.
- Once your butter has cooled, add sugars and stir well.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and stir well.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt (not flaky sea salt).
- Gradually add your flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring until ingredients are completely combined.
- Add chopped chocolate pieces and stir well so that chocolate is well distributed through the batter.
- Cover cookie dough bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- About 15 minutes before dough has finished chilling/before you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Once dough has finished chilling scoop by about 2 Tablespoon-sized portions. Gently roll the dough between your palms so that you have a round ball, then place cookie dough at least 2" apart on prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake on 350F (175C) for 10-12 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown (cookies should still be quite soft when you remove them from the oven, and may even appear slightly underbaked in center).
- Let cookies cool for about a minute then sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt.
- Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet, then enjoy!
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I originally published this recipe for brown butter chocolate chip cookies 05/18/2017. Recipe and photos improved and updated 05/20/2019.