Infused with the rich, nutty flavor of browned butter, loaded with semisweet chocolate, and topped with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, these brown butter chocolate chip cookies are positively gourmet. Recipe includes step-by-step guide on how to brown butter and a how-to video!
The BEST Brown Butter Cookies
I almost want to call these brown butter chocolate chip cookies 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 this recipe apart from your standard chocolate chip 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 evaporates 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, but also my butter pecan cake), it yields a buttery, rich, and flavorful end product. And it’s utterly amazing in these chocolate chip cookies.
If the idea of cooking it on the stovetop until it’s perfectly browned (and not burnt!) sounds a little intimidating, don’t panic! I have an in-depth post on how to brown butter you can read before starting, and I also cover this in detail in my video below.
When you’re ready, grab a saucepan and two sticks of (unsalted) butter, and prepare yourself for the most gourmet cookies you’ve ever tasted!
5 things to love about this recipe:
- No mixer needed.
- Just 30 minutes of chilling.
- Dough can be made in advance and even frozen.
- INCREDIBLE flavor!
What You Need
Despite their gourmet flavor, these brown butter chocolate chip cookies use pretty humble, everyday ingredients. Here’s what you need:
- Brown butter. This takes just minutes to make on the stove! Note that you will need to let the butter cool after browning, which usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour. It’s not necessary for the butter to re-solidify, but it should not feel warm to the touch.
- Sugar. We’ll use a blend of brown and granulated sugar. Again, you need to wait until the butter has cooled before adding the sugars; otherwise, you could end up melting the sugars and creating a greasy, runny cookie dough that will spread all over your cookie sheet. So take the time to let your butter cool!
- Eggs. We need all of our ingredients to be the same temperature so they combine properly. This means our eggs and butter both need to be room temperature. I usually set my eggs out the night before I’m going to be baking. If you forget to set yours out, read my tip below!
- Chocolate. I know I call these brown butter chocolate chip cookies, but I honestly prefer to use chopped semisweet (or even dark) chocolate bars. I do include instructions in the recipe for using regular chocolate chips, though!
SAM’S TIP: If you tend to forget to set out your eggs ahead of time, read my post on how to quickly bring eggs to room temperature! It’s a game changer.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Brown the butter – Cook the butter over low/medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until browned. The butter will foam, sizzle, and pop after melting, then once the sizzling stops, you’ll notice browning beginning to occur on the bottom of the pan. Once you see plenty of brown (not black!) bits, remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- Stir together cooled butter and sugars until combined.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and stir well.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually stir them into the wet ingredients.
- Stir in the chocolate, then cover and chill the dough at least 30 minutes. This step is mandatory!
- Roll 2 tablespoon-sized scoops between your palms before placing 2″ apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes–do not over-bake!
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a touch of flaky sea salt, and let cool completely on the baking sheets before enjoying.
SAM’S TIP: Slightly underbake your cookies! When they are ready to come out of the oven, the edges will be just starting to turn a light golden brown, and the centers may still look underdone. The cookies will finish cooking outside the oven on their cookie sheets. This is how I achieve soft and chewy cookie perfection!
Frequently Asked Questions
Browned butter chocolate chip cookie dough can be made up to a week in advance. If you’d like to do this, 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 will likely 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.
The most likely cause is your butter being too warm when you added your sugars. The warm butter can melt the sugars and leave you with a greasy, messy cookie dough that will spread like crazy. Unfortunately there is no way to fix this (even chilling the dough won’t help 😞). This is why it’s very important to let your butter cool before moving forward with the recipe!
On the other hand, if your cookies aren’t flattening out at all, you may have over-measured your flour. I can’t stress enough how helpful it is to use a kitchen scale!
You could, but your cookies won’t be as soft if you do. They will also spread a bit more without the cornstarch.
I’d love to hear how you like these compared to my “worst” chocolate chip cookies!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter cut into Tablespoon-sized pieces
- 1 cup (200 g) light or dark brown sugar¹
- ⅔ cup (135 g) white sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups (340 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 10 oz (285 g) semisweet chocolate² see note
- flaky sea salt for sprinkling optional but so good!
- Kitchen Scale (not required, but recommended for best results)
How to Brown Butter (it’s easy!)³
- Place butter in 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.1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter
- Once 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 – butter will foam and pop. Once the this noise slows, you should notice brown bits beginning to form on the bottom.
- Once you notice browning (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 until no longer warm to the touch before proceeding with the recipe.
- Once your butter has cooled, add sugars and stir well.1 cup (200 g) light or dark brown sugar¹, ⅔ cup (135 g) white sugar
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and stir until dough is uniform.2 large eggs, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.2 ¾ cups (340 g) all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon salt
- Gradually add the flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring until ingredients are completely combined.
- Add chocolate and stir well so that chocolate is well distributed through the batter.10 oz (285 g) semisweet chocolate²
- 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 before removing, then enjoy!flaky sea salt for sprinkling
¹SugarI like to use half light and half dark brown sugar, just because I usually have both on hand and like the blend. Either variety will work fine in this recipe, though. Cookies made with light brown sugar will be lighter in color, cookies made with dark brown sugar will be darker in color and slightly richer in flavor.
²ChocolateYou can substitute chocolate chips instead, you’d need about 1 ¾ cups chocolate chips.
³Brown Butter NoteIf you’ve never browned butter before and are nervous about the process, make sure to watch my video below so you can see exactly how I do it.
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
I originally published this recipe May 2017. Post improved and updated July 2023, recipe remains the same.