These Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies are made with brown butter, semisweet chocolate, and a sprinkle of sea salt. They have an incredible flavor and are perfect for using up sourdough discard! Recipe includes a how-to video!
Sourdough Discard Chocolate Chip Cookies
Never did I ever think this internet space of mine would host a recipe as… interesting… as sourdough chocolate chip cookies. However, after falling headfirst into the world of sourdough baking, I’ve become obsessed with finding new ways to use up my discard, and it wasn’t long before my love of desserts and my love of sourdough merged.
Today’s recipe blends these two worlds beautifully, and it surprised me how quickly I fell head over heels for this recipe. In fact, it’s my new favorite chocolate chip cookie, yes, even more than my go-to worst chocolate chip cookies–and I never thought I’d find a cookie that topped those. If you love that recipe, just wait until you try this one.
The flavor is unparalleled, rich and deep, intense and chocolatey. Top everything off with a sprinkle of sea salt and it’s true cookie bliss.
It’s not as simple as just adding discard to any old cookie recipe
When developing this recipe I knew that simply adding sourdough discard to a standard chocolate chip cookie dough wouldn’t work. At least, it wouldn’t yield the chewy, flavorful cookie I was seeking. Adding that much liquid was bound to result in too-thick, cakey cookies, which I definitely didn’t want.
I took a few notes from my experience with developing other high-liquid recipes (like my pumpkin cookies) and creatively reduced the liquid and water content in a few ways. We use only egg yolks (no whites) and brown the butter (to cook out the excess water), which takes the cookie to even higher heights. The end result is oft and chewy cookies that aren’t at all cakey and stay soft for days!
What makes these cookies so amazing?
- Sourdough discard adds unique depth and wonderful flavor (it’s not at all sour here) that’s hard to put your finger on, but so good. Like… so good.
- Browned butter imparts a rich, nutty taste that is unparalleled.
- Chopped chocolate and sea salt accents the other flavors perfectly.
What You Need
Here are the key ingredients in these sourdough discard chocolate chip cookies:
- Sourdough discard. If you use my sourdough starter recipe, the amount you will discard there is the exact same amount needed here today. Saving sourdough discard for other recipes (like my sourdough pancakes!) is a wonderful way to reduce food waste (and a great excuse to eat more cookies)!
- Butter. To compensate for the discard and reduce the water content in the dough, we’ll brown our butter. This extra step creates an AMAZING flavor as well, so it’s worth it. If you’ve never browned butter before, I have a post on how to brown butter that might be helpful for you.
- Egg yolks. Discarding the egg whites and just using the yolks also helps to reduce the water in our cookie dough.
- Chocolate. Semisweet or 60% cacao chocolate baking bars are my preference in this recipe. You can use whatever type of chocolate you prefer though, such as semisweet, milk, or dark chocolate. Despite these being sourdough discard chocolate chip cookies, I recommend buying bars and chopping them yourself. This allows the chocolate to distribute beautifully through the cookies and melt more than regular chocolate chips would. It just also adds to that gourmet feel! Yes, of course actual chips will work instead, but I do recommend you try them with chopped chocolate at least once.
- Vanilla extract. This also adds depth of flavor to the cookies. If you have homemade vanilla, now is the time to whip it out.
- Sea salt. Adding a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top of the baked cookies enhances the sweet and savory flavors, creating a delightful contrast.
SAM’S TIP: I think these sourdough discard chocolate chip cookies taste best when the dough has had quite a bit of time to chill; in fact, I like to let mine sit overnight before scooping and baking. Technically the dough will be firm enough that you can bake it right away (the cookies would just be a smidge flatter), but if you have the patience to let the flavor develop, you will be rewarded with amazing cookies!
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 Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Brown the butter – Cook the butter over medium low heat until it melts, then increase the heat to medium. Stir constantly as the butter bubbles and pops (it’s the most pleasant sound in the world). Once the popping slows, look for golden brown specks forming in the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat, pour into a heatproof bowl, and let cool completely.
- Add the wet ingredients – Add the sugars, egg yolks, and vanilla to the cooled butter, then stir in the sourdough discard.
- Add the dry ingredients – Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually stir them into the wet ingredients.
- Chocolate and chill – Add the chopped chocolate and fold it into the dough until incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes (I like to let mine chill overnight for the best flavor).
- Scoop and bake – Roll 1 ½ tablespoon sized cookie dough balls between your palms before placing on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 350F for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden brown.
- Salt and enjoy! Sprinkle the warm cookies with sea salt and let them cool completely on their baking sheets before enjoying.
SAM’S TIP: Never put cookie dough on a hot cookie sheet! Doing this can cause your dough to spread and result in super thin cookies. If you don’t have multiple cookie sheets, let your dough chill in the fridge in between batches while your cookie sheets cool down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! In fact, I think these sourdough chocolate chip cookies tastes best after chilling the dough overnight. You can make this dough up to 4 days in advance, just note that if you do chill it longer than 60 minutes, it will be a bit tough to scoop at first (just let it sit at room temperature until scoopable).
I developed these sourdough discard chocolate chip cookies as a way to 1) use my sourdough discard instead of discarding it and 2) create an incredibly flavored cookie that’s a bit different from the norm.
No matter the recipe type, sourdough discard imparts flavor and also has some nutritional benefits too. That’s not to say these cookies should be considered health food though!
Yes! Follow the chilling step first, then freeze according to the instructions for drop cookies in my how to freeze cookie dough post.
I seriously can’t wait for you to try these!
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
Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (200 g) light brown sugar firmly packed
- ⅔ cup (133 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks room temperature preferred
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup (140 g) sourdough discard
- 2 ¾ cup (340 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups (255 g) semisweet chocolate chips or 6 oz chopped semisweet or dark chocolate bar
- Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
- Brown the butter. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly. Butter will sizzle and pop. Once popping slows or stops and you notice the butter is beginning to turn golden brown (there will be brown flecks on the bottom of your pan) immediately remove from heat. Pour into a large heatproof mixing bowl and allow to cool until no longer warm to the touch before proceeding.1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
- Once butter has cooled, add sugars, eggs yolks, and vanilla extract and stir until well-combined.1 cup (200 g) light brown sugar, ⅔ cup (133 g) granulated sugar, 2 large egg yolks, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add sourdough discard and mix well, until fully incorporated.⅔ cup (140 g) sourdough discard
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.2 ¾ cup (340 g) all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon salt
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until thoroughly combined.
- Use a spatula to fold in chopped chocolate until well incorporated.1 ½ cups (255 g) semisweet chocolate chips or 6 oz chopped semisweet or dark chocolate bar
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30-60 minutes (or, my preference, overnight).
- Once dough is ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop chilled dough into 1 ½ Tablespoon-sized balls, for neat, uniform cookies roll between your palms to make them round. Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are beginning to turn golden brown (centers will still be soft and may appear slightly underdone).
- Within several minutes of removing cookies from oven, sprinkle all over with flaky sea salt.Flaky sea salt
- Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet before removing and enjoying.
StoringStore cooled cookies 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.