I am straight up obsessed with chocolate chip cookies. I don’t think there is any other quintessential cookie out there. I think I would even go as far as saying that in a game of MFK of chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter, and oatmeal raisin, I’d definitely M chocolate chip cookies, F oatmeal raisin, and K peanut butter. Chocolate chip cookies just that good. If I could only ever have one cookie for the rest of my life, it would be a brown butter chocolate chip cookie.
I really, really love chocolate chip cookies
There are over 10 chocolate chip cookie recipes on I am a Food Blog (some of them are slight variations, but all with chocolate chip cookie bases) and I think it’s safe to say that I have tested, made, and eaten a LOT of chocolate chip cookies in my life. I’m even on a never ending quest to find the best store bought chocolate chip cookie in the world.
The thing is, every single time I think I’ve found the one cookie to rule them all, I can’t help but wonder if there’s something better out there. Damn, now that I think about it, I have cookie commitment issues. But, I think I’ve found it guys. I think this homemade cookie is absolutely the one. I know I’ve said it before, so don’t think of me as some sort of thirsty cookie lover because this time I’m sure of it. This is the cookie I want to commit to.
Why these are the best chocolate chip cookies
The caramelization of the combination of the two sugars, the nuttiness of the browned butter, the immense amount of pools of melted chocolate…swoon. It has slightly crisp buttery edges with a hint of toffee and a soft, dense and chewy center barely held together because of all the chocolate. The tops are craggy with those ever instagramable ripples and it’s just the perfect balance between sweet and salty. This cookie makes my heart beat a little faster. Cue the heavy breathing. SO GOOD.
The recipe is an amalgamation of all the cookies that have come before it. It stands of the shoulders of giants. In honor of all the cookies I’ve loved before, this is it: my best salted brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe.
For the best chocolate chip cookies, use brown butter
Browned butter in chocolate chip cookies is definitely a thing and I happen to like the little hint of hazelnut nuttiness it adds, but only if you brown the butter just enough. Plus, there’s the bonus of not having to wait for your butter to come to room temperature when you want cookies. Just make sure you keep an eye on the butter –you can definitely go too far and have blackish bits in your browned butter, which are a big no for me.
I like to brown just to the point where there are little flecks of brown. Of course, when you brown butter, you lose moisture, so that moisture is added back in with an extra pat or two of butter after the butter is browned. The extra pat of butter helps cool down the butter too, which is awesome because you don’t want your cookie dough too warm which will cause them to spread.
What is brown butter?
Brown butter, also known as beurre noisette (hazelnut butter in French), is an out of the world delicious concoction originally used in savory French foods but is now used everywhere butter is used. It’s deeply golden, flecked with brown bits, nutty, and incredibly aromatic. Brown butter is perfection.
Browned butter brings so much flavor to baked goods for just a tiny bit of extra effort. It’ll add a nutty caramel roundness and highlight the brown sugar making these chocolate chip cookies taste caramelized, deep, rich, and intense.
How to brown butter
Brown butter is made by melting unsalted butter over very low heat, allowing it to separate into butter fat and milk solids. The milk solids fall to the bottom of the pan where they start to brown until they reach the color of hazelnuts. Here’s a step by step!
- Warm: start your butter, cut in in small pieces in a cold pan and warm it slowly so that it melts evenly.
- Sputter: once the butter has melted, it will start to bubble and foam as the water is cooked off and the fat left begins to sputter. The butter will still be yellow. Stir gently and turn down the heat if it starts to splatter too much.
- Foamy: the butter will foam and the foam will change from pale to very yellow as the water is cooked off and you’re left with the milk solids, which you should see floating near the bottom of the pan.
- Brown: the butter will start to look deeply yellow and start to become golden and brown. The milk solids will become even more visible and your place will smell amazingly toasty, nutty, and caramel-y.
- Remove: Once your brown butter is to your liking, take it off the heat and pour it out into a liquid measuring cup as the milk solids will continue to toast in the residual heat.
- Bonus step: for these cookies, we need to add the water content that cooked out of the butter. Check the measurement on the butter and add in small pieces of room-temp butter until you get 1/2 cup of liquid brown butter.
How to make brown butter chocolate chip cookies
- Whisk together the dry ingredients, making sure they are throughly incorporated.
- Brown the butter then add in extra butter to make up for any liquid lost.
- Whisk the browned butter together with the sugars until lump free then whisk in the egg. Stir in the vanilla and fold in the flour and chocolate.
- Shape the cookies using 3 tablespoons of dough, placing one 1.5 tablespoon cookie dough ball on another 1.5 tablespoon cookie dough ball. Chill the dough while you warm the oven.
- Bake the cookies until golden and just firm around the edges, giving the pan a firm bang on the countertop when you take them out of the oven.
- Eat ALL the cookies!
Why these chocolate chip cookies work
Aside from the brown butter, I’d say I have a moderate amount of flour (the amount of flour is what determines if you have a thin or thick cookie) to a very specific amount of brown vs. white sugar. The amount of brown sugar is 3 times the amount of the white.
According to the wisdom of the internet, cookies with more brown sugar end up tall and moist, while cookies with more white sugar end up thin and crisp. It’s a science thing. My kind of cookie is on the thicker side but not obscenely thicc like a Levain cookie – that just takes it too far.
What kind of chocolate for chocolate chip cookies
Of course you can’t talk about chocolate chip cookies without talking about the chocolate. Chopped chocolate is key to these cookies. No more chocolate chips: just say no! Buy a chunk of semi sweet dark chocolate (we routinely have a Callebaut 811 semisweet dark chocolate slab in the pantry) and chop it yourself.
You want that mix of large chunks and thin chocolate shavings to distribute themselves through the cookies so you have barely there streaks of chocolate in the dough to give the cookie a more chocolatey flavor and large chunks to melt into giant gooey pools. Eight ounces seems like the perfect amount of chocolate. You might feel like there’s not enough dough to take all the chocolate, but trust me, there is.
How to shape chocolate chip cookie dough so they bake up extra pretty
Lastly, how you shape your cookies before baking is essential to how they come out after baking. If you want a thick and craggy cookie with ripples (like Sarah Keiffer’s famous pan-banging cookies) shape your cookies into little logs/cookie ghosties. These won’t come out quite as ripple-y and ridge-y as the pan banging cookies which are a bit thinner and have you removing and banging the cookies as they bake, but they do have a pleasing ripple or two on the outer edges making them pretty.
My favorite way of shaping the balls of dough is using my trusty 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop. I scoop out one ball of dough (with the dough flush to the scoop, so it’s flat bottomed), making sure to get a giant chocolate chunk in there, and place it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Then I scoop out another ball of dough (again with a large chunk of chocolate) and then smoosh it on top of the other ball, flattening the bottom ball just the tiniest bit. They end up looking like ghosties with a slightly larger bottom and a tall top.
When you bake the ghosties, the bottoms spread out slowly and it’ll look like they won’t spread out as large as you want them too, but give them time. The tops of the ghosties will melt down during the final few minutes of baking until everything is uniformly level. When you take the cookies out of the oven, they’ll still be a bit soft and puffy. This is when you bang them against the counter to deflate them a little bit and give them the rings. One or two bangs should do it, then you let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.
Tips and tricks for the best brown butter chocolate chip cookies
- Take your egg out of the fridge as your very first step so it can come to room temp. If your egg is too cold it will shock the warm butter and harden it and make your cookies extra puffy and mound up. Room temp ingredients are key. If you want to speed it up a bit, place your egg in a bowl of warm-ish tap water.
- Salted vs unsalted butter. go for unsalted butter so you can control the salt content of your cookies with both salt in the batter and sprinkled on top.
- Chill your dough. Chilling your dough helps develop a deep caramel flavor and gives you crispy edges, chewy insides and crackly tops. The butter has a chance to re-solidify in the fridge, which makes your cookies plush and thick.
- Don’t over mix. If your cookies are extra puffy and don’t flatten out it might be that you over mixed them and whipped in too much air when you were whisking the butter, sugar, and egg.
Other recipes with the delicious nuttiness of brown butter
Please make this cookie, I beg you
There you have it! My all time new favorite, salted browned butter chocolate chip cookies. Essentially this is a remake of my ultimate chocolate chip cookie: made sexier with some brown butter, extra (and better) chocolate, and a more pleasing modern cookie shape. Cheers to always improving!
I implore you to try this recipe and let me know what you think. Am I crazy or is this cookie the one?
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
These chocolate chip cookies are butter-ly amazing!
Serves 16 cookies
- 1.5 cup all purpose flour 200g
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter plus 1-2 tbsp extra, divided
- 3/4 cup brown sugar 150g
- 1/4 cup sugar 50g
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cup chopped semi sweet dark chocolate about 8oz
- flaky sea salt to finish
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
Brown 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan, swirling, until butter foams and starts to turn brown and smells nutty. Transfer butter to a liquid measuring cup and see how much water content you lost. You want to have 1/2 cup of butter, so stir in the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of butter if you need it – the butter you add in should melt slowly and not foam up.
When the butter is melted and slightly cool, whisk in both sugars until incorporated with no lumps. Whisk in the egg until smooth and glossy. Stir in the vanilla and use a rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients until no dry spots remain. Fold in the chocolate.
Use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop and scoop out two balls of dough, so that each cookie is 3 tablespoons large. Smoosh the two balls on top of each other – they should kind of look like a log and you should get about 14-16 cookies depending on how big your chocolate chunks are. Place the logs on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes, or as long as it takes for your oven to heat up.
- Arrange the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat to 375°F.Space out the cookie logs (standing tall) on parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheets, leaving plenty of space in between. Bake, rotating and moving trays halfway if browning unevenly. Bake until golden brown and firm around the edges, 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and bang the pan down against the counter top (this helps create a couple of ripples like you see on Instagram). Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, let cool on the baking sheets and enjoy!
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 230 Calories from Fat 96
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 6.6g41%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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