What's better than chewy cookies with crispy edges and melted, gooey chocolate chunks? These brown butter chocolate chip cookies have all that plus a rich, nutty flavor thanks to the addition of toasty, caramelized brown butter.
Need another brown butter cookie recipe? Try these brown butter oatmeal cookies, brown butter maple pecan cookies, or brown butter salted caramel chocolate chip cookies next.
I love taking traditional chocolate chip cookies recipes and putting a slight spin on them. Like these viral chocolate chip pudding cookies. The secret ingredient is instant vanilla pudding mix and the end result is perfect cookies — soft, extra chewy, deliciously buttery, and oozing with chocolate.
The Best Brown Butter Cookies
One of my favorite ways to shake up a classic chocolate chip cookie is to add brown butter. When you brown the butter for cookies you turn the base of the recipe into a star ingredient. You caramelize the milk fat in the butter and it turns brown and creates a sweet, nutty flavor. It adds so much depth of flavor to these chewy brown butter chocolate chip cookies.
The key to making sure your cookies don't spread all over the pan when you're dealing with melted butter: is chilling the dough. I know this is somewhat time-consuming, but totally worth it. Not only does chilling the dough allow you to have that perfect chewy texture, but it also gives the dough enough time to sit and allow all of the flavors to meld together.
The combination of browning the butter, using dark brown sugar, and chilling the dough, results in the best cookie with slightly crisp edges that become more chewy and soft as you bite into the center. This flavor-packed cookie delviers on taste and texture!
Keep scrolling for more of the best tips to follow to ensure this recipe yields the best cookies every time.
How to Make Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
The full recipe card is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This recipe for the best brown butter chocolate chip cookies is really easy and these step-by-step instructions will make sure they turn out every time.
Make brown butter: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes until it bubbles and foams. As the bubbles subside, the milk solids separate, toast, and turn a golden brown color. When you smell a buttery and nutty aroma and see the dark amber bits, Remove it from the heat when you see the dark amber color and smell the nutty flavor.
Wet ingredients: Add brown sugar and granulated sugar to the large bowl of brown butter, and whisk to combine. Then whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs.
Dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Add chocolate chips and chill dough. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. Allow the dough to sit out and soften slightly (30-60 minutes) if it chills longer than 24 hours.
Scoop cookie dough: Use a large cookie scoop (3-4 Tablespoons) to scoop the dough out onto a parchment line baking sheet. Roll the balls of dough so they're slightly taller than the standard round balls (see image below).
Bake and enjoy. Place the cookie dough balls a few inches apart. Bake at 350°F for 11-13 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the top is just set. Press a few additional chocolate chunks into the tops of the cookies right out of the oven, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and allow them to cool on a wire rack.
Success tip: If the cookies aren't perfectly round, use a large, wide-mouth cup to cover the cookies and swirl very gently to form into a perfect circle.
Expert Recipe Tips
Here are a few tips I made note of when testing this recipe multiple times. Following these tips helped me achieve the gorgeous brown butter chocolate chunk cookies you see in these photos. Chewy, ripply edges, and soft centers!
- Use a light-colored pan when browning the butter so you can easily see the milk solids start to brown at the bottom of the pan and know when it's done.
- It’s always best to weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale when baking for the best results. If you measure them with cups, use the spoon and level method to spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a knife.
- Beat the sugar and brown butter for 3 minutes. The sugar cuts into the butter and creates air pockets. This is what makes the cookies thick and chewy.
- When we tested this recipe, we baked the cookies after letting the dough chill for 3 hours and then made them again, allowing for one day of chilling. Both were good, but the overnight chill was best. A longer chill time helps the flavors develop and makes sure the cookies don’t spread.
- Allow the brown butter to cool slightly before creaming it with the sugar. This helps prevent the eggs from cooking and helps ensure the dough doesn't melt the chocolate when you mix it in.
- Sprinkle the baked cookies with flaky sea salt while they're still on the cookie sheet. The extra salty flavor makes for the best chocolate chip cookies.
Freezing and Storing Tips
To store: store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or up to 10 days in the fridge.
Freeze the baked cookies: Place baked and cooled cookies in an airtight container or freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Freeze cookie dough: before chilling the dough, scoop it out and place cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flash-freeze the cookies for 30 minutes then transfer them to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake or bake straight from frozen (add 1-2 minutes to the bake time).
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
Looking for more recipes that put a twist on traditional chocolate chip cookie recipes?
This gooey deep dish chocolate chip pie tastes like a really good cookie baked in a pie crust. Make it with semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate chips.
Another chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe we love is these oat flour chocolate chip cookies. They're the perfect chocolate chip cookies for those who are gluten-free.
These brown butter toffee cookies are the best cookies when you want the perfect balance between sweet and salty. The homemade toffee bar is made with saltine crackers that give it a salty flavor profile and a nice crunch.
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 227g) unsalted butter cubed
- 2 ½ cups (312g) all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), gluten-free if needed (Note 1)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (200g) dark brown sugar packed (Note 2)
- ⅓ cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces semi-sweet baking bars roughly chopped, plus more for topping
- Flaky sea salt for finishing
- Medium Saucepan
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Whisk and rubber spatula
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes, until the butter bubbles, foams and the milk solids start to separate. When the foam subsides, the solids will start to smell nutty and turn a deep amber color. Remove it immediately from the heat and pour it into a medium bowl to cool slightly. Don’t forget all of the brown bits in the pan!
- While it's cooling, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate medium bowl.
- Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the brown butter and whisk to combine. Whisk in the eggs, milk, and vanilla until no yellow streaks remain.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula. Add the chocolate chunks and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Let the cookie dough sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes if it was chilling longer than 24 hours so it's easier to scoop and handle.
- Use a large cookie scoop or ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop the dough. Roll them into balls that are a little bit taller than the standard round balls (see blog post image).
- Drop the cookie dough balls on the prepared baking sheet a few inches apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the top is just set. Let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.