You know what’s better than chocolate chip cookies? Brown butter chocolate chip cookies. With the perfect chewy and soft texture, rich dark brown sugar and just a hint of spice, these are truly the best brown butter chocolate chip cookies you could ever have.
Of course, that's not to say I'm hating on cookies that use plain softened butter. I have plenty of cookie recipes that don't bother with browning the butter, and they're all tasty.
That said, something magical happens when we take the time to brown our butter for a cookie recipe. We're rewarded with an added depth of flavor with delicious nutty, caramelized notes. Talk about cookie perfection.
Browning the butter adds a little prep time as you'll see below, which is why I don't include this step in every cookie recipe. But for those times you have a few moments to spare, you'll be glad you took this extra step.
How to Brown Butter
Before we start on our cookies, we need to brown the butter. If you’ve never browned butter, don’t worry. The process couldn’t be simpler.
To brown the butter, we start by melting it on the stove over medium heat and then continue to cook the butter until it turns a lovely golden brown like so.
Once the butter starts to brown, keep a close eye on it. You'd be surprised how quickly butter can turn from brown to black. As soon as the butter turns brown, we remove it from the heat and pour it into a shallow bowl.
We take care of browning the butter ahead of time to give it a chance to return to a solid state, so make sure you allow yourself prep time. Could you brown the butter and then use it in its melted state right away? You could, but you’ll probably end up with super flat cookies.
If it's more convenient, you can brown the butter ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for a few days. When you're ready to bake, just pull the butter out for 30 minutes, and it'll turn to the perfect softness.
This is my preferred method, but sometimes those sudden cookie cravings hit. In that case, plan for a couple hours to allow the brown butter to solidify. We can speed up the process by placing it in the refrigerator and removing it once it's solid but still soft.
With our butter browned and solidified, we're ready to start on our cookies. In a small bowl, we stir together flour, salt, baking soda and my secret ingredient: cinnamon. We use just a teaspoon of cinnamon, which is enough to add a bit of depth to that nutty brown butter. The cinnamon isn't overpowering or even prominent, but it makes all the difference.
Now we cream together the brown butter, dark brown sugar and white sugar. As always, I definitely recommend dark brown sugar over light brown sugar, especially in this recipe. That extra molasses flavor is straight-up delightful with the brown butter.
From here, we beat in our eggs, vanilla and even bourbon if you're so inclined along with the flour mixture and chocolate chips and chill the dough, which is an especially important step with this cookie dough. As you'll notice, this cookie dough is extremely soft at this point. To keep the dough from overspreading, the dough needs to firm up for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
I know. With brown butter, that means a lot of waiting, but the end results are well worth it. Promise.
Once our dough chills, we're ready to bake. I recommend shaping the dough into the size of golf balls. This is a bit larger than a lot of other chocolate chip cookie recipes, but the larger size helps keep these cookies extra soft.
Let's give our cookies just a few minutes to cool and then dig in.
Fun fact: Cookies and beer are one of my favorite pairings. The two are so versatile, which gives you plenty of room to experiment, but I especially love these brown butter chocolate chip cookies with a Belgian dubbel. With a Belgian dubbel, you get some dried fruit notes and bit of spicy yeast that works beautifully with our brown butter and dark brown sugar.
In the mood for wine? Try a Madeira. Those nutty, caramel-like notes from the Madeira perfectly matches our brown butter base.
When not just any cookie will do, I hope you try this recipe for the best brown butter chocolate chip cookies.
Need More Cookies In Your Life?
- Toasted coconut sugar cookies
- Butterscotch-coconut-bourbon cookies
- Orange-ginger-maple cookies
- Chocolate chip-coconut-macadamia nut cookies
- The best fudgy brownie cookies
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The Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Stand or hand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Small saucepan
- Large baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Wire racks
- 1 cup salted butter
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 2 tablespoons bourbon optional but adds great depth of flavor
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or paste
- 1 (12)-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips plus additional chips for topping, optional
- In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until it begins to foam. Continue to cook and stir frequently until it turns amber in color. Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl. Scrape the brown bits into the bowl with the melted butter as well. Allow the mixture to solidify but remain as soft as you would use for typical cookies. To speed up the process, you can place in the refrigerator. If you'd like, you can also do this a few days in advance and store in the refrigerator. Just pull from the refrigerator 30 minutes before using to allow to soften.
- Stir together flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cream together the solid brown butter with dark brown sugar and white sugar in a stand mixer or mixing bowl with hand mixer until light and fluffy. If using a KitchenAid stand mixer, I find four minutes on speed four is perfect.
- Scrape the creamed butter off the side of the bowl. Add one egg, bourbon if using and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Repeat with the second egg. Once both eggs are combined, scrape the dough off the side of the bowl again.
- Add a spoonful or two of the flour mixture at a time and stir until incorporated. Repeat until all the flour mixture is combined into the dough. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour. You'll notice this dough is softer than your typical chocolate chip cookie dough, so giving it enough time to chill is important to prevent overspreading. You can chill for longer if you'd like --- even up to overnight.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, form the dough into golf ball-size dough balls. This may be bigger than some cookie recipes, but the large dough balls will keep the cookies extra soft. If you'd like, top with additional chocolate chips.
- Bake for nine minutes. Allow to cool on the pan for a couple minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
The brown butter makes these just fabulous! Worth the extra step.
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
No argument from me!
Chef Dennis says
Yum! These are mouthwatering!