Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
These brown butter chocolate chip cookies are crisp on the edges, thick and chewy in the center, and exploding with the warm nutty brown butter flavor. I’ve also added some walnuts and topped them off with a sprinkle of sea salt.
The fall baking season is officially behind us, which means one thing: COOKIES. I’ve been working hard in the kitchen testing Christmas cookie recipes like a madwoman. I have bags and bags of leftover cookies and I cannot fit one more thing into my freezer. It’s actually becoming an issue. I need to start unloading some of these onto friends. They won’t mind, right?
I cannot think of an activity more relaxing and cozy than baking cookies with my house decked out with lights and decorations, music playing, or even a horrible ABC Family Christmas movie on in the background. I’m so excited to start sharing some delicious cookie recipes with you over the next few weeks. First up, everyone’s all-time favorite classic with a little twist: brown butter chocolate chip cookies!
Brown Butter is Key!
There are a few reasons why I am a huge champion of using brown butter in these cookies. First of all, using melted butter will give cookies a chewier, less light texture than softened butter. But nutty, caramelized flavor is what brown butter really brings to the table.
And the process is actually super easy! It just requires your undivided attention for a couple of minutes. You simply melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, the butter will start to crackle and sizzle in the pan. This is the water cooking out of the butter. This glorious sound is exactly what we’re looking for. Occasionally swirl the butter in the pan while it’s crackling.
Once the crackling subsides, the milk solids are left behind and you’ll see little flecks begin to turn brown at the bottom of the pan. That’s where the flavor is! Use a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon to scrape and stir the milk solids so they don’t burn. The butter is done browning when they are golden brown. Pour the butter into a bowl and make sure you scrape out all those browned bits! This can now be added to your cookies for a seriously rich, enhanced nutty flavor. You can certainly use regular melted butter, but this is so much better.
Tips for Chocolate Chip Cookie Greatness
- Use brown butter. Duh. Best flavor, excellent aroma, you get it.
- Use one whole egg and one yolk. Adding just an extra egg yolk instead of a whole egg will ensure we get a dense and moist cookie center. Using two whole eggs makes the cookies a bit too light and cakey for me, due to the extra egg white.
- Chill the dough. Since we are using melted butter, there is a risk of the cookies flattening a bit too much while baking. If you’re someone who like a thicker cookie, give the dough a chill in the fridge for 30-40 minutes after scooping.
- Add-ons! There are a couple optional add-ons that I feel put these cookies over the top. If you’re someone who hates adding nuts to cookies, that’s cool. They can be easily omitted. But I personally love the crunchy texture and subtle nutty flavor that comes from finely chopped walnuts in the cookies. Use any type of nuts you want! And of course I sprinkle on some sea salt before baking.
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (optional)
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips (or any chocolate chips of your choice)
- 2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
- Flake sea salt
Make Brown Butter
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, the butter will begin to crackle and sizzle. Occasionally swirl the butter in the pan. After it stops popping, the butter will begin to brown.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low. The milk solids will begin turning a light brown on the bottom of the pan. Use a heatproof spatula to occasionally scrape and stir the butter to prevent burning.
- Remove from the heat once the solids turn golden brown and you smell a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer to a bowl, being sure to scrape all those brown bits from the button of the pan. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- In large bowl, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla extract, and vanilla paste and mix until incorporated,
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. I like to stop the mixer before the flour is fully incorporated and mix the rest by hand with a spatula. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Scoop dough onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart. I used a medium cookie scoop that is approx. 3 tablespoons, but feel free to use a smaller 2 tbsp scoop. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Chill the pans in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350°.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, until lightly golden on the edges. Let the cookies set for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.