Crispy and chewy chocolate chip cookies made with brown butter, milk and dark chocolate, and flaky sea salt. This is the Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe with instructions to freeze some dough for later.
Posted: 4/12/2020; Updated: 1/12/2021, 11/18/2021
Name something better than a fresh and hot out of the oven, ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie. This recipe takes those traditional chocolate chip cookies and knocks them out of the park...all thanks to brown butter.
This gem of an ingredient only takes a few minutes to transform, but has a huge impact on baked goods - especially these cookies. Then you add in both dark and milk chocolate chopped chocolate bars for gooey chocolate puddles.
Finally, finish the baked cookies with a generous amount of flaky sea salt. You need this to cut all of the richness in the cookie. They're crispy on the outside, and oh so chewy on the inside. I like to make a double batch and freeze one so I can have emergency cookies on hand at any time. Keep reading to find out how to freeze them!
If you are unfamiliar with browning butter, be sure to take a quick read through my How to Brown Butter post. This has all of the details and pictures you need to appropriately brown butter. I really like to take mine almost to the brink of burning the milk solids, as you really want the flavor to be at maximum capacity when using in baked goods.
If you're looking for something similar, try my Chewy Browned Butter Blondies (with chocolate chips).
- Dry ingredients. All-purpose flour, baking soda, and kosher salt.
- Butter. Unsalted, browned, and re-solidified to room temperature.
- Sugars. Light brown and granulated. This combination provides the best chew!
- Eggs. Just one egg, actually! Use it at room temperature so it incorporates nicely into the dough. You can throw the whole egg into a bowl of hot water for about 5 minutes to get it where it needs to be straight from the fridge.
- Chocolate. Both dark or semi-sweet chocolate (60-70% cacao) and milk chocolate. Use chocolate bars and chop them up so you get those nice puddles of chocolate. However, you can also use chocolate chips, you just won't achieve the same melt factor.
- Flaky salt. Non-negotiable! This is necessary to cut the sweetness of the cookies. You'll never look back on the addition of flaky salt.
How to make the Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Pro Tip: Plan ahead for these 24 hours in advance. The dough needs time to chill to allow the brown butter flavor to really develop. The fridge time is also necessary for the butter to fully chill, otherwise the cookies won't hold their shape well.
The first thing you'll need to do in this recipe is brown the butter. I like to plan for about an hour for this portion, as it takes a bit of time to re-solidify after being melted and browned.
If you have lots of time, you can let the butter re-solidify at room temperature. However, if you're impatient like me, you'll want to add the butter to the fridge or freezer and stir every five minutes or so to make it happen more quickly.
Making the Brown Butter
STEP 1: To make brown butter, place the butter (cold or room temperature) in saucepan or frying pan over medium heat. Stir the butter every once in a while so the milk solids on the bottom of the pan don’t burn. I like to use a rubber spatula to do this. The butter will get deeper in color and you will notice a delightful change in smell. This is the milk solids in the butter getting caramelized.
The browning process could take anywhere from 5–10 minutes depending on your stove top. Pour the butter (and make sure to scrape all of the brown bits off of the bottom) into a heat proof bowl. Check out my How to Brown Butter post for more in depth details on this process.
You know the butter is ready when it returns to an opaque color and a spoon will relatively easily scoop into it. If it feels too hard, let it sit at room temperature for a bit before starting to make the cookie dough.
Making the cookie dough
STEP 2: Roughly chop the dark/semi-sweet and milk chocolate. Keep ¾ of the pile for the dough, and reserve the remaining ¼ of the pile to use right before baking. I typically throw mine in a ziptop bag in the freezer so they're super cold when I press it into the dough balls after chill time.
STEP 3: Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
STEP 4: Add the room temperature brown butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a handheld mixer). Beat on medium speed for two minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds, then scrape down the sides. WIth the mixer running on low speed, spoon in the flour mixture until it's just combined. Finally, add ¾ of the chopped chocolate and mix on low for a just a few seconds until it's evenly distributed.
Transfer the dough to a smaller bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least two hours, or up to 3 full days before baking.
Assembling and Baking the Cookies
STEP 5: After chilling, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes to slightly soften. During this time, preheat the oven to 350℉/177℃ and prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll the dough in between your hands, then use your thumb to press a small indent into the top. Add a few pieces of the reserved chopped chocolate and press the sides back in. Place six balls of dough on each baking sheet with even space in between.
STEP 7: Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set and slight golden brown, but the center is still gooey. Then, use a round vessel with an opening larger than the cookies (sour cream container, hand sifter, etc.) and move in circles around the cookies to make them perfectly round. Watch my quick video on how to scoot your cookies!
Pro tip: ALWAYS under bake your cookies. I promise the residual heat from the pan and dough will finish them into perfectly baked cookies.
STEP 7: Finally, sprinkle each cookie liberally with flaky sea salt and allow them to cool on the pan for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Store the baked cookies in a sealed container for up to 5 days (they will never last that long, though).
Freezing the Dough
To freeze this cookie dough, follow the instructions to roll the dough balls and press the chocolate in. Place all of the dough balls onto a parchment lined plate or cookie sheet and flash freeze for 30 minutes. Then, transfer the dough balls to a Tupperware or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
How to Bake Frozen Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
To bake the Best Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe from frozen, reduce the oven temperature by 30 degrees and add 3-5 minutes of bake time. If they still look very underdone, continue baking until the edges are set and golden brown (but remember, you want the center to be slightly underdone).
The best part about frozen cookie dough balls? You can bake as few or as many as you'd like!
Frequently Asked Questions
Adding brown butter to your baked goods enhances and deepens the flavors. It truly is one of those irresistible ingredients that provides the best rich, nutty, caramelized undertones.
Sugar! That's why this recipe uses both brown sugar and granulated sugar, as the combination helps create the ultimate chewy cookie.
Of course. However, you'll lose out on the melty chocolate pools of goodness. Chocolate chips have added preservatives that prevent them from melting, but they will still be delicious!
Want more cookies?
- Cookie Butter Cookies
- Stuffed Fluffernutter Cookies
- Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles
- Classic Chewy Snickerdoodles
Pin for Later
Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer
- Two full-sized cookie sheets
- Parchment paper
- Cookie scoop
- 1 cup + 2T all-purpose flour 135g
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 127g
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed (100g)
- ¼ cup + 2T granulated sugar 75g
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (half dark/semi-sweet, half milk) 5.5 oz
- Flaky sea salt for tops
- In a medium frying pan or saucepan over medium heat, brown the butter, stirring every 15 seconds so the milk solids don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Pour the butter into a bowl and allow it to cool and solidify. The butter will turn opaque and the brown bits will settle to the bottom. If you want to speed up this process, place it in the fridge or freezer and stir it every 5 minutes until it solidifies, but is still soft. You want a spoon to effortlessly scoop through the butter.
- Once the butter is ready to go, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- Transfer the brown butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer), add both sugars and mix on medium speed for two minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix on medium for another 30 seconds.
- Scrape down the sides, then with the mixer on low speed, add in the flour mixture until just combined. Add in ¾ of the chopped chocolate and mix on low until just combined.
- Chill the cookie dough for at least two hours, but preferably overnight or 24 hours. This allows the flavor of the brown butter to fully develop and penetrate the dough.
- Remove the dough from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to make them to take the chill off. This is only necessary if chilling for more than 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉/177℃ and parchment line two full-sized cookie sheets. Roll the cookie dough into heaping 2 tablespoon balls (approx. 45g) and place on the cookie sheets at least 2 inches apart.
- Make a well with your thumb in the middle of the dough ball and stuff in a few shards of chocolate and push the dough back in slightly.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are slightly golden - the centers will still look underdone. If you are baking both pans at once, switch racks at half.
- As soon the cookies are removed from the oven, scoot the cookies using a vessel with an opening larger than the cookies and press in the edges to make them perfectly round.
- Sprinkle liberally with flaky sea salt, then allow them to rest on the pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.