These Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are fast, easy, and versatile. They are perfectly crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle. The base dough recipe is versatile and allow for various toppings like Smarties, M&Ms, Easter chocolate mini eggs, pretzels, nuts, and more.
You will also like these Brown Butter Matcha White Chocolate cookies.
What is Browned Butter?
Brown butter is a technique done with butter that completely alters the flavor. Brown butter, also known as beurre noisette, is butter cooked over low heat until it gets the color of "light" hazelnuts (noisettes). Once heated, the milk fats and solids start to separate and darken.
Browning the butter is not necessary but it adds an amazing nutty, toasty, and earthy flavour. The best part of using melted/brown butter in a recipe is that you don’t need to set your butter out in advance to soften! No creaming of butter and sugar either. Thus, you do not need a mixer for this recipe.
How do you make brown butter?
- Melt butter over low heat
- Turn the heat up to medium high. It’ll start to boil and bubble. Don’t be alarmed! This is normal, but be careful of splatters.
- The butter will foam and little brown bits will start to form on the bottom. Stir constantly.
- Once the the brown bits turn golden, STOP and remove from the heat. You can easily burn browned butter.
- Allow to cool and you’re ready to use it in this recipe!
The key to achieving the best brown butter is to use good quality butter where the brown gives the cookies a rich and earthy toffee flavor.
What You Will Need
To start this recipe, there are a few ingredients you will need to have beforehand. The ingredients you will need to make your brown butter chocolate chip cookies will include:
- 153g flour: all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt: helps to enhance flavors
- 100g butter: regular unsalted butter, try to use a good quality butter
- 60g white sugar: also known as granulated sugar
- 60g raw sugar: light brown sugar, or light muscovado sugar also works
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g milk chocolate: I prefer to use a chopped milk chocolate bar for ideal texture, but chocolate chips also works
- 150g chocolate candies: Smarties candy, M&Ms, or Easter mini chocolate eggs
How to Make the Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
When browning the butter, the process is simple and the smell will be one of the first things to alert you that you have done it correctly. Expect a fragrant nutty smell. You will also see a significant color change. If you are a fan of brown butter, you will love this recipe.
1. Brown your butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. It should look golden brown with toasted brown milk solids on the bottom. These toasted milk solids add a delicious and salty flavor to your brown butter cookies. Set the butter aside to cool slightly.
2. In the meantime, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Chop the milk chocolate into irregular pieces. Lightly chop your choice of chocolate candies and reserve for later.
3. Whisk your browned butter, white sugar, and raw sugar together. Crack in one egg and whisk it until the mixture lightens its color.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine. Then mix in milk chocolate. Scoop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly press down to encourage spreading. Press in chocolate candies.
5. Preheat oven, then bake at 175C for 11 minutes. Allow your cookies to cool completely, then transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy!
Why Are My Browned Butter Cookies Flat?
There are many reasons as to why your cookies may turn out flat and like a puddle. If your cookies are spreading too much, try chilling the dough before baking. This will also develop the flavor even more. Alternatively, your oven temperature may be too low. Turn it up slightly and this should set the edges of the cookie first.
How to Store the Recipe
a). Freezing the Cookies
Storing your cookies in the freezer is a great way to prevent them from spreading too much, especially when making larger cookies. You can freeze your cookies after baking them or freeze the dough to bake cookies another day. One way to do it is to scoop dough balls into a baking sheet and place them in your freezer until they freeze. Then transfer them into a freezer-safe plastic bag and store them until you are ready to bake them.
If you want a quick fresh batch or are craving a cookie, here is what to do:
- Scoop your cookie dough into balls, put them on a lined cookie sheet, and place the whole cookie sheet in the freezer for about 30-60 minutes. This ensures the cookies maintain their shape and don't get squished.
- Place them in a freezer-safe or stack them on top of each other in a Tupperware container. It can be placed on wax paper, plastic wrap or a piece of parchment paper in between the layers of cookie dough to avoid getting the cookie dough stuck to each other. You can freeze the dough for up to three months.
- Before baking, you should pull out the number of cookie dough balls you want and allow them to sit at room temperature for around 30 minutes. Then, bake your cookies according to the recipe above, but remember to add a minute to your baking time.
b). Store Your Cookies at Room Temperature
To preserve the crispy edges and soft center, the best way to store your cookies is to leave them on a tray and consume ASAP.
Suppose you decide to store them in a sealed or airtight container such as Tupperware or a Ziploc bag. The cookies will most likely lose the crisp exterior and get a chewy texture overall, it is still delicious.
Additional Tips for Brown Butter Cookies
- Ensure you correctly measure your flour as too much flour in baking is a sin
- Do not over bake
- Ensure you get all your browned bits in your brown butter
- Include plenty of add-ins like nuts, chocolate chips and M&M's. It gives your brown butter cookie a little extra flavor
- Add the chocolate chips or candy on top of your dough balls just before you bake them. This allows your M&M or chocolate chip cookies to be picture perfect on top
- If your cookies lose shape, it is not the end of the world as you can still fix them. While your cookies are still hot, you can use a large round cookie cutter or a small bowl to shape your cookies in a circular motion.
- Use a cookie scoop to get uniform sized cookies
- You can use chocolate chips, but I personally like to use bars of chocolate. They’re higher quality, taste better, AND you can control the size.
- Chop the chocolate into irregular pieces. Some small, some slightly bigger. Tiny shards accompanied with pools of chocolate makes these cookies even more special!
- Press the dough balls down slightly before baking. They won't spread too much but we also don't want golf balls!
Frequently Asked Questions on Browned Butter Cookies
1. Is light brown or dark sugar better for baking cookies?
This recipe calls for light brown sugar, however dark brown will also work. Dark brown sugar cookies taste more like molasses. Other than that, cookies baked with light brown sugar spread better, unlike those made with dark brown sugar, which will slightly be higher.
2. What happens when baking soda is put in sugar cookies?
When baking soda mixes with an acid, the baking soda forms bubbles and a carbon dioxide gas that causes your batter or raw dough to rise. When it is used, it gives your brown buttered cookies a chewy and coarse texture. It is necessary to achieve chewy cookies but if you want light and airy cookies, opt for baking powder.
Notably, if you want to make crispy cookies, the first trick is to avoid brown sugar. This is because it contains more moisture than white or granulated sugar, which will react with baking soda and produce air that helps your cookies rise. Therefore, any cookie recipes without brown sugar will be flat, hard and crispy.
3. Why did my cookies harden after cooling?
Generally, if your cookies are hard after they have cooled, this means that you did not make your cookies large enough. Remember you should use about 4 tablespoons of dough per cookie. If you make smaller cookies, they might end up slightly overbaked and will not have the same soft center as you will get with the larger cookies. Adjust baking time to compensate if you make small cookies.
In addition, as time passes, the moisture in the cookies evaporates, leaving them crumbly and stiff. This is the same case with muffins, bread, and other baked goods where they lose moisture after some time. The longer your browned butter cookies sit, the staler they become.
Can we normalize adding browned butter to literally every recipe? Regular butter is canceled. These cookies are insanely easy. No setting out your butter ahead of time. No creaming the sugar and fat. NO SHENANIGANS.
- 153g flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 100g butter
- 60g white sugar
- 60g raw, light brown, or light muscovado sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 100g milk chocolate
- 150g chocolate candies (Smarties candy, M&Ms, or Easter chocolate mini eggs)
- Brown butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. It should look golden with toasted brown milk solids on the bottom. Set the butter aside to cool.
- In the meantime, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Chop the milk chocolate into irregular pieces. Lightly chop your choice of chocolate candies and reserve for later.
- Whisk together browned butter, white sugar, and raw sugar. Crack in one egg and whisk until the mixture has lightened in color.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine. Then mix in milk chocolate. Scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly press down to encourage spreading. Press in chocolate candies.
- Bake at 175C for 11 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy.