Ultimate Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Epic title? Maybe. Really good cookies? Yes. You might think I have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes on here. Really there were just two: my first fussy one and my second, less-fussy one. I still like both of those cookies. And the non-fussy one is pretty great for when you’re not rocking a scale. But, now that my dad’s place has a scale, and my in-laws’ place has a scale, most places I bake have one. So, I can do slightly fussy. Really it’s only slightly fussy because dumping flour in a bowl and weighing it is way (yay word play) easier than measuring each cup properly.

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Oh, bonus tip for those of you with hardened brown sugar. There is always the old “put a slice of bread in the container” trick, but that only works for overnight softening. I found that I was able to put a dampened paper towel on top of the bowl (of pre-weighed sugar) and microwave on a low power setting for 20 seconds at a time to steam it back into softness. You still have to crumple the pieces a bit, but it went from rock hard to this loveliness:

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I used some ideas from a Serious Eats recipe and Stella of Bravetart’s recipe. I was going to make each as is, but then I needed a few things for each that I didn’t want/didn’t have. I am not sure exactly which changes made this recipe work so well, but it was awesome. There was such a good caramel flavor, the cookies remained soft and chewy for longer, and the varieties of chocolate were delicious! Seriously, I am going to mix my chocolates in cookies from now on. I used a combination of 60% dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and even some mini chocolate chips. The combination of dark, semi-sweet, and milk is perfect.

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I doubled my recipe when I made it and had lots of cookies…if you make the recipe as it is written below you will have about 2 dozen medium-large cookies.

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Another cool thing was being able to use my dad’s new oven. He has propane gas and the burners seem extra blue:

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Directions for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Serious Eats and Bravetart

  • 1.5 sticks butter
  • 1 ice cube
  • 8 ounces flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (kosher if you have it)
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 ounces granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 10 ounces chocolate chips (mixed variety of dark, semi-sweet, and milk)

Brown the butter in a medium saucepan. Just before it gets medium brown, remove it from the heat and swirl for a bit until the butter browns to a nice, dark caramel color.

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Immediately pour into a medium bowl and stir in the ice cube.

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Place the bowl in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes, stirring it and checking it every so often. The butter is ready when the edges have firmed up a bit.

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Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.

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In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla until the mixture falls in a ribbon (about 5-7 minutes on medium).

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Then, switch to the paddle attachment and paddle in the chilled butter and brown sugar.

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After they have incorporated (about 30 seconds on low), add the flour mixture on low speed.

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Only mix for about 15 seconds, then stir in the chocolate.

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Place the dough in a separate container to seal it, or use the bowl (covered). Refrigerate overnight, or up to 3 days. You can also freeze the dough at this point.

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To bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop out evenly-sized balls of dough. Try to make them more like towers than balls, and keep the tops rough for best results at the end.

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Place the cookies on a lined baking sheet and bake for about 15-18 minutes (rotate halfway through, and check early until you see how long your oven takes).

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The cookies are done when the edges are a light golden brown. Let them cool before storing.

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Directions for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (without pictures)

Adapted from Serious Eats and Bravetart

  • 1.5 sticks butter
  • 1 ice cube
  • 8 ounces flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (kosher if you have it)
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 ounces granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 10 ounces chocolate chips (mixed variety of dark, semi-sweet, and milk)

Brown the butter in a medium saucepan. Just before it gets medium brown, remove it from the heat and swirl for a bit until the butter browns to a nice, dark caramel color. Immediately pour into a medium bowl and stir in the ice cube. Place the bowl in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes, stirring it and checking it every so often. The butter is ready when the edges have firmed up a bit.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla until the mixture falls in a ribbon (about 5-7 minutes on medium). Then, switch to the paddle attachment and paddle in the chilled butter and brown sugar. After they have incorporated (about 30 seconds on low), add the flour mixture on low speed. Only mix for about 15 seconds, then stir in the chocolate. Place the dough in a separate container to seal it, or use the bowl (covered). Refrigerate overnight, or up to 3 days. You can also freeze the dough at this point.

To bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop out evenly-sized balls of dough. Try to make them more like towers than balls, and keep the tops rough for best results at the end. Place the cookies on a lined baking sheet and bake for about 15-18 minutes (rotate halfway through, and check early until you see how long your oven takes). The cookies are done when the edges are a light golden brown. Let them cool before storing.

Updated 3/29/15: I changed the oven temperature to 375 from 350 because I like how it makes the cookies darker and more caramelized, but they stay chewy.

Updated 10/26/15: There is a new version of this recipe you can find here.

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11 thoughts on “Ultimate Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    • Aww. Maybe your heat is too high? Also, you could try taking it off the heat when it starts to get any bit brown. Then, continue swirling for a bit off the heat to continue to brown.

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