Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are indulgent cookies with nutty browned butter, a soft center, crispy edges, and a delightful sea salt finish. Quite possibly my new favorite cookie! It’s like a sophisticated twist on a classic chocolate chip cookie!

Sheet Pan Covered in Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on a Table from Overhead.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Butter:  It all starts with the browned butter in this cookie recipe. Browning the butter intensifies its flavor, adding a rich, nutty, and caramelized note to the cookies. I opted for Challenge® Unsalted Butter to make sure that my cookies would be the best-tasting cookies you will ever try! Challenge Butter is made the old-fashioned way, from the freshest milk and cream from happy cows at family-owned dairies. If you do use salted butter, you may want to lessen the amount of salt in the cookie dough.

Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar provides sweetness and moisture to the cookies. Its light molasses content enhances the caramel flavor profile.

Eggs: Be sure the eggs are at room temperature before mixing them with the other ingredients.

Chocolate: Roughly chopped semi-sweet chocolate provides a rich, chocolatey goodness in every bite. You could also use about 2 cups of chocolate chips or chunks instead.

Sea Salt Topping: Flaky sea salt is sprinkled over the tops of the warm cookies after they have been baked. It adds a finishing touch that complements the sweetness of the cookies and enhances the overall taste of the cookies. You could substitute kosher salt if that is all you have on hand. The cookies are delicious without the added salt, too!

Bowl of Brown Butter with Challenge Butter Box Next to It.

Can I Make The Cookies Without Browning The Butter?

Yes, you could make the cookies without browning the butter. However, you will miss out on the unique and rich flavor profile of the cookies! If you are not going to brown the butter, simply cream room-temperature butter with the brown sugar before continuing with the recipe.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Overhead on a Dark Surface.

Why Chill The Dough?

I encourage you to NOT skip the step of chilling the cookie dough for 24 hours. Allowing the cookie dough to rest in the refrigerator for an extended period allows the ingredients to meld and the flavors to develop. During this time, the moisture in the dough hydrates the dry ingredients, resulting in a more harmonious and well-balanced flavor profile. This can lead to richer and more complex-tasting cookies! After the dough has chilled, let it sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking the cookies.

Box of Challenge Butter on a Table Surrounded by Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

How To Store Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze the cookies.

Stack of Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Top Cookie Broken in Half Showing Inside.

Freezing Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

When it comes to freezing browned butter chocolate chip cookies, you can freeze the baked cookies OR the cookie dough.

To Freeze After Baking: First, let the cookies cool completely. Place the cooled cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Remove from the freezer and transfer them to a freezer-safe container to store for up to 3-4 weeks.

To Freeze The Dough: Place the balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Next, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until the dough balls are completely frozen. Once frozen, transfer the dough to freezer-safe zipper bags. When ready to bake, simply bake as many of the cookies as you need from frozen. You may need to increase the baking time by 1-2 minutes.

Sheet Pan Covered in Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on a Table from Overhead.
5 from 5 votes

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Cooling/Chilling/Resting Time 1 day 50 minutes
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 12 minutes
Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are indulgent cookies with nutty browned butter, a soft center, crispy edges, and a delightful sea salt finish. It's like a sophisticated twist on a classic chocolate chip cookie!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) Challenge® unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 ½ cups (312.5 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large (5.3 ounces) eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • flaky sea salt, for topping

Instructions

  • In a stainless steel skillet (or another light-bottomed pan) over medium-high heat, melt butter, swirling the pan occasionally. The butter will begin to foam, which signals the water in the butter is boiling off. (Watch closely at this stage.) Tiny brown specks of milk solids will begin to appear at the bottom of the pan; constantly stir and scrape these off using a spatula so they don't stick.
  • As soon as the butter turns chestnut brown and smells nutty, remove the pan from the heat. Pour the browned butter into a heat-safe bowl.
  • To the hot browned butter, add the brown sugar, stirring to combine. Set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  • To a medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to combine.
  • Once the butter mixture has cooled, add eggs and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  • Using a rubber spatula, gradually mix in the flour mixture.
  • Fold in the chopped chocolate.
  • Using a 3-tablespoon scoop, drop balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the dough balls and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 24 hours.
  • Remove the chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator. Let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking the cookies.
  • When ready, preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place the dough balls onto lined baking sheets, leaving about an inch between each cookie. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. (I prefer these slightly underdone, so I will start checking at 10 minutes.)
  • Remove from oven. Sprinkle flaky sea salt on the tops of the warm cookies.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:

Autumn

This is probably one of the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. The browned butter takes this cookie to a whole new level!

Elizabeth

This might be my new favorite chocolate chip cookie. Browning the butter really is worth it, and it doesn't take much extra time. You really do need to try these cookies!!!

Rachael

Browned butter just elevates anything it goes into and these are no exception! These are a fantastic chocolate chip cookie variation, I would eat these any day!

Bella

I am obsessed with these cookies! Chocolate chip cookies never disappoint. The browned butter enhances every single bite of this cookie!

Annabelle

These are insanely delicious! They're rich, chocolatey and super soft. Best cookies ever!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I use a stainless steel pan or white enamel pan so I can more clearly see when the butter is ready. A black pan or dark colored pan makes it harder for me to see.

  2. Just made the dough. I followed the recipe to the letter. My dough was very soft. I assume that’s normal, given the butter was fully melted. This was the first time I’ve made brown butter. Definitely not the last. My house smells like a candy store. Yum. Can’t wait to bake off these bad boys tomorrow morning!

    1. Update! I had cold feet after making and eating these because these cookies blew my freaking socks off. Brown butter is a total game changer. I’m going to try the base with other add-ins, like nuts or raisins. This is a keeper.

      1. I like crispy chocolate chip cookies with toasted pecans in them did my know if this would work with browned butter

  3. I didn’t feel these instructions were specific enough…I think I should go back to Betty Crocker scientifically tested recipes…. I used margarine, but when I measured how much was left after I boiled the water off there was only 1/2 cup of margarine so because the instructions weren’t clear and specific I put in another stick 1/2 of soften margarine. I didn’t feel the instructions were clear for the brown butter process. Do you wait until the white foam burns off? How long does it take to get to the brown butter stage? If you’re using real butter does it burn down to 1/2 cup also?? Was I really supposed to use just the 1/2 of butter? Wouldn’t that have changed th the way the cookies came out using only half that amount of butter as stated in the recipe?

    1. Hi Charlene – I’m sure the directions would be confusing if you chose to not follow them, use a different product entirely, and then double the amount. You cannot use margarine to make brown butter, which is why I didn’t include instructions for that.

    2. Try again with actual butter as recipe states.
      To brown the butter – put in a light colored pan so you can see how brown the butter gets. Melt on med heat for about 5 min. However, more important than the time listen to the crackle – when it stops popping it ready. Depending on the brand of butter you may have more foam/fat. Stir the butter as you go making sure to get the bits on the bottom. You want it about med brown in color and it should smell nutty. Remove from heat and cool – some brown butter recipes have you mix in the sugar right away – others have you wait – just make sure to follow the directions as written

    3. I find the instructions to be quite sufficient. Since individual pans and stoves will inevitably yield differences in time and temp to brown the butter, she describes what to look for: “Tiny brown specks of milk solids will begin to appear.” Since margarine contains no milk, you will get no milk solids and, as you discovered, an undesired outcome.

  4. Tasted great, followed to a “t” but my cookies came out cake like- what could I have done wrong?

    1. Hi Monica! So sorry to hear you didn’t get the desired outcome. The only time I was able to get a cake-like cookie was when I didn’t chill them overnight. Every other test produced a soft, chewy interior. The other option could be that your oven runs a few degrees hotter than mine and they could use a little less baking time. You can also try this recipe without the baking powder! I added it so that the cookies wouldn’t be flat as a pancake, but it can contribute to a cake-like texture. Hope that helps!

  5. Absolute the best Chocolate Chip Cookies I have ever made; and I have made some good ones! Another I Am Baker perfect recipe!!

  6. Hello,
    I have a question before I try the recipe. In one of the comments, they said the cookie came out “cake-like.” I love my chocolate chip recipe, and I like the cake-like cookie. I am not a fan of a flat cookie. However, I have had some fantastic flat cookies, and these look good, so I am going for it.

    Do these spread? I just made your Sugar Coffee Cookie, used the cookie scoop, followed your instructions, and placed them 1 inch apart. They spread little, as you mentioned. So, PERFECT!

    I will wait to hear from you; I have been baking since I was 19 and am a stickler about following ingredients/instructions. If I don’t hear from you, I will place half the recipe in the fridge (per your instructions) and the other half bake without putting it in the fridge to see which version I like most.

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