I know so many readers are already in love with my original Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (the recipe is right here) and my popular Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies. However, hear me out... I have a new and improved recipe that is even better! These are next level cookies! I present my BEST Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies that have such rich flavour and are so thick and chewy with the gooiest insides. These are all about texture and big bold flavour.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Soft and chewy cookies - these chocolate chip cookies have such a pleasant soft and chewy texture thanks to the extra protein from egg yolk.
- Rich brown butter flavor - brown butter adds complex nutty, caramel flavors to this recipe that takes it over the top. The extra egg yolk also contributes to the rich custardy flavor. These are unlike any chocolate chip cookies you've ever tried!
- Chocolate chunks, not chips - for the best texture and nicest spread, I recommend dark chocolate chunks chopped from a chocolate bar. These chunks will melt evenly into the cookie dough for a nice even spread. Chocolate chips will hold their shape and you will end up with more of a tall domed cookie instead. It's still good, they'll just be extra thick!
- Dark chocolate - I definitely recommend dark chocolate with around 60% cocoa solids or higher for this recipe. It will balance the sweetness from the cookie dough.
- Butter - there is no substitute for butter in chocolate chip cookies in my opinion! It is the foundation of the rich butterscotch flavor after all. In this recipe, you will brown the butter which is a technique common in French cooking called "beurre noisette". It translates to "hazelnut butter" since the butter actually takes on nutty flavors once it is browned. Don't worry - it's easy! You just cook the butter gently until all of the moisture boils off an the milk solids toast up.
- Granulated sugar - this recipe uses a combination of simple white granulated sugar and brown sugar. White sugar helps create the crunchy caramelized edges. I wouldn't recommend reducing the sugar because it will compromise the chewy texture.
- Brown sugar - I highly recommend dark brown sugar for this recipe as it has twice as much molasses as light brown sugar and will make a big difference to the flavor. It will also make the dough more acidic which means it will react more thoroughly with the baking soda so that you won't be left with a soapy taste (a defect I find common in many chocolate chip cookie recipes)
- Egg yolk - you'll need one whole egg and one extra egg yolk for this recipe. Trust me, it makes a difference here! It makes these cookies taste extra rich and also replaces moisture lost from browning the butter.
- Pure vanilla extract - vanilla is essential to making delicious chocolate cookies. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
- Salt - don't leave out the salt! It really elevates the rich buttery, caramel flavors! It also enhances the chocolate taste and balances the sweetness.
- All purpose flour - regular unbleached all-purpose flour makes the best chewy chocolate chip cookies in my opinion.
- Dark chocolate chunks - this is important! I highly recommend using bar chocolate, that is, chunks that you chop up from a bar of chocolate instead of chocolate chips. Why? That is because chocolate that is made into bars, also known as "tablets" has a higher cocoa butter content and typically melts smoother than chocolate chips to give you puddles of chocolate in the cookies. I love this effect! Chocolate chips will hold their shape and spread less.
WHAT IS BROWN BUTTER?
Butter is technically an emulsion (a water-in-oil emulsion to be exact) made up of milk fat with tiny droplets of water suspended throughout. The water portion contains milk proteins and trace amounts of milk sugars (lactose). When heated to a certain degree, these milk proteins and milk sugars react in a process called "Maillard Browning" to create nutty and caramel-like flavor compounds as well as generate brown color compounds.
This process occurs when there is no moisture present, which is why you need to cook butter until the water content is evaporated off in order to make brown butter. Once you make brown butter, you are left with essentially pure oil.
HOW TO MAKE BROWN BUTTER
If you've never made brown butter, you MUST try it. It adds amazing complexity and richness in the form of nutty, caramel-like flavors that enhances many recipes.
- STEP 1). First melt your butter over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Make sure to use a stainless steel saucepan so you can see what's happening. If you use a dark pan it may be difficult to monitor the change in color.
- STEP 2). Once melted, let the butter come to a simmer. It will crackly as it boils. This is the sound of the water content (approximately 15%) evaporating out. Stir the butter constantly as it melts to ensure it cooks evenly and so the brown bits don't catch at the bottom. Stirring will bring them up to the surface above the foam so you can watch the color change.
- STEP 3). As the moisture evaporates, the butter will start to foam. This is the point when the browning starts to happen. Keep stirring the butter. Keep a close eye on the butter and DO NOT WALK AWAY.
- STEP 4). Eventually the crackling will settle down and the foam on the surface will become very dense to the point that you cannot see the clear butterfat beneath it. The foam will turn golden and as you stir you should see little brown flecks coming up into the pan. This is the sign that you are done! The butter will turn a golden color and you’ll know it’s done by the smell... it will have a toasted, caramelized and nutty aroma.
- STEP 5). Immediately pour it out into a clean bowl and let it cool before using it in the recipe.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BROWN BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Making brown butter is simple! The key is to not let it burn, but do let it get golden brown.
- STEP 1). Make brown butter. First melt the butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan. Continue cooking, letting it boil gently and crackle. Once all of the moisture boils off, a dense foam will begin to appear at the surface and it will start to smell nutty as the milk solids brown. Stir the butter constantly. When the foam subsides and you see the golden brown bits, it is ready.
- STEP 2). Cool the butter. Immediately pour it off into a clean bowl. You should be left with golden yellow liquid butter and lots of nutty brown flecks. Let it cool for about 15 minutes so it is no longer hot.
- STEP 3). Beat butter and sugar. Place the cooled brown butter into a mixing bowl with the sugars and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes until slightly pale and creamy. Beat in the egg and egg yolk.
- STEP 4). Combine dry ingredients. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend evenly. Add it to the butter mixture and fold it in until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
- STEP 5). Chill and Bake. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Scoop up mounds of dough and roll into balls. Place them onto your lined baking sheets and bake until golden but still soft in the middle!
WHY ARE THESE THE BEST BROWN BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES?
As you learned above, brown butter has all of its moisture removed. So, if we just go on making cookies without taking this into account, they may be a bit more hard and crunchy rather than soft and chewy. So... what can we do? We can simply replace the liquid! I do this in the form of one single extra egg yolk. This not only adds moisture, but it also adds protein and fat which will enhance the flavor, golden color and chewy texture of these cookies.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
- Be patient making the brown butter. It can very quickly go from this light brown to burnt, so make sure you take it off the heat as soon as it turns golden.
- Stir constantly while cooking the butter. If you do not stir, the milk solids will catch on the bottom of the pan and burn.
- Let brown butter cool before using it. Once you make brown butter, it is VERY hot since it is pure boiling fat. If you use it right away in the recipe, it will not blend smoothly with the other ingredients and the cookie dough will be greasy.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes. It will help the flavor develop.
- Don't skimp on the salt. Salt really helps enhance the flavor of brown butter.
Here is the chocolate I recommend for making Chocolate Chip Cookies:Callebaut Belgian Dark Couverture Chocolate Semisweet Callets, 54.5% - 5.5 Lbs
Can I use salted butter for chocolate chip cookies?
I wrote this recipe with unsalted butter so you can control the salt that you add, however I often use salted butter because it really adds richness in a different way. It gives the butter a deeper, almost cultured dairy flavour. If you choose to use salted butter, then reduce the added salt by half to ¼ teaspoon.
What is the secret to chewy cookies?
There is no one secret, but there are many techniques and ingredients that contribute to the chewy texture of cookies. Firstly, brown sugar contains molasses which is a liquid sugar that traps moisture and keeps the cookies soft and chewy. The extra egg yolk adds dense protein that adds chewiness, and refrigerating the cookie dough (although not completely necessary for this recipe) will make them even chewier because it gives time for the flour to hydrate.
What does browning butter do for cookies?
Most importantly, browned butter adds rich nutty flavour to cookies. It also reduces the free moisture in the cookie recipe to make them extra dense and chewy. It's important to have a balance though, because if there isn't enough moisture, then cookies can be dry.
What makes a cookie soft and chewy or crispy?
It's the ratio or proportions of ingredients in a cookie recipe that determines whether it will be chewy or crispy. Increasing flour and butter tends to make a crispier cookies, whereas increasing sugar while keeping the other ingredients constant tends to make a chewier cookie. In a drier cookie dough, however, increasing sugar will make it crunchy.
The baking time will also affect the texture. If cookies are baked for longer until they are evenly browned, then they will be crispy. For chewy cookies, bake until the edges are lightly browned and the centers are just golden. Baking soda tends to make cookies with crispier edges while baking powder will make them more tender and cakey.
Does browning butter reduce the amount of butter?
Browning butter does reduce the total amount of butter because the water content (about 16%) is boiled off. However, the total butterfat content remains the same. So, there is the same amount of fat, just less water. You should not add back more butter after you brown it in a recipe because that would add more fat to the recipe and change the result.
How do you make cookies stay soft and chewy?
To make cookies stay soft and chewy it is important to NOT over-bake them, then store them in an airtight container. A secret ingredient to keep them staying soft longer is to add ½ teaspoon or 1 teaspoon of corn syrup when you mix in the egg.
What if I make these cookies without brown butter?
You can make these cookies without brown butter and they will be slightly more puffy and tender, and they will still be delicious, however this recipe is designed to use browned butter that will make them extra chewy.
Are chocolate chunks better than chips for chocolate chip cookies?
The best thing is to actually NOT use chocolate chips at all - for the BEST Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, use CHUNKS. Chocolate chips are designed to hold there shape and don't melt as easily as bar chocolate (also called tablets). Also, chips are smaller and uniform in size so it can give a rather boring look to cookies.
I always prefer to use my favourite eating chocolate or good quality dark chocolate block and chop it up. This creates shards of chocolate of all different sizes to give the cookies more interest. It will also melt nicely so that you get some layers of chocolate in the cookie and it creates little puddles. Sometimes for this recipe I throw in a handful of chocolate chips just to have different textures and shapes, but majority of it is shards.
If you love cookies, check out these recipes!THE BEST EVER Chocolate Chip Cookies – Bakery Style!Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesThe BEST Chewy Pumpkin CookiesChewy Brown Butter Snickerdoodles CookiesBrown Butter M&M Cookies RecipeLemon Blueberry Cookies with White Chocolate ChunksCoffee Pecan Chocolate Chip CookiesDouble Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk CookiesHazelnut Double Chocolate Chunk CookiesTHE BEST Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies – Bakery Style!
BEST Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- First brown the butter. Melt it over medium heat in a small saucepan. Make sure to use a stainless steel saucepan so you can see what's happening. If you use a dark pan it may be difficult to monitor the change in colour. Once melted, let the butter come to a simmer. It will crackly as it boils. Stir the butter constantly as it melts to ensure it cooks evenly and so the brown bits don't catch at the bottom. As the moisture evaporates, the butter will start to foam and eventually the crackling will settle down and the foam on the surface will become very dense and it will turn golden. As you stir you should see little brown flecks coming up into the pan, the butter will turn a golden colour and it will have a toasted, caramelized and nutty aroma.
- Immediately pour the browned butter out into a clean bowl and let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Add brown sugar, white sugar and vanilla to the cooled brown butter and whisk to blend. Add whole egg and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in egg yolk until the mixture is smooth, glossy and creamy-looking, then whisk in baking soda and salt.
- Add the flour and fold it in until mostly combined, then fold in chocolate chunks. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Divide dough into 16 portions. Roll into smooth balls and place them on prepared baking sheets spacing them 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly and bake for 9-11 minutes until golden around the edges and still slightly gooey in the center (they will set as they cool). Let cookies cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.