I call these my Next Level Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re meant for those looking for a more sophisticated, elevated cookie recipe in the form of Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies.
Don’t get me wrong - there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the classics. In fact, I’m a huge fan. But there’s more than enough room for new and different flavors, am I right?
With browned butter, plenty of chopped dark chocolate creating pools of melty goodness and sprinkled with flaky salt, these Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies reinvent the classic chocolate chip cookie with elevated flavors.
I’m just over here bringing some variety to your chocolate chip cookie diet, is all. Don't mind me!
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How to elevate the classic chocolate chip cookie
One of the most popular recipes on my blog is My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.
They’re thick and chewy and filled to the brim with chocolate chips. They’re my go-to recipe for birthdays, get-togethers, celebrations of any kind and just because.
This version brings a new take on this classic. I took my original chocolate chip cookie recipe and replaced the butter with browned butter, which adds a nuttiness and extra layer of delicious flavor.
For a full tutorial on How to Make Brown Butter, click here!
I also replaced the chocolate chips with a dark chocolate baking bar, chopped into pieces. The larger pieces help create those dreamy pools of melted chocolate in the baked cookie.
And the shards made from chopping the baking bar add loads of chocolate flavor throughout the cookie. The flaky salt on top is what brings it all together at the end.
What can I say, these elevated cookies are sure to become a new favorite!
Adding layers of flavor to the classic chocolate chip cookie
To add more layers of richness to this elevated cookie recipe, I replaced the eggs in my original chocolate chip cookie recipe with 3 yolks and added in a couple of tablespoons of thick and creamy sour cream.
The trick here is to make sure the egg yolks and sour cream are at room temperature before they are mixed into the batter.
This way, these ingredients will incorporate much easier and much more evenly, creating a consistent and smooth batter.
To ensure these ingredients are at the proper temperature, remove them from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to baking. (I often leave them out of the fridge overnight if I know I'm going to bake the next morning.)
Ready to make cookies but you're out of brown sugar? Make these Chocolate Chip Cookies (without brown sugar)! Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Tips for Making Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- You can easily substitute the brown butter for melted butter that’s been chilled in this recipe. Melted butter that's been chilled is not the same as using a stick of butter from the fridge. Melting the butter first then chilling it changes the consistency and texture of the finished cookie. I don’t know all the science behind it, but I’ve tested it and chilled melted butter incorporates differently into the dough. It also creates a different texture to your cookie than does unmelted solid, cold sticks of butter
- Speaking of chilled browned butter, when you remove it from the fridge, the butter will appear whitish on top and the brown bits will have settled to the bottom. This is normal, the way you want it and it should all be scooped out and added to the mixing bowl. You want to scoop out all that delicious nutty flavor
- If you don’t have cake flour, you can substitute it cup-for-cup with all-purpose flour or use one cup all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons from the one cup and replace with 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Whisk together to aerate and create a light and fluffy flour to add to your cookie dough
- When creaming together the butter and sugar, at first the mixture will be crumbly. Then it’ll come together and pull clean off the sides of the bowl. It’s ready when the mixture starts to loosen up a bit and stick to the side of the bowl, with a light brown fluffy texture
Useful Kitchen Tools Used in This Recipe
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Looking for more chocolate chip cookie recipes? Look no further! Check these out:
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large egg yolks room temperature
- 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate baking bars chopped
- flaky sea salt optional, for sprinkling
Brown the butter:
- In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the butter, cooking and stirring until the butter is just browned and smells nutty (keep an eye on it and be careful not to cook it too long or it’ll burn).
- Pour browned butter into a heatproof bowl and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
- The butter should be solid after an hour.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC) (if you have convection, turn it on). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Set aside.
Prepare the Cookie Dough:
- Using a large spoon, scoop out the browned butter and into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment affixed.
- Add brown sugar and granulated sugar.
- Turn mixer on low for a few seconds, then gradually increase speed to medium-high, mixing for about 3-4 minutes until well incorporated and fluffy.
- Once the butter sugar mixture is light, fluffy and starts to stick to the sides of the bowl, it’s ready for the next step.
- Turn mixer to low and add egg yolks, vanilla, and sour cream.
- Mix on medium for about 30 seconds until well incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom with a rubber spatula, as needed.
- With mixer off, add in both flours, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
- Turn mixer on low and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Add in chopped chocolate and stir on low just until chocolate is evenly incorporated.
- Portion dough into 2 tablespoon size balls, rolling between your palms to ensure a smooth ball.
- Place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
- Stick more chocolate pieces to top of each ball, if desired (this helps create those pools of melty chocolate on top of the cookies). Sprinkle cookie dough with flaky salt
- Bake in preheated oven for 4-5 minutes if using convection (7-8 minutes in conventional oven) then rotate baking trays and bake for another 4-5 minutes for convection (7-8 minutes for conventional).
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes on trays then transfer to wire racks.
- These cookies can be frozen and baked later or just a few at a time (one the best ways to do it!). After you roll the dough into balls, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and into the freezer for at least an hour. Transfer dough balls to freezer-safe ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Bring the cookie dough up to room temperature before baking by removing from the freezer and leaving at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
- Adapted from Buttermilk by Sam
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These are the cookies of my dreams!! Brown butter, sea salt, chocolate puddles.... drool!! Just gorgeous Kim! Can't wait to try!! xo - Anita
they are definitely dreamy cookies! I can't wait to make them again, too. Enjoy!!
Tasia ~ two sugar bugs
Surprisingly, I have everything I need to make these cookies!! I know my chocolate chip cookie loving family will love this updated version!!
These cookies are so delicious! I'm sure your family will love them too 🙂
can i use all purpose flour?
yes! the cookie texture will change just slightly but not good or bad. Go for it!
What can I use as an alternative to the cake flour?
You can use all-purpose flour. It might not be as tender of a cookie but I doubt you'll notice too much of a difference.
Really, really good recipe! Made for the first time a few days ago. Cookies came out well, best after pre-rolling and then freezing overnight. The taste itself was too sweet for me (not a bad thing! I'm just not a big fan of sweets though I do enjoy baking them, haha!) but this recipe received A LOT of love from all who got to try it. Thanks for sharing this!
awesome to hear!!!
Hi! If I don’t have available cake flour, I’ll just simply replace it with one cup all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons from the one cup and replace with 2 tablespoons cornstarch, correct?
Hi! Yes, that's what I recommend!
Tried the recipe recently; and it got good reviews all around. Have always been a fan of the sweet & salty combination.
I substituted all dark chocolate for the semi-sweet; but that’s just personal preference.
Next time will try refrigerating the dough before baking. I think the combo of yogurt & browned butter leads to an extra soft batter, because mine really spread/melted a lot during baking; leading to a quite thin cookie. Taste is there though!
Glad you liked them! This wasn't my experience when baking them, I wonder if the humidity had anything to do with the way your cookies baked up?
When does the salt go on? Before or after baking?
You can add the salt before or after baking. In the recipe, I recommend adding it just before baking.