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These Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are soft, chewy and have a subtle nutty brown butter flavor. Cream cheese makes them extra chewy and they are packed with two types of chocolate chips.
I never pick favorites amongst my cookie children but I do have a top 3. These brown butter chocolate chip cookies are up there with my thick chocolate chip cookies and these sensational cream cheese chocolate chip cookies. They are all soft, chewy and packed with as much chocolate as the dough can handle.
Perfectly browned butter that is allowed to cool and resolidify creates a pillowy soft cookie with just a hint of toasted hazelnut flavor. In French brown butter is beurre noisette, which means “hazelnut butter.” It perfectly describes the nutty aroma.
Table of Contents
- Why these are the Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Professional Tips for Making Perfect Brown Butter
- Ingredients Needed
- Variations & Substitutions
- How long do I brown butter for cookies?
- How to Make Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
- Before You Go
Why these are the Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Unfussy, professional measurements and instructions. Many brown butter cookie recipes call for measuring the butter after browning but that is overcomplicated and not necessary.
- Cream cheese makes these extra chewy. The combination of re-solidified brown butter and cream cheese makes these cookies incredibly soft and chewy even without underbaking.
- Outstanding flavor. Not only is there brown butter and cream cheese, but there is also vanilla extract, brown sugar and two types of chocolate chips.
Professional Tips for Making Perfect Brown Butter
The key to these cookies is perfect brown butter that is allowed to cool until solid again.
- Cook the butter over medium-low heat. It is tempting to rush the browning process but then some solids will burn before the rest of the butter has a chance to take on the ideal nutty flavor.
- Stir the butter while browning. Every so often during the browning process, stir the butter with a silicone spatula to scrap up the milk solids on the bottom. This will allow more moisture to evaporate and more solids to brown evenly without burning.
- When done pour into a clear or white bowl. This will let you see the color of the butter. If it is too light and only smells like butter, put it back in the pot and keep cooking. This also starts the cooling process immediately.
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour has just the right amount of gluten to make a chewy, soft chewy cookies. OR for crunchy Be sure to measure your flour by fluffing up the flour in the bag then spooning it into a measuring cup. Level it off with a knife. Be careful not to tap or compress the flour. Not measuring correctly, will lead to dry cookies.
- Cake Flour: The cake flour has cornstarch, less gluten and a finer texture. It makes for extra soft, tender cookies.
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Kosher Salt
- Cornstarch: Adding cornstarch to cookies helps make them chewy and thick.
- Unsalted Butter: I use unsalted butter in baking to control the saltiness. In this recipe I measure the butter before browning to simplify the process.
- Cream Cheese: Cream cheese in cookies gives them a soft, chewy texture. It also adds a nice tang and rounds out some of the sweetness. I always use full fat cream cheese, but you could use reduced fat as well. Just not whipped!
- Light Brown Sugar: Using light brown sugar adds sweetness along with a little moisture. This will keep the cookies softer while adding a nice, rich molasses flavor.
- Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar is obviously here for sweetness, but if you add too much in proportion to the butter and flour, the cookies will spread rather than stay tall and chewy.
- Whole Egg: The eggs are here to add fat, moisture and leavening. The fat from the yolk adds richness and helps keep the cookies chewy. Beating in the eggs just enough will add a little or a lot of leavening depending on the desired texture. Eggs also emulsify the batter and keep everything texturally perfect.
- Vanilla Extract
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Bittersweet Chocolate Chips: I love bittersweet chocolate chips because they balance some of the sweetness in the cookies. They are also extra melty and will give you that melted chocolate pull that we live for!
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Variations & Substitutions
- Change the chips: Use all bittersweet chips, chop a chocolate bar or use M&Ms for a fun variation.
- Add nuts: If you enjoy nuts in your chocolate chip cookies, then add some chopped walnuts, pecans or toasted hazelnuts to really lean into the brown butter flavor.
- Cream Cheese: If you don’t have cream cheese it would be best to make these bakery style chocolate chip cookies instead and brown the butter called for in that recipe. They are similar but call for only pantry items.
- Cake Flour: If you don’t have cake flour then substitute all-purpose flour. The cake flour has extra cornstarch and a finer texture. It makes for extra soft and chewy cookies.
How long do I brown butter for cookies?
I measure my butter for this recipe (and all cookies) before it is browned. The extra step and stress isn’t necessary. Brown your butter until it is a rich golden brown and smells nutty. There will be small flecks in the butter, which are browning milk solids. This is the flavor!
Don’t stress about the time, watch the butter, swirl and pour it into a clear or white bowl when you think it is done. If it isn’t brown, put it back in the pot and keep cooking.
How to Make Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Use these instructions to make chewy brown butter chocolate chip cookies! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Brown the butter:
Step 1: In a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat and continue to cook and swirl, stirring occasionally, until the butter turns light brown, brown bits stick to the bottom of the pan and smells delightfully nutty. Transfer to a bowl to cool (make sure you get all those yummy brown bits too!)
Stirring the solids on the bottom will help the butter brown more evenly and produce the most flavorful brown butter. This is because those milk solids at the bottom of the pot will burn before the rest of the butter has a chance to brown.
Step 2: In a large bowl combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
Step 3: Once the butter has cooled and resolidified (it will be at room temperature), combine butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until creamy and lightened, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the vanilla with the second egg.
Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Step 4: Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. I usually do 4-5 additions, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Make sure you add the next addition as soon as most of the flour has been incorporated from the last one.
Step 5: Add the chocolate chips either with the mixer or with a wooden spoon.
These cookies are best if refrigerated overnight. Even re-solidified brown butter does not function the same as room temperature butter and this allows the cookies to remain thick and chewy rather than thin.
Step 6: Preheat oven to 350° and line several baking sheets with parchment or silpat.
Step 7: Roll dough into balls approximately the size of a golf ball. Place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the sides begin to brown and the edges are set. The centers will look matte but still soft.
Step 8: Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. If you are impatient and you eat a cookie too soon, it will seem way underdone.
Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip
This is an excellent cookie dough to roll into balls and freeze. Bake from frozen for an additional 3-7 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. The same measures of doneness apply!
Frequently Asked Questions
Store baked cookies in a sealed container for 3 days at room temperature, up to 10 days refrigerated or up to 1 month baked and frozen. For longer storage and the freshest cookies, store the rolled cookie dough in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake directly from frozen.
Bake from frozen for an additional 3-7 minutes depending on the size of the cookies, or until the sides begin to brown and the edges are set. The centers will look matte but still soft.
Browned butter adds a nutty flavor to cookies and behaves like melted butter. It will produce cookies that are chewy but thinner than those with creamed solid butter.
Brown butter cookies can be greasy if the butter was not cooled before using. I like to cool to room temperature or re-solidify the butter completely before using in cookies, but even melted, not hot brown butter can be used without making cookies greasy.
If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¼ cups butter unsalted
- ¼ cup cream cheese not whipped, preferably not light
- 1 ½ cups light brown sugar packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips I love Ghirardelli
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips 60% I love Ghirardelli
- Brown your Butter: In a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat and continue to cook and swirl until it turns brown, brown bits stick to the bottom of the pan and smells delightfully nutty. Transfer to a bowl to cool (make sure you get all those yummy brown bits too!)
- In a large bowl combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
- Cream butter and cream cheese. Add sugars and mix on medium-high speed until creamy and lighter, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the vanilla with the second egg. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. I usually do 4-5 additions, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Make sure you add the next addition as soon as most of the flour has been incorporated from the last one.
- Add the chocolate chips either with the mixer or with a wooden spoon.
- Refrigerate overnight. I know, I know. Patience, grasshopper. The melted butter makes this step critical. At the very least refrigerate them 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350° and line several baking sheets with parchment or silpat.
- Roll dough into balls approximately the size of a golf ball. Place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the sides begin to brown and the edges are set. The centers will still look underdone.
- Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. If you are impatient and you eat a cookie too soon, it will seem way underdone. This is how I like them. You do you!
Before You Go
I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested recipe. Check out our other delicious, pastry chef-created cookie recipes!