Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

We brown the butter first in this recipe because browned butter adds wonderful flavor to the dough. If you are short on time or don't want to bother, you can skip browning the butter, just start with room temperature butter.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 225 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 ounces milk chocolate (or semi-sweet or dark if you prefer) bars, roughly chopped into chunks, about 2 cups
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a medium sized, thick-bottomed, stainless steel saucepan (use stainless steel so you can tell when the butter has browned) on medium heat.

Browning butter for chocolate chunk cookies whisking browned butter for chocolate chunk cookies

Continue to cook while the butter goes through various stages of bubbling up and releasing its moisture.  Whisk frequently over several minutes.

How to brown butter for chocolate chunk cookies Browned butter for Chocolate Chunk Cookies

When you start to smell the nutty aroma of the butter browning, and you can whisk aside some of the foam to see small browned bits at the bottom of the pan, remove from heat and pour off into a bowl. Do not dawdle at this point as it is easy for the butter to go from browned to burnt.

Browned butter method for chocolate chunk cookies how to make chocolate chunk cookies with browned butter

3 Whisk together dry ingredients: Place the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl and vigorously whisk together.

whisking together ingredients for chocolate chunk cookies

4 Beat brown butter and sugars, then add eggs and vanilla: Pour browned butter into the bowl of a stand-up mixer (if you don't have a mixer, you can just beat by hand). Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, beating after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and beat for 3 more minutes.

mixing chocolate chunk cookie dough mixing dough for chocolate chunk cookies

5 Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, then stir in chocolate chunks: Stir the flour mixture into the butter sugar mixture a third at a time. Stir in the chocolate chunks and the nuts (if using).

Up to this point you can make ahead a day or two and store the cookie dough in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

how to make chocolate chunk cookies perfect dough for chocolate chunk cookies

6 Spoon out cookie dough to lined baking sheet: Line cookie sheets with Silpat or parchment paper (or just lightly butter) rimmed cookie sheets.

Spoon out heaping tablespoon hunks of batter onto the cookie sheets, separated by at least 2 inches, allowing room for the cookies to spread as they cook.  You may need to work in batches.

How to make chocolate chunk cookies with chopped chocolate bar chocolate chunk cookies on baking sheet

6 Bake at 350°F for about 12 minutes, the edges of the cookies should be just a little browned. Remove from the oven, let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Then remove the cookies to cool completely on a rack.

perfectly baked chocolate chunk cookies chocolate chunk cookies on cooling rack

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Comments

  • Frances

    Can these be made with less sugar? Diabetics in the family but we love choc chip cookies! Love your recipes. TIA

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Frances! Unfortunately, I don’t think these cookies would work quite as well with less sugar. I’d recommend finding a recipe on a website or cookbook that caters specifically to diabetic-friendly diets. Sorry I couldn’t help!

  • Marie S

    These by far are the best cookies ever! The brown butter makes such a difference, I’ve tried this recipe with a ton of different things (peanut butter chips, heath bar mix, white chocolate, dark chocolate, m&m) And my family just loves them! Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Marie

    I was wondering if I could use hershey’s milk chocolate bars in this recipe? Would it still turn out right?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Marie, I’m pretty sure it was Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars that I was using to develop this recipe, so yes, you can use those.

  • Verna S.

    These are delicious! So glad I gave them a try! Browning the butter is so worth it!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Ileana

    These are Divine. I forgot to add the vanilla and they still tasted incredible!!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Chris

    I made these for a Relay for Life bake sale. I had three to a bag for $2 and 20 bags. The cookies were about 4″ across. I like big cookies. A lady bought one bag. Less than 10 minutes, she was back and bought the other 19 bags. Are these cookies good! HECK YEAH! Thanks for the great recipe, Elise.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Sierra

    These turned out to be a beautiful tan color. I refrigerated the dough over night and it was extremely hard in the morning, so I don’t think I needed it to sit. After whipping the butter mix for 3 minutes made the dough thick enough. They’re delicious for sure!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Marion Cruz

    Made this recipe few times now. LOVE them!!!! I use dark chocolates. The only question I have is, do you need to COOL down the browned butter before adding other ingredients? I’m worried that it’ll cook my eggs

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Marion! Emma here, managing editor. By the time you finish beating the butter with the sugar, it’s generally cool enough that it won’t affect the eggs. However, if you’re worried, there’s no harm in letting the butter cool down a bit before mixing the dough!

      • Dea

        I cooled it for awhile because the chocolate was melting – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This recipe is delicious.

  • Laura

    I made these today (eating one right now as I type this review). After reading reviews, I cut back on the flour by a quarter cup. I did not refrigerate dough before baking, and the cookies were perfect. Delicious!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Rebecca Dill

    I have made your Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip cookies often (they are a true family favorite, thank you!) and I love the flavor the browned butter gives. I would like to suggest for anyone struggling with texture that they chill the butter after browning it. The butter should be solid but not hard to properly cream with the sugar.

    • Elise Bauer

      Great idea Rebecca!

    • Jennifer Butler

      I have figured this out through making them a ridiculous amount of times, and it’s a great tip!

  • Eva

    i just made these tonight after watching your facebook tutorial. They turned out amazing! Thanks for creating and sharing some an awesome recipe!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • James M.

    I have to echo other concerns that the cookies are not flattening out. I followed the recipe to the letter and am having the same issue. Is there, perhaps, a problem with the recipe?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hello James, perhaps! Or perhaps it has to do with how the flour is being measured. I lightly scoop flour into a measuring cup and then sweep the top level with a dinner knife. If you scoop with the measuring cup, or you pack it down, you’ll have more flour than you need. The next time I make this recipe I’ll measure in weight as well to make sure that we have more precise directions for the flour amounts. That’s the only thing I think could be causing a problem.

  • Simone Robinson-Lee

    My cookies aren’t getting flat
    ..I added water already…still not helping
    I feel like I wasted my time…help! Cooking them for someone else

  • Bradley

    Possibly the best cookies I’ve ever had. I’ve made it a couple times, and it usually turns out slightly dry for my taste, but just adding a tablespoon of water to the dough helps a lot. Also, DO make sure you refrigerate the dough before baking, so that the center stays soft. The colder, the better.

    These come out pretty much exactly like the picture, in my experience.

  • Vicki

    I’ve been baking these cookies about year and a doubt my families favorite, thanks Elise your are a gem.

  • Corrie

    The flavor was good but these turned out very dense and cakey for me. :(

  • Jackson

    I made these cookies and followed the recipe exactly. My dough came out a strange consistency more like caramel than cookie dough and the cookies look nothing like the ones in the picture and have a cake like consistency. What went wrong here?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jackson, I have no idea.

      • Dea

        Hi Jackson, mine did too actually but they cooked up nicely. (I wondered at first that maybe I only put in 1.5 cups of flour!) Also, because the dough was so smooth and creamy, I added just a few tablespoons of flour to the chocolate chunks and mixed that up before I put them in the batter. Maybe that helped the consistency after baking?

  • Julie

    When I make these cookies the batter turns out dense and the cookies barely spread/flatten. I’m not sure if it’s the browning butter isn’t dark enough or that once I beat it in the stand mixer the mix of butter and sugar is sandy. Please help!

  • Shelley

    OH MY….this recipe is SO GOOD…the first chocolate chip cookie that doesn’t spread all over the pan…I made half a recipe…but I can tell you this is going to be my “go to” chocolate chip cookie recipe from now on, sorry Toll House….I used all dark chips….

    • Charlotte

      Hey! If you are making cookies and they just end up spreading all over the pan, like you wrote in your comment, try refrigerating your dough before putting on the baking sheet to bake them! That was a great tip I heard and (even though with some recipes it’s unnecessary to chill the dough first) it really helps out with some cookie recipes. Some need chilled from an hour to 24hours, but it might not even take a whole 60 minutes to get it where you need it. Anyway, I am definitely baking these cookies later.

  • Julie

    I have a question about the recipe. I’ve made the recipe three times now following all the steps exactly, save for the stand mixer because I only have a hand mixer, and the cookies never spread out like yours in the picture. Is there something I’m doing wrong? Thanks.

    • Bradley

      I’d try adding a tablespoon of water to the dough, it may be too dry.

  • Valerie

    Just made these! They are pretty good, but maybe I have not mix in the salt well enough or something? My cookies taste a bit too salty. But overall, the recipe is good! Thanks a lot!

  • Gloria

    These look amazing. Any suggestions for baking them in dry NM at 7,200 ft? No matter what I do cookies always seem to go flat on me. I always weigh ingredients. I’d give my right ovary to bake some that look this beautiful. (ovary disclaimer: post menopausal)

    • Charlotte

      To prevent flatness, putting the dough in the refrigerator to chill it before baking may help by a lot.

  • Judy B.

    Is there anyone on the planet who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? LOL!! I’ve been using the recipe on the butter flavored Crisco for years, and everyone loves them. But I have since begun using Irish butter in my baking…OMG!! Must try your recipe SOON…browned butter adds such a depth of flavor that is bound to knock those Crisco cookies out of their 1st place category. I love the idea of using bar chocolate, too. A mix of dark and milk chocolate chunks should please everyone’s taste. Might even use toasted chopped almonds as our choice of nutty goodness. Thanks very much for another awesome recipe, Elise!

  • Marguerite

    Over 35 years ago we were living in Zurich, Switzerland, and I wanted to introduce my Japanese neighbor to chocolate chip cookies. Not surpringly, no Hershey’s (or any other) chocolate chips were available. Imagine my disappointment at having to make do by chopping up bars of Swiss chocolate instead. Of course they were even better! I didn’t realize how far ahead of the times I was.

  • Ashley

    My house smells so yummy right now! Had a ball making these with my 4 year old. Thank you for sharing :)

    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you liked them! Nothing better than making cookies with a 4-year old. :-)

  • Kelly

    Just made these with my urchins (aged 2 and 5) and they’re a hit. We found ourselves short flour by the last 1/2 cup, and decided to bung in the last bit of some almond flour. Combined with the nutty browned butter, it’s a really nice flavour, and as a bonus, adds some protein to the final cookies.

  • raquel cardenas

    They were very delicious, but the chocolate dissolved when I mixed in it, I think the butter was too hot. Should I wait for the butter to cool off? How long do you wait?

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Elise Bauer

      I would let the butter cool down to at least the point that it isn’t melting the chocolate, or let the batter sit for a minute after you add the melted butter and before you add the chocolate.

  • deepali

    I’ve made a lot of recipes here, but have never commented. I wanted to share my experience with these cookies though. I’ve never browned butter and I think my butter did get a bit dark on the bottom, but I think I could have left it a bit longer.
    I was actually looking for a cookie recipe that included beets (had extra to use), and I found one elsewhere, but I’ve always had the best luck with proportions on this site, so I went with a mixed-up version of both. Essentially, I followed this recipe closely, but subbed out one egg for about 6 fl oz of pureed beets.
    I also panicked that I didn’t have enough chocolate (180g vs 250), so I also dumped in some cocoa powder.
    The result was a super wet batter because I didn’t account for the extra moisture of the puree (had to add water to make the puree), so I ended up adding more flour (and a tad more salt) to dry it up a bit. Currently, the batter/dough is in the fridge hardening up a bit before I bake. I did, however, do a test bake with a bit of the unrefrigerated batter and it did in fact form a delightfully tasty cookie, if a bit cake-like. Not sure if that cakiness can be fixed, but assume chilling will only improve the texture.
    Next time, I’ll drain the beets, (measure) and add more cocoa powder, and make sure I have more chocolate on hand!
    Thanks for the fool-proof recipe!

  • flynn

    These cookies are to die for… I used mini dark chocolate chips AND mini butterscotch chips. I also lightly toasted the nuts before chopping them up. And I couldn’t resist going the browned butter route. I may have finished about a dozen cookies in one sitting. Maybe more. No one was around to stop me. I think I need to buy new elastic pants.

  • Carl

    I followed the recipe closely, but the dough I ended up with was sort of a crumbly play-do consistency. I baked them at 350 for 12 minutes, but the insides aren’t done. They’re still quite tasty, but I’m curious as to why my dough doesn’t look as sticky as yours. Any guesses?

    • Elise Bauer

      It’s always hard to get the recipe exactly right when one is using volume (cups) for measurements instead of grams or ounces. Even then, the humidity can throw things off. If the dough feels a little dry, add a tablespoon of water to it.

  • LYNN RU

    I can’t wait to taste them. But when I added the chocolate chunks in the mixture, they sorta melted because the butter in mixture was still warm, Maybe I should’ve cut up the chocolate thicker. I will let ya know how they taste in a bit. They’re in the oven now! :-)

  • Faith

    These came out great!, I rounded them off when measuring which made them smooth and not the rugged edge cookie, so I remember to do that next time. But the flavor is straight on! Generally when I bake cookies using melted butter the batter is always dry and crumbly, but this was a success! Plus brown butter is always a win, I added a tablespoon of high quality vanilla and it was just beyond! Thank you!!

  • Veena

    thank you for this wonderful chocolate chunk cookie recipe..I prepared it yesterday for my mum and her guests..everyone absolutely loved it…gonna prepare it again :)

  • Mollie

    I wasn’t sure about browning the butter, but it was simple and added a wonderful taste. Thank you very much for the clear and easy to follow instructions. Now I know how for future recipes! I added extra chocolate chips, semi-sweet, for some extra chunk. These are slightly crispy and the cinnamon adds a little extra taste. Thanks!!

  • Angie

    Made these tonight and hubby said that it was the best cookie he had ever eaten!! The whole family loved. This recipe is a keeper and I thank you for sharing on your wonderful website!!

  • Tammy

    Made these tonight to cheer up my 9 year old daughter who has a broken ankle and is miserable in this hot Sacramento sun. These did the trick – absolutely delicious! We followed the directions exactly. She loved them so much she wants to make them for her class birthday party later this month. I fell in love with your website about a year ago and now my whole family calls this “mom’s favorite website.” Thank you for teaching me how to cook!

    • Elise Bauer

      Thank you for your kind words! And I’m so glad your daughter liked the cookies. Hope her ankle heals quickly!

  • Jennifer

    Just made these for a quick birthday treat. They are delicious with their almost caramel-y notes!! We used the Pound Plus Dark Chocolate from Trader Joe’s which is quite thick and chunked them up into quarters, so the chocolate chunks are large, but it was a great contrast with some pecans.

    Threw in some white whole wheat flour (1 cup), as I was running low on all-purpose, and you couldn’t detect it at all.

    Thanks for the great recipe! We will be making this one again and again.

  • Sandy S

    These sound so tempting, Elise! Looking forward to trying them with some gluten free flour and chocolate bars. (Dare I try GF truffles!?!) Love all the comments! This site is such an oasis for me.

  • Willow

    I always throw in a dash of cayenne in my chocolate chunk cookies. Don’t ask me why, but cayenne tends to draw out the taste of the chocolate even more!

    • Morizou

      The answer can be found in Barb Stuckey’s Taste What You’re Missing: The Passionate Eater’s Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good. (It has something to do with taste receptors in our mouths and the way different flavors are perceived–a similar principle exists behind why adding just a touch of salt can bring out the sweetness of things instead of making them taste salty. Actually, there’s a hypothesis from Jennifer Stamps [University of Florida] about cayenne in particular: “adding the tactile burn of capsaicin [an irritating alkaloid present in the capsicum pepper] at a level below which it is detectable may increase mouth-smelling and, therefore, overall flavor perception and ultimately the enjoyment of food. The cayenne stimulates the touch nerve”–so the sensation of cayenne pepper is one of feeling, not just tasting. You’re making the taste experience more nuanced when you add just a dash of cayenne.)

  • yoko

    this reminds me of a similar cookie i baked a while ago, except with white chocolate chunks & dried cranberries..a splash of bourbon to make it more “interesting” :)

  • Alison

    Dee-licious! ;)

  • Donna Schilling

    For the chocolate chunk cookies, I was wondering if the chocolate bar’s are the ‘thicker’ version of the bar, or the original ‘thin’ version? I understand the required 2 cups, but does the “thickness” of the chocolate matter? Is thicker better?
    Thanks Much, Can’t wait to make them.

    • Elise Bauer

      I used regular thin bars. I would estimate 9 ounces, whether thick or thin, and go from there. They usually give the weights on the chocolate bar packages.

  • Belinda @themoonblushbaker

    I always use real chocolate bars in my cookies. I only use chips if I want to sprinkle them on the top.got to love the melting goodness