4.85 from 52 reviews

Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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My Brown Butter Cookies made with chocolate chunks (or you can use chocolate chips, but I highly recommend the chunks!) have a rich, caramel-like, nutty flavor. They’re made with generous pockets of semi sweet chocolate in the cookie and more melty chocolate goodness on top!

They are thin, but not too thin, super chewy and have this wonderful depth of flavor thanks to the brown butter.

If you don’t want to fuss with browning butter, you’ll love my classic Kroll’s Kookies, my 4-in-1 Sheet Pan Cookies, or my Single Serve Chocolate Chip Cookie.

But the brown butter is really what helps make these cookies stand out. It only takes a few extra minutes to brown butter and the results truly create an exceptional and irresistible cookie.

cookies made with brown butter and semi sweet chocolate chunks topped with flaky sea salt.

What is brown butter?

Brown butter is simply taking a stick of regular butter and then melting and toasting it on the stove until the milk solids turn brown. The butter simply gets heated until the water content evaporates, and those milk solids in the butter caramelize! The end result is magical, nutty, heavenly brown butter. Once you start baking with brown butter you won’t be able to stop! More details down below on how to brown butter.

brown butter in a large glass bowl.

How to make brown butter

It may sound intimidating, but it’s really easy, only takes a few minutes and is the backbone of these cookies. The nutty flavor compliments the cookie beautifully and I love it’s culinary use in baking so much! Let’s do it: 

  1. Use a stainless steel skillet. This is best to easily monitor the butter’s color and gauge when the butter has browned. 
  2. Place the unsalted butter in the cold, stainless steel skillet. Unsalted is truly best because salted butter foams more. 
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally to help the butter melt evenly. As the butter melts, it separates into butter fat and milk solids. The milk solids will naturally sink to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown as they heat up. 
  4. You’ll notice the butter begin to foam. This is good! The foam will begin to subside. 
  5. Use a heat resistant spatula to continually gently stir the butter. You’ll begin to see tiny specks at the bottom of the pan, constantly stir and scrape so these don’t stick. (These are the milk solids that give brown butter its yummy flavor.)
  6. As soon as the butter turns chestnut brown and omits a nutty aroma, remove the pan from the heat and scrape the brown butter and all of the yummy brown bits into a heat proof bowl. It’s important to remove to a bowl immediately so the residual heat from the pan doesn’t burn the butter.
  7. Depending on your heat setting, this process should only take less than 10 minutes. 

Why this recipe works

  • Just a touch of milk in the cookie dough batter helps keep these cookies moist and hydrates the starches in the flour.
  • No chill time required!
  • The brown butter enhances the flavor profile and adds depth and complexity to the cookies. This helps make them more interesting and indulgent than other cookies!
  • These cookies are a bit more dense thanks to the brown butter and super chewy!
all of the ingredients to make brown butter cookies in small glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

For the ingredient measurements and entire recipe, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the blog post where the recipe card is located.

  • All-Purpose Flour: All Purpose Flour provides a delicious texture and gives the cookies the perfect chewiness you love.
  • Semi sweet chocolate bars: I like to use Ghirardelli.
  • Unsalted Butter: The biggest benefit of unsalted butter lets you control the overall flavor of your cookies, plus we’re really focusing on the nutty brown butter in these cookies.
  • Brown Sugar: I use dark brown sugar, but you can easily substitute light brown sugar.
  • Granulated Sugar: granulated sugar adds to the crispiness of the cookie, and makes for a lighter colored cookie.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla is a must in cookies, it adds a complex and subtle spice, and I always recommend using real vanilla extract.
  • Egg & 1 egg yolk: The protein in eggs adds to a chewy texture, so adding an extra yolk, gives the cookie the extra chewiness that makes these cookies perfect.
  • Milk: like I mentioned above, just a touch of milk in the cookie dough batter helps keep these cookies moist and hydrates the starches in the flour.
chocolate chunks being poured into the cookie dough in a large glass bowl.
a womans hand dunking a cookie dough ball into chocolate chunks.

For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the blog post to the recipe card.

  1. Brown the butter then set aside in a bowl to cool slightly.
  2. Beat in the sugars then add the eggs, milk and vanilla.
  3. Sift in the dry ingredients and fold to combine.
  4. Add 3/4 cup of the chocolate chunks.
  5. Scoop into balls, add more chunks on top, and bake!
a close up image of a cookie dough ball with chocolate chunks pressed on top.
a freshly baked cookie with chocolate chunks and flaky sea salt on top.

Tips to make brown butter

  • Use Unsalted Butter: Start with unsalted butter to have control over the final saltiness of your dish. You can always add salt later to the cookie dough to taste.
  • Choose a Light-Colored Pan: Opt for a light-colored or stainless steel pan to help you monitor the color of the butter as it browns. Avoid using a dark-colored pan, as it can make it challenging to gauge the color accurately.
  • Cut Butter Uniformly: Cut the butter into evenly sized pieces. Smaller pieces melt and brown more evenly. I usually cut the butter in tablespoon sized pieces.
  • Low to Medium Heat: Start with low to medium heat to melt the butter slowly. This gives you better control over the browning process and reduces the risk of burning.
  • Stir Constantly: Stir the butter continuously with a heat-resistant spatula or whisk. This keeps the milk solids in motion, preventing them from sticking to the bottom of the pan and promoting even browning.
freshly baked cookies with chocolate and sea salt on top.
  • Watch for Foam and Bubbles: As the butter melts, it will foam and bubble. Continue stirring as the foam subsides and you start to see golden specks at the bottom of the pan. These specks are the browned milk solids.
  • Smell the Aroma: Pay attention to the scent of the butter. When it’s close to being browned, it will develop a nutty aroma. This is a good indicator of its progress.
  • Remove from Heat Promptly: As soon as the butter reaches a rich golden brown color and has a nutty scent, remove it from the heat. The browning process can happen quickly, so be attentive to avoid burning.
  • Transfer Immediately: To prevent carryover cooking (which can lead to over-browning or burning), transfer the browned butter to a heatproof bowl as soon as it’s ready. Leaving it in the hot pan can cause it to continue cooking.
stacked cooked with the top cookie showing off the gooey moist center.

Variations

  1. Toasted Nuts: Add toasted and chopped nuts like pecans, walnuts, or almonds to your cookie dough for added crunch and flavor.
  2. Coconut: Incorporate shredded coconut into the dough for a tropical twist. You can use sweetened or unsweetened, depending on your preference.
  3. Caramel Bits: Fold in caramel bits or pieces for a gooey caramel surprise in each bite.
  4. Dried Fruit: Mix in dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, or chopped apricots for a chewy and fruity addition.
  5. Spices: Add warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to the dough for a cozy, spiced cookie.
  6. Chocolate Variety: Experiment with different types of chocolate chips or chunks, such as dark chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch chips, or even chunks of your favorite chocolate bars.
  7. Citrus Zest: Add citrus zest, such as orange or lemon, to brighten up the flavors and complement the richness of the brown butter.
  8. Espresso Powder: Incorporate a small amount of espresso powder to intensify the chocolate flavor and add a hint of coffee.
a chocolate chip cookie with flaky sea salt on top.

Storage and Freezing

  • Store these brown butter cookies in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  • To freeze the cookie dough, scoop the dough into 2 Tbsp. balls, press the chocolate pieces on top and freeze in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You can bake the frozen cookie dough from frozen, just add an extra minute or so to your bake time. Ovens vary. 
  • Make Ahead: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2–3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue to bake as directed.

Flaky sea salt on top of cookies...yay or nay?

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

4.85 from 52 reviews

Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 22 cookies
My Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk cookies have the perfect balance of slightly crispy edges and super soft, tender, and chewy centers. I love how the brown butter contributes to the nutty caramel notes and gives the cookies a slight denseness, which makes the cookies have a satisfying, substantial texture. You've love the semi sweet chocolate chunks in each bite and how the flaky salt adds a delicate crunch and burst of saltiness.

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter (cut into pieces (this helps it melt evenly and brown better))
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed (light brown will be ok too)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
  • 2 Tbsp. whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2, 4 oz. bars semi sweet chocolate, chopped, divided
  • flaky sea salt, for finishing

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  • Brown the butter: In a stainless steel skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirl the pan occasionally to help the butter melt evenly. The butter will begin to foam, and then the foam will begin to subside and you’ll start to see tiny specks at the bottom of the pan, stir with a heat resistant spatula or wooden spoon and constantly stir and scrape so milk solids that are browning don’t stick. (These are what give brown butter its yummy flavor.) As soon as the butter turns chestnut brown and omits a nutty aroma, remove the pan from the heat and scrape the brown butter and all of the delish brown bits into a heat proof bowl. It’s important to remove to a bowl immediately so the residual heat from the pan doesn’t burn the butter. Allow the butter to cool slightly, ~10-15 minutes. 
    12 Tbsp. unsalted butter
    brown butter in a glass bowl.
  • Beat in the sugars into the brown butter using a hand mixer. 
    1 cup dark brown sugar, packed, 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Add in eggs, milk and vanilla. Beat again.
    1 large egg, 1 large egg yolk, 2 Tbsp. whole milk, 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and fold just until combined. (Keep stirring, the cookie dough will come together!)
    2 2/3 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • Fold in only 3/4 cup of the chocolate chunks (we will use the rest of the chunks to decorate the tops). Dough should feel like cookie dough, if it feels dry still add a splash more milk and stir to combine. 
    2, 4 oz. bars semi sweet chocolate, chopped, divided
  • Dunk a cookie dough ball in the remaining chopped chocolate so the pieces cover the tops of the cookie dough balls. Press chocolate into cookie slightly just to be sure it sticks. You can slightly flatten them to get a good surface so the chocolate sticks if thats easier! Repeat with remaining cookie dough balls and place 6 cookies on a baking sheet at a time. (Should yield ~22 cookies)
    cookie dough on parchment paper with chocolate chunks on top.
  • Bake for 10-11 minutes (I like to go slightly underbaked for a delicious chewy cookie, the edges should be a light golden brown and centers still a little gooey looking, they will continue to bake on baking sheet when removed from oven).  Swirl a cup around the edges of the cookies to give them a perfect circular look if needed.
    freshly baked cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Rest on cookie sheet just 2-3 minutes then gently transfer to a cooling rack to cool and garnish with flaky sea salt if desired. 
    cookies made with chocolate chunks and flaky sea salt on top.

Video

Notes

Storage: Store these brown butter cookies in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 177kcal (9%), Carbohydrates: 26g (9%), Protein: 2g (4%), Fat: 7g (11%), Saturated Fat: 4g (25%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 34mg (11%), Sodium: 168mg (7%), Potassium: 39mg (1%), Fiber: 0.4g (2%), Sugar: 14g (16%), Vitamin A: 227IU (5%), Calcium: 23mg (2%), Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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4.85 from 52 votes (24 ratings without comment)
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Gillian

This recipe is delicious and the flavour with the brown butter is so yummy! I’ve used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of bars and it works just the same. The only thing is that this recipe is really dry and hard to mix properly, next time I might add some more milk to see how that helps. I’ve also noticed they don’t spread much so I’ve been shaping them into little pucks instead of balls and that has helped. Overall 10/10

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Dulce

Delicious cookies! Super easy and quick to make!

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Kim

10/10!! These are quite possibly the best cookies I have ever made! I am always searching for a great chocolate chip cookie recipe, and this one knocks it out of the park! It’s honestly, the brown butter and the little bit of salt on top that makes these so amazing. I’ll be making these again❤️

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Jolene

100/10 the best chocolate chip cookie EVA!! And I’ve made many over the years. Super easy to prep and bake. I like how I don’t have to set in fridge prior. I got 14, 3oz cookies 😂 I wanted big ones! I used almost 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips. The taste of the browned butter with a little chewy interior and semi crunchie exterior. Chefs kiss 🤌thank you for a fabulous CCC recipe.

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Jennifer

These are honestly the best cookies I have ever made! I lost rack of the recipe and tried a similar one instead- it was not nearly as good! I am so excited that I found it again and cannot wait to make them.

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Jessalyn

If I wanted to make these double chocolate chip cookies, how much cocoa powder and/or melted chocolate would I add to the cookie dough?

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Holli

These cookies are amazing and definitely the best cookie I’ve ever had/made! I followed the recipe exactly and they came out perfect. I’ve already sent the recipe the my family and friends 😂

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Kendall

As my husband said after his first bite, ‘these are dangerous’. My only regret in making them is that the two of us may eat every single one of them. I’ve baked lots of cookies and tried many recipes, but so far nothing has topped this. The recipe was incredibly clear to follow, and fool proof on the first try! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe! I can’t wait to make these for our upcoming family gatherings.

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Carly Shaw

I followed this recipe to a T and this is one of the best chocolate chip/chunk cookies I have ever had! I really think the brown butter and dark brown sugar took the flavor of this cookie to a new level! I used a #60 cookie scoop and baked for 10 minutes. I LOVE an underbaked chewy cookie so next time I might underbake them a little more at 9 minutes. 11/10 highly recommend!!

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Last edited Posted: 4 months ago by Carly Shaw
Allesandra

Literally one of the best cookies I’ve ever had in my entire life, and definitely in my top 5 favorite recipes of all time! I’ve worked in 3 bakeries and bake from
home daily as well, and I’m always categorizing recipes as either good (really wouldn’t make again) or great. This was definitely great. Everything I wanted and more! I’ve had other brown butter cookies and the flavor just falls short, all of them have been unimpressive. This was a show stopper! Thank you!

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