The recipe for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt was originally created for my Dad. He is a simple meat and potatoes man. Meaning, he doesn’t like his food served with fuss or pompousness. So, for his birthday I knew I needed to bake him something simple but substantial.
There is no cookie more beloved than a basic Chocolate Chip Cookie. Naturally, it’s a fitting cookie for him. I often opt for some kind of chewy oatmeal cookie, like my Almond Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies or Salted Peanut Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies. But for my Dad, I decided to keep it simple and play with a classic. Like magic, these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt instantly became his favorite cookie recipe. And they my most commonly baked cookie recipe on the blog!
The original Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe dates back to the 1930s.
It’s fun to read about the history of the first Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. The story goes, Ruth Wakefield accidentally invented the original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in the 1939. Apparently, she decided to add broken bits and pieces of semi-sweet chocolate into a cookie recipe on whim.
Obviously it turned into an undeniably delicious thing and the original Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe was born! How lucky are we? Chocolate Chip Cookies will always be an American gem. They’ve already been loved and shared amongst friends and family for the better party of a century.
This recipe for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt is something special.
Most people have strong opinions on who makes the best Chocolate Chip Cookies, often stemming from memories of their Grandmother’s cookie jar. I totally get it. I find it inspiring that there are so many varying versions of the common Chocolate Chip Cookie. This recipe for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt has become a game changer in my baking repertoire. And a beloved favorite among my friends and family. I hope you might start incorporating it into your CCC rotation too!
I didn’t want to stray too far from the basic Toll House classic recipe, much respect for the cookie OG, Mrs. Wakefield. However, I did add some moderns twist to the historic treasure. Nothing too wild, just a few fun alterations to enhance classic Chocolate Chippers.
Key ingredients give these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt their crave-worthy character.
- Browned butter adds a nutty, rich depth and complexity to the basic Chocolate Chip Cookie dough. It also helps to keep the cookies soft and velvety for many days after baking.
- Brown sugar also lends to the chewy texture in these cookies. This recipe uses a blend of white and brown sugar for a balance in structure and softness.
- Dark chocolate and milk chocolate chips layer in dimension. The mix of both types of chocolate add more flavor and a variety of texture to the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. The dark chocolate melts into cocoa rich pools while the milk chocolate adds a malty milky lighter chocolate to the mix.
- Sea salt flakes sprinkled onto the cookies after baking sticks to the melted chocolate while it’s still warm and gooey. That briney punch of sea salt flakes adds a crunchy finish while enhancing the warm browned butter and rich chocolate flavors. It may seem strange counterintuitive but the salt really allows the other flavors to shine!
Everyone loves a good Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!
While developing this recipe, I made 3 batches in 3 days. People went bananas for these cookies! Which just goes to show ya, everyone loves a good chocolate chip cookie recipe. Whether it’s the standard or something with a few modern modifications, like my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt.
Browning the butter properly is key to the success of this Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. If you aren’t familiar with the process of browning butter, it’s fairly easy. I’ve laid it all out below for you. You can use brown butter method incorporating browned butter in baked goods or use it in cooking as well. My Browned Butter Mizithra Dunderi with Red Sauce is a great way to enjoy brown butter in a savory dish.
Tips for properly browning butter.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is browning evenly.
- The color of the butter will start to turn from yellow to a deeper golden color.
- Toasty bits will start forming around the edges of the pan.
- A nutty aroma will fill the air. This is a sign the butter is getting close to being browned.
- The butter will foam up. This happens just before you need to pull it from the heat.
- If you listen carefully, you will notice the sounds of sizzles and snaps dampen as the butter begins to foam up.
- As soon as you see all of these signs, pull that pan off the heat to avoid burning the butter!
Based on this text from my Dad, they were a hit with him (woohoo!). It just goes to show you, the classics are timeless and popular for a reason. It makes my heart so happy to share these Game Changer: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt with my Dad and I will continue to send them every year on his birthday.
This is text is not a joke, he literally used his birthday gift certificate to purchase chicken manure for my Mom’s garden. I don’t get many texts from his, so I know he truly enjoyed the cookies.Print
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 30
Soft and chewy brown butter chocolate chip cookies lightly sprinkled with coarse sea salt. These will change your chocolate chip cookie game.
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) (- softened)
- 1 cup light brown sugar (- lightly packed)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs (- at room temperature)
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt or sea salt flakes for sprinkling
- Begin by browning the butter. Add 1/2 cup (1 stick) of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly. Keep swirling or stirring the butter in the pan. It will start to turn from yellow to a deeper golden color and toasty bits will start forming around the edges. When the butter begins to foam up and give off a nutty aroma, the brown bits will start to really show up. Take it off the heat immediately to avoid burning. Pour the butter and scrape the browned bits into a heatproof bowl or liquid measuring cup to cool down while you prepare the other ingredients. Stick it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
- In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the remaining 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.
- Slowly add the cooled brown butter. You don't want the brown butter too warm or it will melt the sugars prematurely and make for thin cookies. Mix on medium speed for another 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low, carefully add the eggs, one at a time. Followed by the vanilla and mix for another minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl thoroughly.
- Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and blend on low until the flour is just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Line cookie sheets with Silpat mats or parchment paper. Scoop cookies with a 2 TB sized cookie scoop. Place closely, in rows, on one of the lined baking sheets. Cover and chill the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 20-30 minutes. This helps keep the cookies from spreading when they bake.
- Once the cookies have chilled, preheat the oven to 350° F. Place chilled cookie dough balls, 2" apart on lined baking sheets. And bake 2 sheets at a time.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of dough balls and your oven. Rotate the trays halfway through bake time.
- While the cookies are still hot and the chocolate is still melty, sprinkle with sea salt or sea salt flakes. Allow to cool on the trays for a few minutes. Transfer to cooling racks to finish cooling.
*Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can also store in an airtight container and refrigerate the dough for up to 5 days or freeze and bake more as needed. When baking from frozen, go straight from freezer to oven. You may need to bake for an additional minute or two.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
I’ve never enjoyed baking – I’m much better with savory cooking but for some reason I had a “hankerin'” – that’s Southern for desire – to make some cookies with my 5 yr old grandson. They were amazingly delicious. He loved them and his mother said they were the best CC cookies she’d ever had – hands down. Guess I’ll be doing more baking! Thanks so much!
Hi Diane! This comment made my night. So glad you and your family enjoyed the cookies and the time you spent baking them. You always gotta listen to those “hankerins”. 😀
These were hands down the best cookies I’ve ever baked and/or eaten. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe forever. I have thrown out every other recipe for CCs!
Hi Amber, I am glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe so much. It’s one of my favorites too. Keep baking the goods!
I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a bit and decided this morning was the day I try it as I wanted to bring in an office treat at my new job- and boy was it a HIT! They flew out so fast and I heard nothing but compliments and even a few were even bummed that they were all gone before they could get their hands on them.
Thank u and I really appreciated the very thorough baking instructions and tips!
Yay! So glad you and (most of) your coworkers enjoyed them. Glad to know the instructions and tips were helpful too.
they look yummy!
Thanks Dina. 🙂
These cookies are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I’d never browned butter before, and was amazed by how it takes chocolate cookies to the next level. A mix of milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips was also nice. Oh, and the wide-mouth mason jars – LOVE that idea!
Hi Teresa, so glad you enjoyed the recipe. It’s amazing how much depth the brown butter adds to simple chocolate chip cookies. I too like the mix of dark and milk chocolate chips, that’s a tip I picked up from The Grand Central Baking Book by Piper Davis, I highly recommend this book. Mason jars are my favorite packing material. 🙂
Hello, Becky! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe – I made them this week and made enough for about 60 people. I gave this away as Christmas gifts and everyone loved them. This recipe is for keeps! Thanks again and happy holidays!
Hi Patti! Hooray, I’m so glad to hear this! Hope you have the happiest of holidays. 😀
Jacqueline Paishon says
Looks like a great recipe, however in your instructions you say now is a good time to preheat the oven then say to put the dough in the fridge for 30 mins? OMG what a waste of electricity…. I would change that part to preheat oven which actually for cookies really does not need preheating to when your going to scoop them onto the cookie sheets
Thanks for catching that, Jacqueline. I have updated the recipe.
Easy to follow and make. Taste is better then a regular chocolate chip cookie.
Glad you liked the recipe Sharon. Thanks 😀
I love this recipe so much! Anyone know if chilling the dough overnight causes any problems?
Hi Jen! I have chilled the dough overnight many times and I still get delicious cookies the next day. My only suggestion would be to let the dough rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before baking to keep the cookies from baking inconsistently. Let me know if it works for you!
Becky Sue says
Hi Jen, I have chilled these overnight on multiple occasions and they turn out just as good the next day. Just be sure to let the dough rest at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes before baking them so the dough will cook evenly throughout.
Thanks. I ended up trying it and you’re exactly right. The first batch crumbled and was weird after the dough got to room temp they cooked better…. The crumbs still tasted good though! Haha 🙂
Becky Sue says
Mmmmm cookie crumbles. ;-D
Becky Sue says
Somehow I missed this pic from you, sorry. These are gorgeous! I want to dive right into this image and eat all of these cookies right now! Yummmmm.
I am just wondering how big/wide the cookie dough was before you put it in the oven so that they came out to fit into wide-mouth mason jars? Did you underbake them at all so that they don’t overcrisp as they are cooling? Thanks!
Becky Sue says
I am not entirely sure but I think I probably used a small 1 tablespoon sized cookie scoop. I enjoy a soft and chewy cookie so I tend to bake them less than some folks. And yes, they will definitely continue to cook while cooling on the cookie sheets. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.
Thank you for sharing! I baked a batch last weekend and my hubby raved about them!
These are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had, and this recipe has been my go-to recipe since I found it a year ago. Every time I take these cookies somewhere, they sit around unassumingly for a while until the first person tastes out, flips out, and then they’re gone within minutes. I’m about to bake them now for a holiday potluck tomorrow.
Hi Jennifer, this warms my heart to read. I love that this is your go-to recipe, it’s mine too! Thank you so much for the comment, it truly made my day. Keep on baking the goods!
This is seriously my go-to recipe now! These came out a success for me and it was my first browned butter recipe 😀 I loved them and my boyfriend loved them, who says it’s one of the best things I’ve ever made. Even my dad who doesn’t enjoy cookies very much because they tend to be too sweet, liked them, which is saying A LOT! THANK YOU.
Wow Natasha, what an amazing comment to wake up and read! I am so happy you found the recipe and have adopted it as your go-to! Now that you’re comfortable browning butter you can start experimenting with it on other recipes, it’s especially good on pasta with sage and a salty, crumbly cheese. 🙂
These sound amazing! I was wondering if I could scoop them out, freeze the dough, then bake later? I have a big function coming up and this would be a huge timesaver! How long do you think I should set them out of freezer before baking? I’m going to do a test batch tomorrow, yum!
Hi Laurel. You can absolutely scoop, freeze and bake later! You should be able to go straight from the freezer to oven but it may require a couple/few minutes of additional bake time. I would allow the cookies to defrost (at room temp) while the oven preheats. Here are some tips on freezing cookies from The Kitchn. You can also defrost the cookies in the fridge for a few hours before baking, I do this sometimes because I think they bake up more evenly than frozen dough. I hope this helps! Enjoy the recipe and let me know how things turn out. 🙂
Hello! I recently found your blog after searching for a new chocolate chip cookie recipe to try. I’ve gone through quite a few and none have quite captured that Tollhouse flavor I loved as a kid. These are literally the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made! Crisp at the edges, chewy yet not cakey, sweet with a hint of salt – perfect! The brown butter really is what gives them the flavor I’ve been missing in every other recipe I’ve tried. (It was hard to not eat all the dough on its own, yum!) I also used just a little over a tsp. of large flake kosher salt to really emphasize the sweet and salty taste. This will be my go-to recipe from now on. Thank you so much!! ^_^
Hi Ash! I am so glad to hear you found your go-to recipe! It makes me smile knowing that it brings smiles to you and yours. The brown butter is key, you’re right! Salt it up, I usually get pretty liberal with the salt…it just goes so well with the dark chocolate and brown butter. Keep on baking the goods. 😀
Amazing cookie recipe!!!
Thanks for the sweet comment, Amina! I am glad you like the recipe. 🙂
All I have to say is that this is the most “PERFECT” chocolate chip cookie recipe ever! (just make sure you follow each step exactly as stated) YUM!! 🙂
Wow! “PERFECT” What an honor! So glad you like the recipe and enjoy these cookies as much as I do. 🙂
Mmmhmm. That’s right. :nods head:
If cookies were dinosaurs these would be the T-rex.
Ive been using this recipe for years and people love it. Many,many thanks.
Hi Brian! This comment might be my favorite comment of all time! Glad you like the recipe. Thanks for making me smile. 😀
No problem! Thanks for smiling at my super corny comment. The world needs more smiling these days.
I’m a single dad, and you’re recipes have changed my 8 yr old son’s opinion of my cooking/baking from “What are you forcing me to eat? Won’t this stunt my growth?” To “Sweet, Dad’s baking again.”
I’ve been able to bond with my boy over YOUR awesome site. So thanks for making my son and I smile together.
This is just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever read. I am so glad the two of you have bonded over baked goods. It’s amazing how much food and the experience of cooking and baking together brings people closer. You are building beautiful memories that will last a lifetime and will leave a lasting impression on the heart of your little guy. Lots of <3 to you and your son. 😀