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RECIPE: My Famous Brown-Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nothing unites us like food.

Food is a love language, and I love to cook and bake for my family and friends. Being English, I love a good cup of tea and often pair it with a homemade cookie. 

These brown butter cookies never last more than five minutes in my house. We had recently hosted a friend; we'd barely finished dinner before I was asked to whip up a batch of these.


Without further ado, here is my famous brown butter cookie recipe!



  • 113 g unsalted butter (8 tbsp.)

  • 100 g dark brown sugar* (½ cup)

  • 50 g granulated sugar (¼ cup)

  • One medium egg at room temperature

  • ½ tsp. vanilla

  • 160 g all-purpose flour (1 ⅓ cup)

  • ¾ tsp. baking powder

  • ¼ tsp. baking soda

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 150 g semi-sweet chocolate** (¾ cups + 2 tbsp.)


Feel free to adjust these measurements to your own taste! This is the recipe I started out with, and over the years, I've altered the measurements slightly, but starting with this recipe as a baseline will allow you to gain a sense of what you might like to change. 


For me, it’s always adding more vanilla! Like garlic, I measure vanilla with my heart!




  1. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, brown the butter. Stir the butter occasionally until it turns amber with brown flecks. 


This will take quite a while, but stick at it! Browning your butter gives the cookies a richer, nutty taste and makes your house smell amazing - but that’s just a bonus! 


Note that replacing room-temperature butter with brown butter is not a 1:1 swap. Water evaporates from the butter during the browning process, leading to a 10-20% total moisture loss. You will have a smaller volume of butter than you started with, and you should factor this into your recipe.


  1. Transfer the brown butter to a medium-sized mixing bowl and set it in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill or until you've weighed your sugar. 


This simple step allows the butter to cool and will stop the heat from cooking your egg later on! Believe me, scrambled egg cookies aren’t nearly as delicious…


  1. Once the butter has cooled down a bit, whisk in both sugars.


Why add two types of sugar? Well, each type of sugar balances the effects of the other. 


Brown sugar will produce a soft, chewy cookie. 


White sugar will produce crispier, shorter cookies. 


Part of the joy of a homemade cookie is the crunchy edges with the soft, chewy centre, and using both sugars helps to achieve this effect. 


Brown sugar also has a different taste than granulated or caster sugar, as brown sugar is made by combining white sugar and molasses, with 'light' and 'dark' brown sugars having different quantities. Molasses gives brown sugar its deep, almost caramel-like flavour and is incredible in baking.


You can make your own brown sugar at home by blending white sugar with molasses in a food processor or blender. Be sure to add small amounts at a time so that the molasses doesn’t clump together with the sugar. This method may be helpful if you're a frequent baker who either doesn't have time to visit the supermarket to buy brown sugar or just wants to get started straight away using ingredients you already have.


In short, mixing your sugars gives you the best of both worlds - and the best cookies!


  1. Whisk in the egg and vanilla until well combined.


If you love the look of a cookie with a crackled top, try whisking your egg, vanilla, and sugar until the mixture pales. I got this tip from Ash Baber, a hobby baker who shares his recipes on social media, and it really makes all the difference!


  1. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a rubber spatula to fold the mixture together just until a few flour streaks remain.


For instance, a rubber spatula will stop the mixture from sticking to your mixing utensil, as it would with a wooden spoon.


Mixing until just a few streaks remain prevents the mixture from becoming over-mixed, especially given that you’ll be adding chocolate chips and mixing again soon…


  1. Add in the chocolate and fold the mixture together just until no flour streaks remain.


Over-mixing at this stage risks adding too much air into your dough, which will cause your cookies to rise and fall flat as they bake. Cookies should not rise, hence the fact that there is no baking powder or soda in this recipe. 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.


For fan-assisted ovens, you can reduce this to around 320°F/160°C.


Preheating your oven too soon will cause your cookies to appear baked on the outside but remain raw on the inside, as your oven will be too hot. 


If you know that your oven heats up very quickly, you could always put your cookie dough in the fridge for ten to thirty minutes before baking, once divided into equal portions.


  1. Evenly space out the cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and top them with extra chocolate if desired. 


If you have a grease-proof or non-stick baking tray, you can skip the parchment paper.


  1. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to turn golden brown.


  1. Once baked, remove your cookies from the oven and, while hot, use a circular cookie-cutter or large mug with a diameter larger than your cookies and place it over the cookies. Swirl your cookie cutter gently around the edges of the cookie - this will give it a perfectly rounded shape.


At this stage, your cookies are ready to serve! I like to cool them in the fridge for thirty minutes to give them some stability and allow the centres to firm.  


And there you have it! These cookies are an absolute crowd-pleaser, and I love how versatile this recipe can be. This week, I used this dough as the base of a ‘brookie’ recipe I was baking - that’s a brownie with a cookie dough base!


Happy Baking!

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