Chocolate chip cookies don’t need to be dressed up to be delicious, especially when they are still slightly warm from the oven and the chocolate is melting. That said, a few simple changes can turn a batch of ordinary cookies into cookies into a recipe that is a lot more memorable. These Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of my favorite chocolate chip variations. They’re easy to make, with a great texture and a real depth of flavor. They’re also exceptionally addictive, which is always a plus in my book.
These cookies start with browned butter, one of the most delicious foods that you can have in your kitchen. I describe the process of making it in a saucepan below, but you can actually brown butter in the microwave if you don’t want to use the stovetop or don’t have any smallish pans available. The butter needs to be cooled before you can incorporate it in with the rest of the ingredients, however that will only take a few minutes, so you don’t need a lot of extra time to make a batch of these. The dough is fairly stiff and yields a cookie that is crisp on the edges with a dense, chewy center and plenty of chocolate chips. You’ll be able to taste the browned butter in every bite, but it doesn’t dominate the chocolate.
I used flaky Maldon sea salt to finish these cookies. The flakes are large and crispy, adding both salt and texture to the cookies. Any coarse salt will work, but I really recommend a flaky salt if you have one. If you are using a regular salt, you might have to be a little more generous with your salt sprinkling so that its flavor comes through. The cookies will keep well in an airtight container for a few days after baking and can be stored in the freezer if you want to keep them around longer!
Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp water
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 tsp coarse/flaky sea salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a small saucepan, brown the butter, cooking it over medium heat until it begins to turn a golden brown color and takes on a nutty smell, about 5 minutes. Pour butter into a large mixing bowl, scraping the browned bits out of the pan, and set aside to cool slightly.
When the butter is close to room temperature, whisk in sugars, egg, vanilla extract and water. Gradually blend in the flour mixture, followed by the chocolate chips. Dough will appear to be dry, but will come together in a nice stiff dough after about 1-2 minutes of mixing.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2-inches between each cookie to allow for spread. Flatten each ball very slightly (to make it easier for the salt to stick) and sprinkle a bit of salt on top of each cookie.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, until cookies are just turning golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.