Small Batch Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This Small Batch Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe makes 13 bakery-style cookies that are soft, chewy and loaded with delicious caramel flavors. These cookies don't need a mixer (just your gorgeous arms and a whisk) and are ready in under 45 minutes. They also freeze perfect for cookie emergencies -- details below!
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Can I say these are The Best Small Batch Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies? Yes, yes I can.

To say I love chocolate chip cookies is the great understatement of the century. I LOVE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. I devoted an entire chapter of The Cookie Book to chocolate chip cookies and there are over a dozen recipes here on the site.

I was recently updating these Brown Butter Muscovado Chocolate Chip Cookies (the second most popular recipe on DisplacedHousewife!) and I realized that we need a pared down, simpler version of this mega fab recipe. Stat. And that’s this cookie!

There is also a How to Make Perfect Brown Butter tutorial in case you’re new to brown butter or would like a refresher!

The Baker’s Guide to Measuring Flour

One of the biggest (and most common) mistakes in baking is how we measure flour. If you find yourself without a scale, see my top tips on how to properly measure flour for the perfect amount every time!

What Makes this Small Batch
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Fabulous?

  • These cookies are super chewy and super soft
  • This small-batch recipe makes only 13, large, bakery-style cookies
  • The recipe is super easy and doesn’t need a mixer
  • Only basic baking ingredients: butter, sunflower/grapeseed/neutral oil, vanilla, egg, brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, all-purpose flour and chocolate 🥳
  • It can easily be doubled (to make 26 soft and chewy cookies)
  • The cookies are mixed + baked in under 45 minutes
  • The dough freezes like a dream!

A stack of chocolate chip cookies on a plate with a white background.

The Magic of Browning Butter

My number one (only?) reason for browning butter is that the flavor it imparts on baked goods is next level. Think of flavors like toffee and caramel being added to your cookie without actually adding toffee and caramel.

Browning butter only takes about 5 minutes, with an additional 5-ish minutes more for it to cool before using. It’s literally the only element keeping this from being a true, one-bowl recipe (because we need the saucepan for browning).

When browning butter, moisture in the butter evaporates. This is why I like to get in and brown my butter quick as the longer your saucepan is on the hot burner the more moisture will evaporate.

In this recipe, we start with 5 tablespoons (70 g) of butter. You’ll end up with around 55 g of butter once browned. I have you add 1 tablespoon (13 g) of water to the cookie dough to compensate for this moisture loss.

If you start with 5 tablespoons (70 g) of butter and follow my browning butter instructions below, I don’t think you need to then, again, weigh your brown butter (unless out of curiosity). But this is a good baking fact to stash away for all of your brown butter baking.

I have a full brown butter tutorial here!

A close up shot of a chocolate chip cookie with a bite out of it.

I used to be very into chilling my cookie dough. It really draws out some delicious caramel flavor and it makes for a cookie with more girth (as I like to say) ;). The flour has had time to absorb any excess moisture and it gives us a cookie with more structure.

I moved away from this because typically, when I want a cookie, I want a cookie right now. As soon as possible.

This cookie, however, needs a very short rest in the fridge. This is because we’re using brown butter which is liquid (along with some water + vanilla extract) in the cookie dough that results in a softer cookie dough base.

A short 20 minutes in the fridge really firms up this dough making it easier to scoop, as well as hold its shape while baking. Don’t skip this step!

A glass bowl of cookie dough with chocolate chips on top with a white background.

How To Make These Chocolate Chip Cookies

Below are step-by-step photos (with captions) to make your Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies perfect every time! My biggest tips are:

  • Browning Your Butter: When browning the butter, give it your undivided attention so you don’t burn it. Also make sure you give it a wee bit of time to cool down (about 5 minutes).
  • Chilling Your Dough: Don’t skip the 20 minute chill period in the fridge. The dough needs this to become easier to work with and so the cookies don’t spread too much.

That’s it! These cookies are so simple I can’t wait for you to try them!

STEP ONE: To the medium, heat-safe bowl that has your brown butter, add the oil, water, vanilla, egg and whisk until combined and the color has lightened, about 1 to 2 minutes.
STEP ONE: Then add in the brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisking to combine, about 1 minute. When done it will look like this.
STEP TWO: Fold in the flour until you still see streaks and it’s not completely combined and then add in the chocolate chunks, folding until evenly distributed throughout. Take care not to over mix. The dough will be soft at this point; cover with plastic and chill in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until firm.
STEP THREE: This is what it will look like post chill time; firmer, but not rock hard.
STEP THREE: Use a 3-tbsp cookie scoop.
STEP THREE: Place the dough balls about 2 1/2 inches (6.4 cm) apart to allow for spreading and bake in the center of a 350F (177C) oven for 12 minutes.
STEP FOUR: Let cool completely on the baking sheet for the best texture! Also, score, you don’t need to clean a cooling rack! xo

Why do you see butter and oil in the cookie dough?

I love to use butter for flavor. Using brown butter makes the butter component even more delicious. And then I add oil in to keep the cookies soft and moist. Melted (or brown) butter will firm up as it cools. Oil, however, is liquid and even when cool it stays in a liquid state.

These cookies, even after baking and cooling, will stay soft and oil is one of the components that makes that possible. Love.

Do I have to use chopped chocolate instead of chocolate chips?

Absolutely not! I tested and loved them with both. It’s your choice. I do think the cookies look prettier when chopped chocolate is used, which is why it’s that way in the photos.

Two stacks of brown butter chocolate chip cookies with a white background.

Tools for Making These Brown Butter
Chocolate Chip Cookies Fabulous

These are pretty fuss-free cookies to bake, these are my favorite tools:

I love this small, light-colored Williams-Sonoma sauce pan for browning butter.

These spoonulas from GIR are my absolute favorites right now (I love the soft blue).

My favorite nested, heat-safe bowls for any baking occasion! I love them so.

That beautiful Williams-Sonoma whisk with the wooden handle that’s in my videos. It’s so pretty. But when I’m being practical (and not making videos), this Material whisk is THE BOMB. I love their stuff!

Don’t forget my favorite scale. I wrote both of my books with this one, it will serve you well on your baking journey!

This 3-TBSP Cookie Scoop for easy portioning!

Choosing Chocolate For Your Cookies

For really delicious chocolate chips that you can get at the grocery store, you can’t go wrong with Ghirardelli. This particular Ghirardelli chocolate melts surprisingly well and tastes just delicious.

If I want to spend a little more on my chocolate I’ll opt for these Callebaut callets or this huge Callebaut block for chunks. These both melt beautifully and are so delicious in cookies!

I tested this recipe with all three chocolates listed. I used the Callebaut chocolate bar for the photos…I think that chocolate chunks look best in this cookie!

A very close up shot of one chocolate chip cookie on a white background.

More Chocolate Chip Cookie Vibes

As I mentioned, I love chocolate chip cookies! And if you love brown butter *and* chocolate chip cookies like I do, check out these Brown Butter Muscovado Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars and these Brown Butter Muscovado Chocolate Chip Cookie.

You can find all of my cookie recipes right here; make sure to check out these Brown Butter Snickerdoodles, Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies (they’re so good, one-bowl and ready in under 25 minutes!)! And these Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies!

If you’re digging small batch baking (love), then look at my favorite small-batch, one-bowl mega vanilla chocolate chip cookies. These cookies are minimal fuss and mega fabulous.

And if you’re looking for more cookie tips, check out my favorite cookie tips for perfect cookies every time!

A bunch of chocolate cookies on a white background with one with a bite out of it.

The Taste of This Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie

The combination of brown butter, brown sugar and vanilla are really what make this cookie shine. This trio effortlessly gives this cookie all of those flavors I was talking about earlier: toffee and caramel, without actually adding toffee and caramel.

Additionally, this recipe uses a full 1 tbsp (13 g) of real vanilla extract, which is a lot for a small-batch cookie recipe of this size. I started going bold with vanilla in this one-bowl, small-batch mega vanilla chocolate chip cookie recipe (ONE OF MY FAVS) and I’ve never looked back. It seems like a lot, but just trust me on this one!

Because the dough has such intoxicating flavor, I didn’t want to overpower it with too much chocolate. Chocolate is a really strong flavor and can sometimes overpower more subtle flavors. So I was a wee conservative in the amount of chocolate added.

The Texture of This Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie

The texture of this cookie is soft and chewy, full stop. It’s magical, really.

Want some more delicious cookies?

Try these Classic Super Soft Snickerdoodles (or these Brown Butter Snickerdoodles), these Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies or these Fudgy Brownie Cookies.

Let’s make some small batch brown butter chocolate chip cookies!

Rebecca Firth

One brown butter chocolate chip cookie on a white plate with a bite out of it.
A bunch of cookies against a white surface

Small Batch Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This Small Batch Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe makes 13 bakery-style cookies that are soft, chewy and loaded with delicious caramel flavors. These cookies don't need a mixer (just your gorgeous arms and a whisk) and are ready in under 45 minutes. They also freeze perfect for cookie emergencies — details below!
5 from 12 reviews
Print Save Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Cookies
Keyword: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brown Butter, Small Batch, One Bowl
Servings: 13 Cookies

Ingredients

  • 55 grams unsalted brown butter (about 5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter before browning)
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) sunflower or grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) water
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) real vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg (doesn't need to be room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup (147 g) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup (203 g) all-purpose flour (how to measure flour)
  • 3/4 cups (128 g) dark chocolate, (coarsely chopped)

Instructions

For the Brown Butter

  • Place 5 tablespoons (70 g) butter in a small sauce pan and melt over medium heat. Once melted, crank up the heat to medium high. Stand by, continuously stirring and watching. Small golden bits will start to settle on the bottom of the pan. Once this happens, take it off the heat and pour into a medium, heat-safe bowl to cool until closer to room temperature, but still liquid.
    (For more details on browning butter, check out my How to Perfectly Brown Butter tutorial)

For the Cookie Dough

  • Once the butter has cooled, add the sunflower oil, water, vanilla and egg and whisk until completely combined and the color has lightened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisking to combine, about 1 minute. Grab a spatula and fold in the flour until just combined and you still see small streaks of flour. Lastly, add in the chocolate chips and fold into the dough until evenly distributed. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the dough and stash in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Cover your baking sheets with either parchment paper. Place 3 tablespoons of dough on the prepared baking sheet leaving about 2 1/2-inches (6.4-cm) between dough balls.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 12 minutes or until golden around the edges and slightly underbaked in the center. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes (optional) and let cool completely on the baking sheet before serving.
    A bunch of cookies against a white surface

Video

Notes

If You Want to Make Smaller Cookies

You can also make the cookies 2 tbsp each; this will yield about 17 cookies.

A Note About Chocolate

A quick reminder that ‘dark chocolate’ covers everything from semi-sweet to bittersweet. Unless I specifically list bittersweet or semi-sweet, it’s up to you! I link to my favorite chocolates in Tools for Making These Cookies Fabulous section.
Also, candy/candy bar friends…my favorite way to elevate cookies is by adding chopped up cookie bars instead of chips or chocolate chunks. Seattle Chocolate Company has some great flavors!

Storing Cookie Dough

Wrapped tightly and stored in an air-tight container,  cookie dough can hang in the fridge for up to three  days.

Freezing Cookie Dough

For long-term storage wrap the entire lump of cookie dough tightly (in plastic wrap, ideally) and then stash in an air-tight container.
For short-term storage (I’m talking about wanting to have a fresh cookie (or two) every night after dinner), freeze the cookie dough  balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once frozen, after several hours, stash in an air-tight container. When baking, they  can go straight from the freezer to the oven, just tack on a few extra minutes to the bake time. This will result in a puffier cookie.
If you want the cookies to look similar the photos here, then let the dough come close to room temperature (just sitting out while you pre-heat the oven is fine). Add 1 to 2 minutes bake time if the dough still has a slight chill.

Want More Than Chocolate in Your Cookie?

This recipe calls for 3/4 cup (128 g) of chocolate chunks/chips. If you want to add in nuts or dried fruit that’s fine, just make sure the combined amount of the chocolate + nuts/dried fruit doesn’t exceed 3/4 cup (128 g).

Want More Cookie Tips?

Head over to My 10 Favorite Tips for Better Cookies!

Need a Brown Butter refresher? 

Check out my How to Make Perfect Brown Butter tutorial!
Thanks for baking with me! Please rate + comment this recipe and tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo

Comments

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Recipe Rating




24 Comments

  • LG August 23, 2023 at 11:25 AM

    Love the recipe but this website has more pop ups and ads than those porn sites everyone warns people about. Get tha t money I guess

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth August 23, 2023 at 4:09 PM

      Hey LG!
      I offer free recipes to the public and ads are how I get paid. It takes a lot of time, money and resources to produce original, delicious sweet recipes (recipe testing, photography, videography, seo, content writing, marketing, business stuff). Not to mention the team behind-the-scenes that I pay to help with tech, seo, email marketing and brand management.

      I can’t speak for porn sites lol.

      You can always print the recipe, if that’s easier.

      And these cookies are delish because I put a lot of time and energy into making them fabulous! xox

      PS Love when someone leaves a snarky comment with a fake email. Cheers!

      Reply
  • Codruta August 16, 2023 at 6:35 PM

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Excellent! Thank you for sharing! Easy to make! I made them Saturday, baked half on Sunday, froze the rest!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth August 16, 2023 at 9:10 PM

      So happy you loved them!!! I have some in my freezer right now too—the best!! xox

      Reply
  • Lanelle Neumann August 16, 2023 at 6:32 PM

    5 stars
    This is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. Soooooo good! Never fails! Even my 10yr old son uses the recipe when he is craving a cookie! Love this recipe!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth August 16, 2023 at 9:09 PM

      That makes me sooo happy!!!!! And he’s a cookie prodigy!!!! xox

      Reply
  • Sally August 16, 2023 at 3:22 PM

    5 stars
    Pass the cookies please!

    Reply
  • Diane July 17, 2023 at 5:16 AM

    5 stars
    Best cookies!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth July 19, 2023 at 2:56 PM

      Thank you Diane!! I love hearing that!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Anne Marie Mertz May 3, 2023 at 7:14 AM

    Can I use canola oil I place of grapeseed of sunflower

    Reply
  • Sidesist March 14, 2023 at 1:30 AM

    5 stars
    These cookies were great and delicious as you said! I shared them at work and everyone loved them!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth March 14, 2023 at 10:15 AM

      I’m so glad everyone loved them, they’re my new favs!! xox

      Reply
  • Gloria March 1, 2023 at 11:53 PM

    5 stars
    These are absolutely delicious! They came together quickly, even with the resting time in the fridge. I typically shy away from recipes that call for resting the dough because I want cookies *now* buuuut I trust Becky’s recipes and just went with it. While the dough rested, I preheated the oven and viola. Felt like no time was wasted. Give these a try. They’re a perfect chocolate chip cookie!!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth March 7, 2023 at 11:54 AM

      Aw thanks Gloria! I’m so happy you liked them!! I’m the same…if possible I don’t want any rest time!! I feel like it goes quick as well and it’s just enough time to let the dough firm up a bit. I love this cookie SO MUCH! So happy you do too!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Simone Shelton February 25, 2023 at 6:28 AM

    5 stars
    These sound AHmazing and I would love to give them a try for an event coming up soon but I’m a bit concerned about doubling the recipe…ie it’ll be 3cups of flour is that okay? I want to get your opinion before I just go doubling your tested recipe.
    Thank you very much♥️

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth February 25, 2023 at 7:21 AM

      One more note: These are large cookies (3 tablespoons of dough in each one); which is why the flour for a double batch might seem like a lot for 26 cookies. If you use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop you would have more cookies and the measurements would line up with a typical chocolate chip cookie recipe. Enjoy!! xx

      Reply
  • Sam February 22, 2023 at 9:13 PM

    5 stars
    I made after work and they are too good. Might double next time so I have more!!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth February 23, 2023 at 12:47 PM

      Hi Sam! I’m so happy to hear it! xoxo

      Reply
  • Michelle February 22, 2023 at 4:51 PM

    Love small batch recipes! Do you have an estimated baking time for the smaller, 2 TBSP sized cookies?

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth February 22, 2023 at 6:05 PM

      Hi Michelle! Ditto! When I was testing the 2 tbsp cookie I was baking it for 11 minutes. Let me know if you have any other questions! xo

      Reply
  • Sally February 22, 2023 at 2:48 PM

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try these. They look and sound delicious!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth February 22, 2023 at 4:01 PM

      They’re so good! You will love them! xo

      Reply