Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
These brown butter and toffee chocolate chip cookies are the chocolate chip cookies you know and love, but LEVELED UP! First, the chocolate chip cookies are made with brown butter. The brown butter gives the cookies a rich, caramelized butter flavor distinct from regular butter. And instead of just plain old chocolate chips, the recipe uses chocolate fèves (bean-shaped wafers made out of fancy chocolate). The chocolate fèves melt into puddles throughout the cookie, layering every bite with chocolate. Finally, don’t forget the chopped-up toffee candy bars—they add extra flavor and crunch to the cookies!
Why You Should Make These Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
Here are all the reasons why you need to make these brown butter toffee cookies:
This brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe is internet famous.
Several years ago, Bon Appetit magazine hosted a contest soliciting their readers for their best recipes to feature in their magazine. One of the winning recipes was this brown butter and toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe from Kate Davis at Rage Bake. Her chocolate chip cookie recipe became the most popular recipe on their Instagram account and website in 2017.
This brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe is flexible and easy to customize with different types of chocolate.
Kate’s original recipe instructs readers to make the chocolate chip cookies with dark chocolate—in her blog post, she specifically recommends dark chocolate chunks. On the other hand, Rick Andrew Martinez of Bon Appetit advises folks to use very dark chocolate (at least 72% cacao) wafers (discs, or fèves like mine), describing his variation as the very best cookie ever. I rebelled against both and made them with MILK chocolate. Guess what? It was still delicious. It’s a testament to how good the cookie dough base is.
This brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe can be made small batch.
Although the original recipe makes 20 cookies, you can easily half the recipe to make a smaller batch of just 10 cookies (like I did in my Instagram Story tutorial). Be sure to check out the FAQ section below for more information!
These brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookies store well, both unbaked AND baked.
The cookies deepen in flavor overnight, resulting in more pronounced caramel and toffee flavors the next morning. Furthermore, they store well long-term, too. Don’t want to eat 20 (or 10) cookies all at once? No problem. The cookie dough freezes beautifully for baking at a later date. This gives you the ability to bake as many (or as few) cookies as you want at a time!
Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients and Substitutions
Now that I’ve convinced you to make these brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookies, here’s your shopping list for the recipe:
Shopping List for Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
- unsalted butter
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- kosher salt
- dark OR light brown sugar
- granulated sugar
- large eggs
- pure vanilla extract
- milk chocolate (preferably from chocolate fèves, wafers, or a high-quality chocolate bar)
- Skor toffee chocolate candy bars
- flaky salt (optional, for garnish)
And let’s talk about some of its key ingredients:
This recipe uses 1 cup unsalted butter to make the brown butter for the cookies.
What is brown butter?
Brown butter is made by cooking butter until the water in it evaporates and you’re left with a speckled, amber-colored liquid with a rich flavor and a wonderfully nutty aroma. Brown butter is typically used in recipes in liquid form, but can be chilled back to a solid form like regular butter.
How to Use Brown Butter
You can use brown butter in both savory and sweet recipes. Traditionally, brown butter is used with ingredients that go well with nutty flavors. In desserts, brown butter is often used in traditional chocolate chip cookie recipes, brownie recipes, and even loaf cakes with “strong” flavors like banana or pumpkin.
How to Make Brown Butter
To brown butter, melt the butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally to help the butter melt evenly. Keep a heatproof rubber spatula nearby to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan occasionally to help prevent the milk solids from sticking and burning. Depending on how high the heat is and how cold your butter was to begin with, browning butter can take anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes. To speed up the process, you can slice the butter into smaller pieces to melt it faster.
As the butter melts, the mixture will begin to foam. It can be a little difficult to see what’s going on at this point, so use a heatproof spatula to push the foam to the sides of the pan as best as you can to help you see the color underneath. If you’re having trouble seeing the color of the butter, use a spoon to scoop a small amount of the butter onto a white plate to see its color more clearly. The color of the butter will progress from a bright lemon yellow to a golden tan and finally to a dark amber brown. The longer you cook the butter, the darker and more flavorful it will be. However, note that there’s a fine line between toasted and burnt. There’s no salvaging butter once it’s burnt, so be sure to watch it like a hawk as it browns.
Once you’re satisfied with the color of the butter, immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the brown butter into a clean bowl or liquid measuring cup to prevent it from cooking further.
How to Store Brown Butter
Once cooled, transfer the brown butter to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
What are the flecks in my brown butter? Is that normal?
Yes! Brown butter is typically spotted with dark golden flecks; these are browned milk solids. Some folks pour brown butter through a fine-mesh strainer to discard these milk solids, but I like to keep them in for extra flavor. You do you.
This brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe uses 2 cups all-purpose flour.
Does a 1-1 gluten-free all-purpose flour work in this brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe?
I’m sorry, but I don’t know. I rarely bake with those types of flour replacements because they’re expensive and my household is fortunate not to have any gluten restrictions. However, if you replace the flour in this brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe with any gluten-free alternatives, please leave a comment so I can update this post accordingly!
Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour in this brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe?
Yes! I’ve done it before and it was delicious. However, I wouldn’t substitute ALL the all-purpose flour out with whole wheat flour. You end up with much denser cookies. Instead, I recommend using 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour.
This brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe uses 1 cup tightly packed brown sugar.
Light Versus Dark Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is granulated white sugar with a touch of molasses to give it its signature color and flavor. Because brown sugar contains molasses, it adds more moisture to baked goods than granulated sugar otherwise would. Brown sugar is available in two varieties: light or dark. Dark brown sugar is my personal preference; because it contains more molasses, I find it to be more flavorful. Kate’s original recipe does not specify what type of brown sugar to use. However, Bon Appetit specifically mentions dark brown sugar. I’ve tried both versions, and honestly, both are delicious. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand!
Can I use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar in these brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookies?
Technically yes, but I don’t recommend it. Why? Coconut sugar is made from the nectar produced by coconut blossoms (not actual coconuts), which is then boiled and ground to create a granular substance with a texture similar to brown sugar. Folks like to use it as a substitute for brown sugar because its natural toasted brown color and caramelized taste is similar to that of brown sugar.
But that being said, coconut sugar has the same neutral pH level as granulated white sugar. Brown sugar, on the other hand, is slightly acidic. This acidic quality allows the brown sugar to react with the baking soda in the recipe to leaven the cookies and create their unique texture. So if you use coconut sugar in place of brown sugar, your cookies will likely have a very different texture than mine.
This brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe uses 2 large eggs.
I don’t eat egg because of allergies and/or my diet. What can I use instead of egg?
I’m sorry, but I don’t 100% know. I’m very fortunate that I don’t have those restriction in my household. So in general, my specialty lies in creating baking recipes with conventional ingredients. If you’re looking for eggless or vegan cookie recipes, I suggest checking out my friends Ashlae at Oh, Ladycakes and Laura at The First Mess. Both of them specialize in vegan cooking and will be able to help you out better than I can!
This brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe uses 8.5 ounces milk chocolate fèves.
What are chocolate fèves?
Chocolate fèves are a fancy pastry school term for a flat, bean-shaped disc of chocolate. When baked in a cookie recipe, the fèves don’t hold their shape (similar to how chocolate chips typically do) and instead melt into puddles. These puddles give your cookies thin layers of chocolate throughout every bite.
The most prominent maker of chocolate fèves is one of my favorite chocolate makers, Valrhona Chocolate. For these cookies, I used Valrhona’s Jivara milk chocolate fèves. You can buy them online and/or at select Whole Foods Market locations.
Do I really need to use fèves?
If there’s one thing I want you to take away from my blog, it’s this: don’t skimp on chocolate. Most grocery store brands—even the ones that offer products specifically made for baking—contain all sorts of additives like paraffin wax and palm oil. These ingredients compromise the flavor and texture of your results. I’ve stopped using chocolate chips in 90 percent of my recipes, and my baked goods have tasted so much better as a result.
What else do you recommend besides fèves?
If you can’t find fèves, I also recommend Guittard Chocolate Wafers (which are more readily available in most major supermarkets). If you’re on a budget, I recommend chopping up a Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bar or Ghirradelli baking chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips. Chop up the chocolate into fairly large 1/2- to even 1-inch chunks. Doing so helps give you big chocolate puddles throughout the cookie.
Can I use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate?
Yes! Both Kate’s original recipe and the Bon Appetit version use dark chocolate. In my Instagram Story tutorial for this recipe, I used a mix of both dark AND milk chocolate fèves to make these cookies.
Skor Toffee Chocolate Candy Bars
This brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe uses 2 (1.5-ounce) Skor Toffee Chocolate Candy Bars.
What are Skor bars?
Where do you find Skor bars?
Truth be told, I avoided making this recipe for a long time because I had no idea where to find Skor chocolate bars. But it turns out that Skor bars are available in most major grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores in the country. Check the candy bar/impulse buy section of your local grocery store checkout. I guarantee that’s where you’ll find them! You can also buy them online on Amazon, but they’re more expensive and usually only come in bulk.
I can’t find Skor bars. What can I use instead?
How To Make Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
Here are the basic steps to make these brown butter toffee cookies from scratch:
First, brown the butter.
- Brown the butter. (Work Time: 5 minutes)
Depending on how high the heat is and how cold your butter was to begin with, browning butter can take anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes. I like to brown the butter first to give it time to cool slightly while I prep the rest of the ingredients for the cookies. This also helps prevent you from accidentally scrambling the eggs in the dough (which can happen if you add butter that’s too hot or warm to the dough).
Next, make the cookies.
- Prep your ingredients. (Prep Time: <5 minutes)
Thankfully, prep for this recipe is fairly easy. Simply measure out all the ingredients, and chop the Skor candy bars and chocolate if needed.
- Make the cookie dough and portion it into cookie dough balls. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
This brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe follows most standard cookie recipes. First, cream the butter and sugars, then add the eggs, vanilla, dry ingredients, and chocolate. Use a cookie dough scoop to portion out the dough quickly and evenly.
- Chill the cookie dough balls if necessary. (Chill Time: 30 minutes)
Kate instructs you to chill the cookie dough balls for at least 30 minutes before baking. Doing so allows the cookie dough to “hydrate”, meaning that the flours absorb moisture from other ingredients and make the cookies more flavorful. Chilling might also be necessary to bring the dough together if your butter was still too warm when used in the dough.
- Finally, bake the cookie dough balls. (Bake Time: 10 minutes per pan)
Place the chilled cookie dough balls at least 3 inches apart on a parchment-lined sheet pan. You may need to use more than one sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges have set but the centers are still gooey. It is better to underbake the cookies by pulling them out earlier rather than later—they’ll continue to cook on their sheet pans, but leave you gooey, fudgy centers.
Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Troubleshooting and FAQ
FAQ: Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Techniques
Can I brown the butter in advance?
Yes! Brown butter can be made up to 1 week in advance of the cookie recipe itself. Follow the recipe’s instructions for browning the butter. Once cooled, pour into an airtight container, seal, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. When ready to bake the cookies, carefully rewarm the brown butter either in the microwave or in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted once again. However, don’t overdo it and brown the butter more! Just cook at a gentle heat to ensure that the butter doesn’t get warm enough to bubble or splatter.
Do I really need to chill the cookie dough before baking?
Between you and me, no, not really. I’ve made these cookies without chilling them first. However, chilling cookie dough typically results in better-tasting cookies. I mentioned this earlier, but the chilling time allows the flour (and sugar) to absorb more flavors from the other ingredients in the dough. For these chocolate chip cookies, this means deeper, subtle flavors of toffee, butter, and caramel.
That being said, you may need to chill the dough anyway if you used brown butter that was still too hot. You’ll be able to tell if the dough seems too liquidy and loose compared to traditional cookie dough. Chilling will help bring the dough together.
FAQ: Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Results
Help! My cookies came out super puffy and never flattened like yours in the pictures. What did I do wrong?
Ah, yes. Did you use volume measures and measure out ingredients with measuring cups? Cookies are one of the baked goods that are VERY susceptible to variations in volume measurements.
What does that mean? Cup measures can vary dramatically, depending on how the baker fills them. A baker who scoops out flour from a measuring cup and packs it down will have a “heavier” measuring cup filled with more flour than a baker who simply scoops the flour into the cup and levels it off once it’s filled. This is why bakers love measuring by weight with a digital scale instead of by volume with measuring cups. It’s much more reliable and completely eliminates the inconsistencies that come from using measuring cups and volume measures.
It’s likely that your cookies didn’t flatten because your cup of flour was too heavy. Did you scoop your measuring cup into a bag of flour, pack down the flour, and then lift it out and into your mixing bowl? If so, that’s no bueno. The correct way to fill a dry measuring cup is to spoon the dry ingredient into the measuring cup until it forms a small mound within the cup. Use a butter knife or bench scraper to level off the mound so that the ingredient is flush with the top edges of the measuring cup. Furthermore, if your bag of flour has been sitting around untouched for a while, you’ll need to aerate it. Simply whisk the flour in its bag with a small fork or whisk before scooping it into your measuring cup.
I told you using a digital scale was easier, right? 😜
Help! My cookies came out TOO flat and spread out a lot LOT. What did I do wrong?
I mentioned this earlier, but your cookies will come out flat if you used brown butter that was still too warm/hot from being browned. Chilling the cookies for at least 30 minutes—or more, even!—will help prevent the cookies from overspreading.
How do I half the cookie recipe to make it smaller batch like you did in your Instagram Story tutorial?
It’s super easy! The ingredient steps stay the same. However, you’ll need to halve all the ingredient quantities. Some are not “clean” halves (like… how do you half ¾ teaspoon of salt?), so these are the quantities I used below. It works:
- ½ cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (4.5 ounces or 128 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup tightly packed (3.75 ounces or 106 grams) brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons (1.35 ounces or 38 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4.25 ounces (or 120 grams) milk chocolate fèves
- 1 (1.5-ounce) Skor Toffee Chocolate Candy Bar
In my Instagram Story tutorial, I used a 3-tablespoon cookie dough scoop and ended up with 10 cookies. I also used two Skor bars. If you use one, you’ll likely end up with less cookies. However, if you used a 4-tablespoon cookie dough scoop (like what the recipe below instructs you to do), you’ll likely end up with less cookies, too.
FAQ: Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Results
How to Store Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze the UNBAKED brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookie dough?
Yes! Follow the recipe instructions to make the cookie dough and scoop them out into cookie dough balls. Place the cookie dough balls in a small sheet pan. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour, or until the cookie dough balls are frozen solid. Transfer the cookie dough balls to a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 1 year.
To bake the frozen cookie dough balls, follow the recipe’s instructions for preheating the oven and arranging the cookie dough balls on a sheet pan. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges have set but the centers are still gooey.
Can you freeze the BAKED brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookies?
Yes! Individually wrap any leftover chocolate chip cookies in two layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. The aluminum foil will prevent the cookies from absorbing any other flavors or odors in the freezer. When ready to serve, transfer to the refrigerator to chill overnight. Rewarm in the microwave or oven at 350°F for 5 minutes before serving.
Best Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Tips
Best Baking Tips
- I like to bake the cookies one pan at a time. I find that doing so makes the best cookies, ensuring that none of them have overly burnt bottoms or raw centers. However, to save time, you can bake two sheet pans at a time. Position a rack in the upper-third position of the oven, and a second one in the lower-third position of the oven. Bake a pan on each rack, swapping their positions half way through the Bake Time.
- It’s better to pull the cookies out of the oven early than leave them in too long—if you over bake the cookies, they’ll be too crunchy. They might appear underbaked, but I promise that when they’ve cooled, they will be perfect.
Video Tutorial for Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
Use the video player below to watch my Instagram Story tutorial on how to make this brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookies recipe! The arrows to the left and right of the frame allow you to skip through the different recipe steps. You can also hit the “pause” or “enlarge” buttons on the upper right hand side of the frame to pause or enlarge the frames accordingly.
Alternatively, head to my Instagram profile to watch these Stories on mobile! The circles underneath my bio indicate saved Instagram Story highlights depicting various recipes. Clicking on one of the circles will play the videos you see above. You may need to scroll right to find this brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookies recipe.
More Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups
- Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies
- My Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Recipe
- S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
More Brown Butter Recipes
- The Easiest Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever
- Brown Butter Crepes with Bananas, Nutella, and Speculoos
- Brown Butter Pumpkin Rolls
- Brown Butter Sweet Potato Bars
Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
For the Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups (9 ounces or 255 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup tightly packed (7.5 ounces or 213 grams) dark OR light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (2.35 ounces or 67 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 8.5 ounces (or 240 grams) milk chocolate fèves
- 2 (1.5-ounce) Skor toffee chocolate candy bars, chopped into ¼- to ½-inch chunks
- flaky salt, for garnish
For the Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
- First, brown the butter. In a light-colored saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it starts to foam. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan occasionally to prevent the milk solids in the butter from burning. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the butter smells nutty and is amber with dark flecks at the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the brown butter into a liquid measuring cup. Set it on a wire rack to cool while you prep the other ingredients.
- Make the dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugars.
- Pour the brown butter over the sugars in the mixer bowl and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Reduce the mixer to low and add the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, and beat on low for an additional 30 seconds. Increase the mixer to medium-low, add the chocolates all at once, and beat until the chocolate is evenly distributed throughout, about 1 minute.
- Chill the dough. Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper. Use a 4-tablespoon cookie dough scoop to portion the cookie dough into balls, placing the cookie dough balls on the prepared pan as you go. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Prep your oven and pans. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper. Place the chilled cookies at least 3 inches apart on the prepared sheet pans.
- Bake the cookies. Bake one pan at a time for 10 minutes, or until the edges have set but the centers are still gooey. Cool the cookies on the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms of the cookies have set and feel firm to the touch. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough (or freeze it to bake later).
- Serve and store. Serve warm or at room temperature. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
This post was last updated 9/15/2020.
NEVER miss a recipe
NO TIME TO BAKE?!
Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.