Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter and Molasses

These are absolutely amazing cookies. The butter is browned and the sugar is a combination of granulated sugar and molasses. The BEST!

Stack of Molasses and Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on Yellow Plate

Really…I’m not on a tangent about BESTS all of a sudden, it just happens that after a discussion on how I best like to make mashed potatoes that I wanted to post these Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter and Molasses. I have tried so many recipes that people proclaim as the best.

Whether they really think they are or are simply trying to get some Google juice from claiming they are, I had just never had a chocolate chip cookie that was unique enough to garner that praise. They are all the same ingredients basically and for me none stuck out as that much different from your basic Tollhouse cookie.

But then I tried something different and found that the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie has Brown Butter and Molasses; they are so different and the difference is SO good!

Over the years I’ve done my due diligence too and I’ve had some really good versions in the effort. I’ve done the New York Times cookie inspired by Jacques Torres and admit that a bit of salt is a super idea. I’ve also made the chocolate chip cookies from David Lebovitz and Alice at Savory Sweet Life that I’ve seen highly praised and they too are really, really good.

BUT. Yes, but…I have never had a cookie that made me want to shout it from the rooftops…these are the BEST! Granted I live in a city that could be renamed #CookieFail due to high altitude issues so I’ve long grown accustomed to seeing cookies that look fabulous elsewhere but are a bas relief of chips and nuts here when the dough falls flat.

Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside? I sure as heck better get them straight to a storage tin for that to be the case…cookies dry out  here so quickly that leaving them at room temperature even briefly can spell doom. I should write a cookbook titled, ‘From Cookie to Biscotti in One Easy Step.’ It would be a short book; one page really. Simply let them sit out in a high altitude kitchen for 1 hour. Done.

What makes these so different then? How did they qualify? Well, first…did you read that title? They are made with brown butter. Isn’t everything better with brown butter? I use KerryGold Butter for my baking and it is a favorite right out of the package but taking it to a brown butter stage? Oh my.

Just be careful to not only watch but smell the butter; it can go from a fabulous brown nutty state to burned quickly. I know these things.

I also love molasses in cookies…it adds such a warm note. You could say that molasses and granulated sugar are the same as brown sugar but I think it’s MUCH more better (No that is not a grammatical error, it is simply a statement of fact!).

Yes, they are both brown but mixing them yourself really does up the flavor profile of molasses. Um, um, good. That little bit of extra moisture can’t be all bad either in our cookie to biscotti environment either!

These Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter and Molasses are a mutt for sure with lineage from a recipe by Joy the Baker that was inspired by Alton Brown who suggested using bread flour for cookies. I’ve taken something from all of those resources and added my own.

Molasses and Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on Cooling Rack

For all of the modifications I have to take to get the kind of results I crave, the one thing I’ve found that helps both the texture, the rise and the taste? Freezing the dough. That’s right. I started freezing cookie dough years ago so that I am not tempted to eat an entire batch all by myself in two days.

What I’ve found is that the freezing not only helps with texture and achieving results that are not so flat but that the flavors meld more and just taste better. Who doesn’t want that?

PIN IT! ‘Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter and Molasses’

Stack of Molasses and Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on Yellow Plate

Stack of Molasses and Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on Yellow Plate
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Brown Butter and Molasses Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Cookies, Brownies and Bars
Servings: 4 dozen cookies
Calories: 296kcal
Author: Creative Culinary

Ingredients

For the Brown Butter:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter

For the Cookie Dough:

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon dark molasses not blackstrap
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks for cookies

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • To Make Brown Butter
  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat; stirring constantly. Watch carefully; the butter will foam and the solids under the foam will start to brown after 6-8 minutes,
  • Remove from heat immediately when the butter begins to turn brown.
  • Pour the butter into a shallow dish and chill until it's room temperature.
  • To Make the Cookie Dough
  • In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In mixing bowl, mix the granulated sugar and molasses until thoroughly combined.
  • Once the butter has cooled to room temperature, add it to the mixing bowl with sugar and cream all together on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
  • Add one egg and mix well. Add the yolk and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  • Spoon the flour mixture in gradually until thoroughly combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Chill the dough for about 20 minutes, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets. (To freeze, scoop dough onto baking sheets and freeze. Store in ziploc bags).
  • NOTE: If topping with Maldon sea salt, sprinkle top with a few crystals now, before baking)
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until set; longer if using frozen dough (I add about 3 minutes to my baking time).
  • Pay close attention! These cookies are already brown from the browned butter and molasses so visual appearance and scent is more important than color.
  • Cool completely.

Notes

Sometimes I will sprinkle on a bit of sea salt but I didn't have any on hand this time and they were still amazing!

Nutrition

Serving: 1grams | Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 183mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g

 

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61 Comments

  1. The photos of these cookies are mouth-watering! Definitely going to give these a go. The only difficult part for me will be finding the patience to freeze the dough before baking and devouring!

  2. Oh I am so trying these! I love molasses in cookies and I seriously was just wondering how to make my favorite molasses cookies (which my Frenchmen do not like) while making a cookie everyone will love. This is it!

    1. Everyone thinks they make the best but I know I do. Hehe…yes that sounded super bratty but it’s true! 🙂

  3. Well, I’ve never met a cc cookie I didn’t like, though some are better than others. I’m definitely of the soft, chewy variety. Crisp is not for me. Perhaps you should send out a care package for me to test!

    1. Nope; I’ll dangle some off the front porch to persuade you to make this LONG trip! Soon I hope.

  4. Mmmmmm, who doesn’t love a chocolate chip cookie and those made with brown butter have be extraordinary. Of course I haven’t met too many cookies that didn’t land up being my friends.

    1. I’ve started to use brown butter in almost all of my cookies; it sure doesn’t hurt!

  5. Confession: we almost always make the Tollhouse recipe! We’ve tried the others, and it’s so debatable about whether they are “better.” Besides, the cookie dough for the Tollhouse recipe is the absolute best, and who doesn’t sample the dough multiple times just to make sure it’s mixed right? 😉 Anyway, this looks lovely. Throwback Thursdays works for me!

    1. I agree John; in fact I’ve always REALLY had to try too hard to figure out what made them unique. This one is not hard; the combination of molasses and sugar instead of using a sugar/brown sugar combination is pretty telling and well, brown butter is always better!

  6. Just out of curiosity, what brand of molasses did you use? The best I can fun is Grandma’s brand and it smells very bitter- even after I added it to the sugar. Thanks!!

    1. That’s the brand I have too Kim. Regular unsulphered it what it says. I just took a taste and I couldn’t discern any bitterness in the bottle I have; wondering if it can go bad?

  7. What an amazing recipie….I can’t wait to try it! I read your response to Allison regarding the recipies here not being adjusted for high altitude; however can you tell me if this particular recipie works above sea level as is or what adjustments you’ve made to it? If that information is beyond the scope of this blog I apologize for asking, I just haven’t had much luck making adjustments to recipies on my own. I’m leaving it to the pros from now on! Also, I looked under recipies and didn’t see a section that I thought would be related to high altitude. Am I overlooking it?

    1. I make pretty standard adjustments when I bake; one thing that seems to help is to raise the temp of the oven by 10 degrees more than the recipe calls for and then also check for doneness earlier. I think the higher heat helps the baked goods to set before they can fall. I also eliminate about a fourth of the required leavening agents recipes call for; truth is I measure out for a recipe and then scoop about a fourth back out of the measure; so it’s never a precise amount!

      Here’s the link for some high altitude tips; it takes some practice, some patience and I think more than anything? The ability to deal with some failures..it’s an imperfect science that changes with every 1000 feet!

      Good Luck!

      https://creative-culinary.com/recipe/high-altitude-baking/

  8. You mention freezing the dough after scooping it onto the baking sheet and storing it in a ziploc bag. Are there ziploc bags large enough to enclose a baking sheet? I have a very small freezer that won’t accomodate baking sheets – could I freeze the dough in a tupperware and scoop it out afterwards? Thank you for posting so many high altitude recipies. I thought I was going to have to give up baking after moving to the mountains.

    1. Once the individual scoops freeze Allison; remove them from the baking sheet and store them in your tupperware container. Freezing them first keeps them from freezer back together in one mass but once frozen they can touch again!

      One word of caution…I cite recipes as if made as sea level since I have readers all over; I make revisions to them for my own use but the blog is not a ‘high altitude; recipe per se. I do have a section for high altitute under recipes that might help with some tips on revisions.

  9. I can think of many reason to love this recipe and to try these cookies. Being a practical gal, my top reason for today is that I have way too much bread flour sitting in my cupboard, courtesy of my husband’s pizza making celebrations. Can’t wait to tell him why his bread flour is gone!

    1. Laura…you cook like I do. What do I have and what can I make with it. I hoped you tried the molasses chocolate chip cookies. I was lucky to get to try one of the finished product since I could have finished off the dough I’m pretty sure. 🙂

  10. I reluctantly have to agree with you re the advantages of freezing (or at least refrigerating) cookie dough before use – it really does result in a significantly better cookie (or biscuit as we refer to them here in Oz). It is just so very difficult to wait on some days, though. I can’t wait to try these – burnt butter has such a delicious nutty flavour, molasses makes for a rich darkness and a sprinkle of sea salt has found it’s welcome way onto a lot of my choc chip cookies of late – it all sound just perfect!

    1. Not that I haven’t found a few get into the oven after ‘only’ some refrigeration but if I can plan ahead…it does make a difference. And you got it…the butter and molasses just take them over the top of normal. Thanks for visiting!

  11. Hi Barb!!
    I have to agree.. these cookies definitely deserve the title “Best”!!! You are right – brown sugar and molasses and white sugar are NOT the same – like you I love the depth of flavor that molasses brings (and for altitude bakers, the moisture is a bonus!).

    I wonder how using bread flour would work in other sturdy cookies for you – higher protein should help structure. Funny, but in my baking class, we made our cookies with pastry flour – which I def. don’t think would work at altitude!!
    Gorgeous photos of these cookies too BTW!!

    1. I’m actually going to try bread flour in another cookie soon; as my own test. I still did all of the assorted revisions I do for every cookie but with this at least they really seemed to work! Could that have been the answer all along?

    1. Thanks Katrina…they truly were a big favorite with me and all of my cookie monsters (neighbors who MUST know cookies are in the oven and appear at the door!).

  12. Oh I love the way you think Barb! Brown butter, molasses, what could be better. The bread flour has caught my interest too. My tried and true cookie recipe is pretty traditional but you are making me want to play. I too freeze my dough; definitely makes a difference.

    1. I think the notion of bread flour came from Alton Brown; there were so many players in this cookie I lost track! And yes…the freezing is good for more than just keeping them longer. Who knew?

  13. Love molasses, but never used it in cookies. Sounds great! Baking cookies looks easy, but I don’t think it is. I’ve tried many recipes and most of them failed. Now I have a few recipes of cookies results of which I’m sure and I continually bake them changing their order. Yours is so inspiring, I must give it a try!

    1. Until I started taking photos of cookies…it never mattered if they didn’t live up to my visual expectations as my kids and friends didn’t really care. Taking photos for this blog makes me really try to get a look that I don’t have to excuse to high altitude!

  14. I’ve had many cookies that are good but best is really hard to define. I suppose it’s more of a feeling that you get when you bite into that particular cookie. However, I got a tingling sensation from just looking at your photos, so I’m definitely making these to confirm my reaction.

    1. Isn’t that the truth Ken…and so subjective too. That’s why I say they’re MY best and I’m serious. They are. The dough even…so good!

    1. I’m just glad I freeze the dough or I’m afraid I would have finished off an entire plate. I breezed through the ones I made pretty quickly. Too quickly!

    1. They are fabulous; though I’ve mentioned to others…for regular baking I actually think I like the simple finish with some sea salt. I wanted to add my #Irene and #TXWildfires touch to them but not required at all!

  15. Yup, I can DEFINITELY say yummalummadingdong to these!!! Holy Guacamole woman! I don’t think it would be possible to stuff any more deliciousness into one cookie!

  16. If this isn’t the most unique and original chocolate chip cookie to come along in years (ever perhaps) then I don’t eat chocolate chip cookies! The recipe sounds fabulous and the cookies look delicous. Love your incorporation of the what’s been happening to some of your blogging friends and neighbours in these cookies.

    1. The only problem with them is they are already dark so they do require some watching to determine when done. Other than that? Perfect in every way!

  17. Who doesn’t love a great cookie. These look so good. I’m going to have to give these a try this Christmas. They look like the perfect addition to my gift tins.

    1. Just absolutely loved them Karen. So much I had to physically pry the dough out of my own hands it was so good! 🙂

    1. I added the #baketogether touches to some of them but most of them were just the cookie and the sea salt. Do that.

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