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Last Updated on April 5, 2021 by Chenée Lewis
I’m so excited to share these cookies with you! If there’s one treat that is universally loved, it has to be chocolate chip cookies. But what I’ve noticed is that not everyone loves their chocolate chip cookies the same way. There are heated debates! Crispy or chewy, flat or domed, dark chocolate or milk chocolate, and with nuts or without. When I posted an informal poll on my Instagram the other day, I got so many different responses and preference combinations. One thing that was consistent, though, is that chewy chocolate chip cookies were the overwhelming favorite. So it’s a good thing that this small batch chocolate chip cookies recipe is chewy, buttery, and so delicious!
If you are familiar with my blog, you know I love small batch recipes, and these brown butter chocolate chip cookies are no exception! The cookies are made with a #30 cookie scoop, which holds about 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough. So they’re a good-sized cookie, but the recipe only yields 8 cookies! Perfect for when you’re home alone craving cookies, or you want to make a sweet treat just for two. Especially with the way life has changed over the past year, the convenience of small recipes is so valuable to me. And hopefully these small batch recipes are helpful to you too! I usually don’t have a crowd to bake for, so recipes like this small batch of brown butter chocolate chip cookies are ideal!
What makes cookies cakey or chewy?
It’s all in the ingredients and ratios you use! This small batch chocolate chip cookies recipe is made with browned butter that’s still melted, which adds moisture to the dough and amps up the chewy texture. They’re also made with brown sugar instead of granulated white sugar or a combination of both. Brown sugar adds even more moisture and give us that gooeyness that is just perfect!
The ratio of flour to the wet ingredients also affects the cakey factor. I made two versions of this small batch chocolate chip cookie recipe — one had an extra two tablespoons of flour. They were both delicious, but the cookies made with more flour were a bit thicker and slightly more cakey. So there you have it! If we were going for a more cakey cookie, we would most likely use softened butter. We’d also add in some granulated white sugar and more flour to create a drier dough.
Finally, to make sure they stay chewy well after they’re cooled, we’ll undercook this small batch of chocolate chip cookies just a bit. To be completely baked, these cookies need about 12 minutes in the oven, but if you really want a gooey interior, cut it down to 10 minutes.
- brown butter – Instead of simply using melted butter, we’re adding a boost of rich, nutty, caramely flavor by browning our butter first. If you’re new to browning butter, be sure to check out my Brown Butter Appreciation Post for step-by-step images!
- brown sugar – we’re using brown sugar as our only type of sugar in this small batch chocolate chip cookies recipe. This will boost the chewy texture of these cookies, while also giving them a richer sweetness.
- egg – the egg helps to bind the dough together while adding a bit of moisture.
- vanilla – make sure you use a good-quality pure vanilla extract. Or better yet, check out my post on how to make vanilla extract at home with just 2 ingredients!
- all-purpose flour – I say this in every recipe, but the accuracy of your flour measurement is SO important for these small batch chocolate chip cookies! Because it’s such a small recipe, every little bit of flour makes a difference. While I was testing these cookies, I tried out a version with just 16 grams of extra flour, and it completely changed the texture of the finished cookies! They were still delicious, but they were thicker, a bit more cakey, and slightly less sweet. They also looked neater and didn’t spread as much in the oven. So I absolutely recommend measuring out your flour by weight using a kitchen scale. It’s not a huge investment, and it’s worth every penny if you love to bake. If you aren’t able to use a kitchen scale, make sure you measure your flour using the spoon-and-level method.
- cornstarch – this is a special ingredient that you may have seen in cookie recipes before. We’re just adding a small amount to this batch of chocolate chip cookies to ensure a soft texture.
- baking soda – reacts to the acid in the brown sugar to give just enough lift to this small batch chocolate chip cookies recipe!
- chopped dark chocolate – I recommend using chopped baking bars rather than chocolate chips because the chocolate melts more readily. It really helps to add to the gooey, chewy texture of these brown butter chocolate chip cookies.
Because we’re using melted browned butter in this small batch chocolate chip cookies recipe, you won’t need any electric mixers or special tools for this recipe. But there are a few tools that can help make these cookies the best! A kitchen scale will help you measure your flour with perfect accuracy to get that chewy, gooey texture that you like. An oven thermometer will help to correct any temperature disparities to make sure that your cookies bake perfectly. And a #30 cookie scoop helps to measure out your cookies to the exact size you’ll need. Here are all the tools I recommend for this small batch of chocolate chip cookies:
Tips and F.A.Q.
Usually a batch of cookies is 2-3 dozen cookies. Basically a batch is the amount that a recipe produces. I don’t know about you, but I always end up making way too many cookies! Especially for a recipe like these small batch brown butter chocolate chip cookies — sometimes I’m just craving these flavors and I don’t need 36 of them! That’s why we’re only making 8 cookies here. They’re good-sized cookies, so you’ll definitely have enough for a small group, but you won’t end up with too many leftovers!
These cookies aren’t too pricey to throw together! Your most expensive ingredient will likely be your chocolate, which for me was about $3.00 for 4 ounces of Ghirardelli Bittersweet Baking Chocolate. In total, the cost of your ingredients for this small batch of chocolate chip cookies should be no more than $6.00.
This small batch chocolate chip cookies recipe produces pretty thin cookies, actually. They definitely won’t be as fluffy or domed as other cookies that are filled with chocolate chips and nuts, and that’s by design. The chopped chocolate bars melt more flat than chocolate chips do. Plus, we’ve used melted brown butter and a relatively low amount of flour, all to produce a chewy cookie that does spread pretty thin. That said, your cookies should not be as thin as a cracker! To prevent them from thinning out too much, make sure you’ve chilled them both before and after scooping them into balls. You can also add a bit more flour, as I mention in the recipe card below.
Brown butter is like magic! It adds a deep, nutty flavor that is almost indescribable. I use it in a lot of my baking because it’s an easy way to make your desserts (and savory dishes) unforgettable.
Once your butter is melted and the milk solids have sunk to the bottom of the pan, they’ll start to turn a deep golden brown. You may also smell a nutty or toasty aroma. That’s when your brown butter is ready and when you should remove it from the heat right away! For more details on browning butter, check out my Brown Butter Appreciation Post.
One possibility is that your oven temp is off. I would recommend cooking them a couple of minutes longer, or picking up an oven thermometer to check the accuracy of your oven temperature.
There are a few secrets, but my favorite is using all brown sugar instead of a mixture of brown and white sugar, and adding a little cornstarch in with the flour to create a softer, thicker dough.
You sure can! I would recommend forming the dough into balls and freezing them solid on a cookie sheet. Then you can freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to two months. You can place the frozen cookie balls directly onto a lined sheet pan and bake, adding a few minutes to the bake time.
You can also freeze your baked cookies. Just let them freeze solid uncovered, then place them into an airtight container to stay frozen for up to two months. You can enjoy them one at a time — just let them thaw, uncovered, at room temperature.
If you’ve already made your small batch of these brown butter chocolate chip cookies, never fear! I’ve got so many other cookie recipes for you to try out. One of my new favorites are these brown sugar shortbread cookies. They’re only 4 ingredients and they’re so delicious! Brown sugar makes all the difference!
Another one of my favorites are my Brownie Mix Cookies with White Chocolate, Cherries and Pistachios. They’re a super simple recipe that comes together so quickly, but the flavors are so incredible! I love making them around the holidays, but they’re perfect all year round!
Equipment you may need
- 6 tbsp salted butter - browned
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar - packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour - (128g, measured by weight or fluffed using the spoon-and-level method); add an additional 2 tbsp (16g) flour for slightly thicker cookies
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 4 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate - chopped (one 4-oz. baking bar, 60%-70% cacao)
- flaky sea salt - for sprinkling (optional)
- Brown butter as detailed in my How to Brown Butter post. Allow to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together cooled brown butter and brown sugar until well combined.
- Add egg and beat well until mixture has lightened in color and thickened. Mix in vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and baking soda.
- Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until dough is well combined.
- Fold in chopped chocolate, including small bits and shards.
- Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill at least one hour, or up to overnight.
- Use a #30 cookie scoop or spoon 2½ tablespoon-sized balls onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. While oven is preheating, place baking sheet with dough balls into freezer to chill for 10 minutes.
- Place cookie sheet in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
- Bake cookies at 350°F for 12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. For a more gooey, undercooked interior, remove after 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle cookies with flaky sea salt, if desired. Let cookies cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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