Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

These sourdough chocolate chip cookies make excellent use of that sourdough discard you always feel guilty throwing out. The inclusion of brown butter and a sprinkle of sea salt makes them all the more irresistible. Idyllic plain or sandwiched with ice cream.

A cookie ice cream sandwich made with sourdough chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream.

These cookies are a great way to use up sourdough discard. Every time I have a little discard, I add it to a container that I store in the fridge. I keep adding to it until I’ve accumulated enough to make these cookies. These have crisp edges and a soft center. One person told me these were the best cookies she’s “ever had because they have all the elements of a familiar chocolate chip cookie, but with a little extra something that makes them taste different and special.” The sourdough adds a mysterious tang and chew that goes really well with the chocolate and sea salt.

These cookies do require some planning ahead—sadly, they are not instant gratification cookies! They are a multi-step process, but well worth it. The dough needs to be aged in the fridge for a few days, then frozen before baking. The good news is that once you do the work and have the dough in the freezer, freshly baked cookies are only 16 mins away!–Daniela Trapani

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 2 D, 3 H
  • Makes 12 large or 24 smaller cookies



In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to foam and the milk solids start to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Once brown, carefully pour the hot butter into a heat-safe bowl to cool. The butter can go from browned to burned very quickly, so don’t dawdle as you take it off the heat.

Let the butter cool to room temperature. If you’re in a hurry, you can pop it in the fridge to speed the cooling along.

In a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, combine the sugars, browned butter, egg yolks, vanilla, and sourdough discard. Mix just until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Tester tip: To get more chocolate in every bite, pulse your chocolate chips in a food processor for 5 to 10 seconds so you end up with different sizes of chocolate shards.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix just until almost no flour is visible. Stir in the chocolate.

Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 24 hours, but preferably 48 hours.

Remove dough from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are ready to scoop it.

Using an ice cream scoop (or a strong cookie scoop), scoop out 4 ounce (113 g) balls of dough, place in a freezer-safe container and gently press down so that your ball of dough has a slightly flattened bottom (this will help prevent your balls of dough from rolling around on your baking sheet later). Repeat with remaining dough. You should end up with 12 to 13 balls of dough.

Freeze dough for at least 1 hour, or until ready to bake.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the center position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place frozen balls of dough 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) apart on the baking sheet. Don’t overcrowd them as they will spread.

Sprinkle each dough ball with flaky sea salt and place on the center rack in the oven.

Bake for 13 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake just until the center looks barely raw, 3 to 5 minutes more.

Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy them warm, at room temperature, or as part of an ice cream cookie sandwich. Store in an airtight container.

    Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches Variation

    • It’s not rocket science. Though it is worthy of the two minutes it will take you to scoop a little ice cream—whether vanilla or whatever flavor you fancy—onto the flat bottom of a cookie and sandwich it with another flat bottom. That’s it. Took you longer to read that than it will to do it.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    I was excited to try this sourdough cookie recipe, and the results were tasty enough to disappear faster than any other cookie I baked (for a party)...Honestly, the brown butter is where it's at—it's the life-changing aspect of this recipe that has forever transformed how I will bake cookies going forward.

    I compared three different chocolate chip cookie recipes, and these won the flavor competition by miles. The browned butter introduces a vanilla-toffee note to the dough, and the sea salt perfectly highlights that seductive caramel quality. Fair warning: one is not enough with these cookies.

    These cookies are great! Lots of depth to the flavor with the browned butter and the sourdough discard. I tasted throughout the process and the dough was very interesting. When baked, the tang mellows out a bit, but these are still not your average chocolate chip cookie. I would recommend these to anyone who loves chocolate chip cookies and wants to use up their sourdough discard instead of throwing it away.

    My teenagers and husband also approved! I would probably make these again if/when I have the time because I always have sourdough discard!


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