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Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies are very easy to make, a great  sourdough discard recipe to keep on rotation, and super delicious. The tang of the sourdough discard shines against the sweetness of the cookie, The depth of flavor from the sourdough discard and browned butter cannot be beat!

sourdough chocolate chip cookies on baking pan with a couple on a cooling rack and a bowl of chocolate chips.
The subtle tang from the sourdough discard pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the cookie.

What are Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies?

In a nutshell, these Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies are my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, modified to include sourdough discard. They are so wonderfully flavorful! If you’re interested in the science behind the modification, I took out the egg from my original recipe and substituted in 2 egg yolks. (Egg whites have more water in them than the yolks, and I am adding water to the recipe from the sourdough discard.) I also removed the milk for the same reason. I based this recipe on my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies because brown butter is basically butter without the water — and lots more flavor.

OK, enough “science”. Well, maybe just a drop more…

So, what is brown butter?

Brown butter is simply butter that is cooked, which causes the water in it to evaporate and the milk solids to brown. The result is a wonderful, somewhat nutty flavor. It is delicious in just about everything, from baked goods to sauces for entrees like chicken or fish.

How do I make brown butter?

I recommend cutting the butter into equal sized cubes so that it melts evenly and quicker, and first melting it over low heat. Then increase the heat to medium-low to cook it, stirring frequently. The milk solids will sink to the bottom of the pan, so you want to stir frequently to avoid them from sticking and burning. The butter will pop, crackle and eventually foam, and it will be difficult to see what is going on in the bottom of the pan, but just keep stirring and lifting the spatula or spoon to see how brown the milk solids are getting. The process should take anywhere from a few minutes to about ten minutes, but once the milk solids start browning, it goes fast. For more information on how to make brown butter, check out my post Brown Butter: What is It and How to Make It.

How to Make Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Seriously, these cookies are super easy to make.

Once you have browned the butter, let it cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Then cover and pop it in the refrigerator until it hardens, at least a couple of hours. You can leave it in the fridge for days or up to a week if you want. When you’re ready to mix your dough, take the brown butter out of the fridge, together with the eggs and sourdough discard, at least 30 minutes before you plan to mix the cookie dough.

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Then cream together all the other ingredients except for the sourdough discard, egg yolks and chocolate chips. Then mix in the egg yolks, then the sourdough discard.Stir in the dry ingredients just until they disappear. Finally, mix in the chocolate chips. Easy!

I like to weigh out equal sized cookies at 30 grams. If the dough is too sticky to shape into balls, refrigerate it for about 30 minutes, then shape the balls, and return them to the refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably overnight, or up to 2 days. They need to go in the oven while they are cold.

Then, simply enjoy!

overhead view of nine sourdough chocolate chip cookies forming 3 rows and 3 columns.
Once the cookie dough balls are chilled, you can place them in a Ziplock bag and freeze them. When you have a cookie emergency, pop a couple in the oven to bake as usual. Baking time may take an additional minute or two.

What Type of Chocolate to Use for Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Deeper, quality chocolate is best for these cookies. I have made them with milk chocolate, but they were not so great. (And I am a HUGE milk chocolate fan. But, there is a time and a place, and this cookie recipe is not it.)

Semi-sweet chocolate is fabulous, and a combination of semi-sweet and bittersweet is truly wonderful. Can’t find bittersweet chips? Just chop up a quality bittersweet chocolate bar.

Here is what I like to use: These Callebaut semi-sweet chips and Callebaut bittersweet chips are probably my number one choice. In the batch photographed with this post, I used a mix of Ghirardelli bittersweet chips, which melt beautifully, and Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips.  All that said, more often than not, I use Guittard’s emi-sweet chocolate chips and Guittard’s bittersweet chocolate chips, which I usually find at Whole Foods or Target.

Frequently Asked Questions About Making Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Why is my cookie dough sticky?

This recipe is designed to take a minimum amount of flour, so the cookie dough may seem slightly sticky when you go to shape cookie dough balls. If it is too sticky, pop the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so, and then shape the cookie dough balls.

What kind of chocolate is best to use in sourdough chocolate chip cookies?

Dark chocolate pairs really well with both sourdough and brown butter. Stay away from milk chocolate in these cookies.

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

4.96 from 21 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Refrigerating time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 36 minutes
Servings 40 cookies
Calories 144
Make smart use of sourdough discard for an additional depth of flavor to brown butter chocolate chip cookies.


  • 227 grams unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch squares (16 Tablespoons or 2 sticks)
  • 113 grams sourdough discard, at room temperature (½ cup)
  • 240 grams all purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 146 grams light brown sugar (⅔ cup, firmly packed)
  • 133 grams granulated sugar (⅔ cup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoons vinegar (cider or white)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 340 grams semisweet and/or bittersweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • Flaky sea salt


  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once fully melted, increase the heat to low-medium to cook the butter, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The butter will start popping and crackling and then start foaming. The part of the butter that will start browning is the milk solids which will be on the bottom of the pan. This is why you need to keep stirring and lifting the spatula or spoon out of the pan to see what stage it is at. Once you have nicely browned specks on the bottom of the pan, remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the butter into a heatproof bowl to stop it from cooking any further. (Be careful not to overcook the butter. It can go from brown to burnt very quickly.) Allow the butter to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until hardened, at least two hours. (Brown butter can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator.) Allow to come to room temperate for 30 minutes prior to mixing the cookie dough.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the brown butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and vinegar. Add the egg yolks and beat until fully combined. Stir in the sourdough discard just until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix just until thy disappear. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  • Divide and shape into rounds, each weighing 30 grams. Refrigerate at least one hour and up to two days.
  • Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  • Sprinkle sea salt on top of each cookie and bake the cold cookies 11-13 minutes, just until the edges are light brown and the middle looks a bit doughy.
  • Cool for a few minutes on pan, then on a wire rack.


  • The brown butter can be made ahead of time, even by a few days. If you are new to making brown butter, use a lower flame so you have more control over the cooking process. It may take a few minutes longer, but the butter will be less likely to go from brown to burnt so quickly.
  • These can be made in one day, but plan ahead so your brown butter has time to solidify in the refrigerator and so that your cookie dough has time to get cold in the refrigerator.
  • Remove the brown butter from the refrigerator 30 minutes before mixing the cookie dough. 
  • You can freeze raw cookie dough balls to bake later. (Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes to get them cold. Then toss them in an airtight plastic bag. Pre-freezing them on the pan will prevent them from sticking to each other in the bag.) When ready to bake, place the frozen balls in the preheated oven. They may just need an additional minute or two.
  • You can also freeze the fully baked cookies. They should come to room temperature in about 10 minutes.
  • Deeper, quality chocolate is best for these cookies. (Milk chocolate is good, but not great.) Semi-sweet is fabulous, and a combination of semi-sweet and bittersweet is truly wonderful. Can’t find bittersweet chips? Just chop up a quality bittersweet chocolate bar. I use these semi-sweet chips, these bittersweet chips, and these milk chocolate chips. In the batch photographed with this post, I used a mix of Ghirardelli bittersweet chips with melt beautifully and Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips.  All that said, Callebaut is one of my all time favorite chocolates to bake with. Their chocolate is slightly expensive, but it is what sets my cookies apart from everyone else’s. Use quality ingredients for a quality baked good!
Calories: 144kcal
Course: Dessert, Snack, Tea Time
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Brown Butter, sourdough


Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg


  1. 5 stars
    I didn’t think you could improve on a traditional chocolate chip cookie, but these cookies prove that you can. Great recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    The most delicious thing I’ve ever made with sourdough discard. My new go to…thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I made these non-dairy and they came out great. What a great use of sourdough discard.

  4. 5 stars
    These sourdough chocolate chip cookies are so delicious, they’re such a treat. I’m learning so much from your blog. I didn’t know you could use a sourdough discard for anything. Can’t wait to tell my dad! Thank you 🙂

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