Espresso Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingest caffeine via cookies. It’s for that 2pm slumber cloud, where just a cuppa just doesn’t do it.

I love myself some chewy cookies! I recently learned from @sarah_kieffer that the secret to making chewy cookies is adding cream of tartar. Since then, I have been experimenting with making cookies with it, like this Chewy Black Sesame Sugar Cookies I posted last week, and adding it to any of my cookie recipes that I deemed would benefit from some extra chew, like my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and my Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies. I loved the results! In fact, I loved it so much that I actually went back and updated my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe to include cream of tartar.

These cookies are crisp, chewy, nutty (from the brown butter) and infused with rich coffee-chocolate goodness. You’ll love these if you enjoy coffee and chocolate as much as I do!

Ingredients & Notes

Refrigeration time

I recommended in this recipe to chill the dough in the fridge, uncovered for 2 days before baking. This will help develop flavor, remove some excess moisture, and minimize spreading less when baking. If you are fine with a bit more spread, you can chill it for just 30 minutes. Below are photos of cookies made from the same batch, the left is baked after chilling for only 30 minutes and the right is baked after chilling for 2 days. Notice that the one on the right is puffier, has more structure, is crisp and chewier. This is the magic of longer refrigeration!

Baking soda

The role of baking soda is three fold:

  1. leavening: it reacts with the acidic ingredients, in this case, cream of tartar, to create carbon dioxide (air)
  2. softness: baking soda increases the acidity of the dough which inhibits gluten formation, keeping the cookies soft.
  3. crispiness: the acidity and its effect on gluten formation also promote spreading, allowing the cookies to evenly cook and crispen.

Cream of tartar

There are two reasons to add cream of tartar to cookies: Firstly, cream of tartar is an acidic element and therefore will interact with baking soda for leavening. Second, it inhibits sugar from crystalizing which gives cookies a soft and chewy texture.

Espresso Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Espresso Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Looking for more cookie recipes?

Espresso Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Crisp, nutty & ultra chewy cookies infused with rich coffee-chocolate goodness
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Rest time1 day
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cookies
Servings: 5 cookies


  • plastic wrap
  • baking sheet


  • 50 g butter
  • 65 g brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp espresso powder or 1 tsp coffee powder
  • 35 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 25 g ~egg ~1/2 egg
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 75 g bread flour
  • ~30 g chocolate bar chopped
  • flakey salt optional


  • Brown butter in a pan on medium high heat, stirring occasionally. When the butter turns a honey color and smells nutty and fragrant, remove from heat. Dissolve in instant espresso/coffee powder followed by granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt. The mixture should now have sufficiently cooled, if it has not, set it aside for about 3 minutes to cool. Add egg to the butter mixture and beat it in until the mixture is light fluffy. Combine chocolate chips, cream of tartar, baking soda and bread flour and fold it into the butter mixture.
  • Line a plate with plastic wrap. Using a spoon, take a scoop of cookie dough and roll it into a ball. Since we browned the butter, the batter will be one the wetter side. Place the cookie ball on the plastic lined plate and repeat with the rest. Chill in the fridge uncovered overnight or ideally for 2 days. This will help develop flavor, remove some excess moisture, and minimize spreading less when baking. If you are fine with a bit more spread, you can chill it for just 30 minutes. Refer to the images in the post above for differences between a cookie baked after only 30 minute vs. 2 days of refridgeration.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Line a baking sheet and evenly space the chilled cookie dough from each other. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the center has just set. Half way through the bake and near the end of the bake, check on the cookies. The center should be puffed up. Lift the baking sheet from one corner and drop it. Repeat with the opposite corner. This will flatten the cookies and create ripples.
  • Once the cookies are done, remove from oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Sprinkle with flakey salt and enjoy!

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