Chewy Gooey Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

By Amanda Paa – Updated March 9, 2024
5 from 13 votes
This is the only sourdough chocolate chip cookie recipe you will ever need. They're chewy, gooey, and the perfect blend of vanilla and chopped chocolate. So easy to make with just a whisk and bowl. No stand mixer needed! Brown butter gives these sourdough discard cookies a rich and nutty flavor, paired with extra vanilla extract. It's the most delicious way to use up leftover sourdough starter!
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Chocolate Chip Cookies on white surface

What Makes an Amazing Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookie?

There are a lot of sourdough chocolate chip cookies on the internet. But none were the flavor and texture I wanted, nor the ease to make. Most of them were too cakey, bland, and required a stand mixer.

So I set out to make the best chewy, gooey sourdough chocolate chip cookie that I could. And after many rounds of testing, here she is in all her glory.

These Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies hav the chewy, gooey middle you dream of, with buttery crisp edges and beautiful cracks through the surface. There’s loads of nutty, rich flavor from using browned butter, extra vanilla, and being kissed with perfect amount of salt. Each bite has a good amount of dark chocolate; just look at those delicious pools of decadence! And they stay chewy for a few days rather than turning dry.

I can’t wait for you to fall in love with these. 

They come together with just a bowl and a whisk, no stand mixer needed! That was a very important factor when I was developing this recipe, as I wanted everyone to be able to make them.

close up of sourdough chocolate chip cookie
ingredients to make sourdough chocolate chip cookies on white surface
sourdough discard in a jar

Key Ingredients to My Sourdough Dough Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • Brown Butter
    • To enhance the chew and give these cookies the most amazing toasty flavor, you’ll brown unsalted butter. This is a simple process that means melting regular butter on the stovetop and simmering for a few minutes, which cooks some of the water out and the milk solids fall to the bottom and turn into brown toasty bits. That’s where all the flavor is! I have included a video in the recipe card so you can see just how easy it is to do.
  • Sourdough Discard
    • Use room temperature discard so that it easily incorporates into the wet ingredients.
  • Dark or Semisweet Chocolate in bar form
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
    • I do not hold back on using vanilla! You’ll use 3/4 tablespoon to impart incredible flavor, just like a bakery.
  • Both Granulated and Brown Sugars
  • Both Baking Soda and Baking Powder
wet ingredients for sourdough discard chocolate chips, in a clear bowl
Wet Ingredients after being mixed, you can see the flecks of brown butter

Using Chocolate Chips versus Chopped Chocolate in Cookies

I tested these cookies with both chopped chocolate from a bar and chocolate chips to demonstrate how it affects the texture of the cookies. You can use either, but I highly recommend chopped chocolate for the very best cookie.

Chocolate chips are made with emulsifiers so they hold their shape. This means they do not melt well; cookies spread less when they are used. Chocolate chips = thicker cookies and less overall chocolate distribution.

Instead, chopped chocolate melts into gooey pockets, creating a more melty and decadent texture in the finished cookie. The irregular shapes and sizes of the chocolate pieces give you some bites with tons of chocolate and others with just a hint. And the cookies have so much more visual interest and texture.

using chocolate chips versus chopped chocolate in cookies
Cookies made with chopped chocolate on left, made with chocolate chips on right

Does Sourdough Discard Make Cookies Sour?

Nope! Sourdough discard provides moisture and adds a developed flavor to the cookies. Since it is fermented, the gluten structure is weakened so baking soda and baking powder are used here as leaveners.

What is Sourdough Discard?

In order to keep an active sourdough starter for making favorites like Rye Sourdough Bread and Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls, you have to feed your starter to keep it alive. 

As a sourdough starter rises and falls it expresses acids and alcohol, that if not used or left in the jar, can negatively affect the balance of your starter. So, before feeding your starter, you remove and discard a portion of it each time to refresh the acidity levels. “Discard is not bad”, it just can’t make a loaf of bread rise anymore because it doesn’t have any energy left to produce CO2.

Sourdough discard is an amazing ingredient that can be used in many delicious recipes like my sourdough discard flaky biscuits, pancakes, or banana bread!

sourdough chocolate chip cookies on wire rack
chocolate cookies on white backround

How Long Does Sourdough Discard Last in the Fridge?

You can keep sourdough discard in your refrigerator for about 10 days. The discard will become more sour the longer it stays in the fridge.  For that reason, when I’m making something sweet like these cookies, pumpkin scones or sourdough discard cake, where I don’t want the sourness to come through, I use discard that is less than 5 days old.

Can I Freeze this Sourdough Cookie Dough?

Yes, the dough freezes well for about a month! I prefer to scoop the dough into balls and freeze them that way, instead of big chunk of dough. Take the frozen dough out of the freezer and let it come to room temperature before you bake the cookies.

gooey sourdough chocolate chip cookies on white parchment paper

More Sourdough Discard Recipes:

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sourdough chocolate chip cookies on white parchment paper

Chewy Gooey Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the only sourdough chocolate chip cookie recipe you will ever need. They're chewy, gooey, and the perfect blend of vanilla and chopped chocolate. So easy to make with just a whisk and bowl. Brown butter gives them a rich and nutty flavor, paired with extra vanilla extract. It's the most delicious way to use up leftover sourdough starter!
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :12 minutes
Fridge Time :30 minutes
Yield: 20 cookies
Author: Amanda Paa

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 113 grams (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 160 grams brown sugar
  • 140 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 80 grams sourdough discard, room temperature (discard less than 5 days is old is preferred)
  • 3/4 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 235 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 6 ounces chopped dark or semisweet chocolate from a chocolate bar (if needed you can use chocolate chips, see notes below for what to expect*)
  • Flaky salt, optional

Instructions 

Brown the Butter:

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook for several minutes to brown the butter. It will go from simmering to bubbling to foaming, and you will begin to see brown flecks on the edges of the pan and the bottom. It will smell nutty and delicious. Once you can see a good amount of brown specks, remove from heat and pour butter and scrape all the bits into your mixing bowl that you will use for the cookies.
  • Add sugars and stir to coat. Then add sourdough discard and stir to incorporate a bit. Then add egg and switch to a whisk, whisking mixture until it is cohesive. Add vanilla and whisk again.
  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half the flour mixture to the wet mixture, and stir with a spatula, about 15 times. Then add remaining flour and stir gently to incorporate, until almost all the flour is absorbed, but not quite. We want to avoid overworking the dough, so add the chopped chocolate now, and finish mixing the dough.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes*. When 30 minutes is up, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper, and scoop 55 gram dough balls. I usually bake 7 cookies at a time.
  • Bake for about 13 minutes, until edges are a little bit brown and middles are just set. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and tap the pan on the counter firmly two times, this deflates the cookie a bit and gives you the gooeyness. Let cookies cool on pan for 5 minutes. They will finish baking here. Then move cookies to a wire rack to cool. Top with a light sprinkle of flaky salt.

Notes

  • You can refrigerate the dough for up to 36 hours. The longer they are in the fridge, the more you will be REWARDED with a more intensified the flavor and goodness. :)
  • If you don’t want to brown the butter, you don’t absolutely have to – you can just melt it. But I really really urge you to, as it is easy and makes these cookies absolutely wonderful.
  • I highly recommend using an inexpensive oven thermometer when you are baking, as no oven is calibrated exactly precise, even one that is brand new. Your other likely runs hotter or cooler than it actually reads, and this can determine how much your cookies spread or do not spread and if they will look and taste like the recipe was written for. Using an oven thermometer allows you to slightly adjust the temperature to make it correct.
  • I tested these cookies with both chopped chocolate from a bar and chocolate chips to demonstrate how it affects the texture of the cookies. You can use either, but I highly recommend chopped chocolate for the very best cookie.
    Chocolate chips are made with emulsifiers so they hold their shape. This means they do not melt well; cookies spread less when they are used. Chocolate chips = thicker cookies and less overall chocolate distribution.
    Instead, chopped chocolate melts into gooey pockets, creating a more melty and decadent texture in the finished cookie. The irregular shapes and sizes of the chocolate pieces give you some bites with tons of chocolate and others with just a hint.

Did you make this?

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March 9, 2024

COMMENT & RATE

I look forward to your comments, reviews and questions! If you love this recipe, please rate it when you leave a comment. Star ratings help people discover my recipes. Your support means a lot; thank you for being a part of the Heartbeet Kitchen community.

Amanda

5 from 13 votes (1 rating without comment)

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28 comments

  1. Amy

    5 stars
    I absolutely love these sourdough chocolate chip cookies! I’ve made this recipes three or four times the last month and need to stop or my waist is not going to be happy with me. The chopped chocolate chunks and the browned butter are a must. They really take the cookies to the next level. I was out this last time I made them and my cookies were a little lacking so I ran out to the store and bought some chocolate chunk (semi and dark). Thank you

    • Amanda Paa

      yay, so great! yes, the chopped chocolate bars add so much!

  2. Jen

    5 stars
    For our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe! ferment overnight in the fridge for extra benefit. The brown butter adds such a nice touch. I like to sub in some toffee chips as well 😋 even though I make at least one 1.5x the recipe I can’t make them fast enough!

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed them. I like to overnight ferment as well!

  3. Megan

    5 stars
    These cookies are it! My kids have been raving on and on at how amazing this recipe is. In their words “heaven”. I’ve never made a browned butter dessert recipe. And man it’s delicious. I’m not allowed to make another chocolate chip cookie recipe again haha.

  4. Jenny

    5 stars
    You are the ultimate domestic goddess… these cookies are CC cookie perfection. You did it… best ever. Thank you 🙏🏻

    • Amanda Paa

      Oh gosh, thank you! I’m so glad you liked the recipe; I worked on it for many months!

  5. Lisa Battaglia

    5 stars
    Best cookies ever!! I used dairy free butter and it still works perfectly

    • Amanda Paa

      thanks for making them, lisa! your photo of the bake on instagram was beautiful!

  6. Jenn

    5 stars
    Oh. My. Gosh. I don’t even have words for these cookies!!! They are incredible and so easy to make! Amanda’s tips on using the brown butter, chopping up a chocolate bar and giving the pan 2 firm taps when they come out of the oven are all on point! I will be making these again and again and again!!!!!

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay! So glad to hear this! I’m making a batch today, actually. :)

  7. Gabi

    Is it possible to make them vegan? Would you recommend any egg replacement – apple sauce, grounded flax seed?

    • Amanda Paa

      I have not tested a vegan version!

  8. Ann

    Can the dough be frozen? Would love to bake some and save some.

    • Amanda Paa

      Yes, the dough works great with freezing! When I want to bake, I let it come to room temp.

  9. Jamie

    5 stars
    I found out about you from the Allsorts Podcast episode you did. These cookies were the first recipe of yours I made and wow, so good!

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay, so glad to hear you enjoyed these! And welcome!

  10. Lauren

    5 stars
    Every time I make these, at least once person exclaims, “These are the best cookies I have ever had!” Perfect mix of crunchy and gooey, salty and sweet. Just perfect!

    • Amanda Paa

      So great to hear this, Lauren! They are a favorite in our house too. Thanks for making the recipe!

  11. Sarah

    5 stars
    I made this with a gf starter and King Arthur 1:1 gluten free flour, and it came out perfect!! My husband has celiacs so we have to be a completely gf household to avoid cross contamination. Thank you for the amazing recipe!

    • Amanda Paa

      Oh yay! So glad to know these worked well with the gf flour! Thanks so much for making the recipe.

  12. Rebekah

    I’m making these are they baking on convection or regular bake setting at 375 degrees???

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi! Regular bake.

  13. Greta Golfis

    5 stars
    These cookies are the perfect mix of crunch and softness. So delicious!! They are to die for!!

  14. Andrea Atherton

    5 stars
    BEST cookie recipe! They did not last long in our home. This was the first time I baked with sourdough discard and it turned out amazing! Can’t wait to make these a regular rotation in our home!

    • Amanda Paa

      So glad your family enjoyed them, Andrea!

  15. Nicki

    5 stars
    AMAZING!! These are seriously the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. They’re so flavorful with the brown butter, pockets or melted chocolate and flakey salt. And they are perfectly chewy with crispier edges. Will never make another chocolate chip cookie again!

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay, I am so glad to hear that Nicki! I love them too. Thank you for making the recipe!