Kicking off the holiday baking with a classic… but elevated!! Everyone loves a good chocolate chip cookie, so I’ve taken that and made it better with a few little tricks. First: browned butter. This is essentially caramelizing the butter by heating it in a pan so the water content evaporates out, and the milk solids turn a beautiful golden colour. Next: chocolate chunks, instead of chocolate chips. These melt much better and create beautiful puddles. For the holidays: pistachios! The nuts bring a Christmassy vibe but also a delightful saltiness and crunch.
Do I need to brown the butter?
Yes. Just do it!! I used to think that browning butter was too much work, especially for a simple cookie recipe. The idea of adding an extra step felt like just too much when you’re used to the same basic steps. But once I gave it a try, there was no turning back. The rich, nutty aroma and flavour it brings to the cookies is simply irresistible. And when you think about it, it actually saves time and effort since you can use cold butter and don’t have to fuss around with trying to get it to room temperature (if you’re like me and always forget to take the butter out of the fridge ahead of time). It’s now my favourite way to elevate a classic recipe!
I don’t like pistachios.
Fine. Not sure why you’re on a recipe called “Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Pistachio Cookies”, but don’t worry, we can modify. You have a few choices:
- Skip the nuts altogether, and just enjoy chocolate chunk cookies;
- Swap the nuts out for the same volume of an alternative such as walnuts or pecans;
- Go for a totally different option, with something like toffee bits (great choice), shredded coconut, or M&Ms.
Can I make these ahead of time?
Good call! I plan to include these in my Christmas cookie boxes this year, so I am preparing the dough a few weeks in advance to save myself time down the road. Follow the instructions up until step 8, and then freeze your dough balls. Place them in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to 3 months! When ready to bake, I recommend letting them come to room temperature (place them on the counter for a few hours), and then baking as usual. If you’re pressed for time, you can bake from frozen – they just won’t spread as much.
Can I just use regular chocolate chips?
You absolutely can. However, chocolate chips often contain additives that prevent them from melting fully during baking, maintaining their shape. On the other hand, chopped chocolate or chocolate chunks are less resistant to melting, creating delightful puddles of gooey, melted chocolate in your cookies. I find that chopped chocolate or chocolate chunks give a more decadent cookie – give it a try!
Here’s a short video, showing the process:
Any other questions, shoot me a message on social media! And if you give these a try, feel free to tag me on socials. I love to see your creations! 🙂
Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Pistachio Cookies
- 300 g unsalted butter
- 200 g brown sugar
- 120 g white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 300 g all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 440 g dark chocolate chunks
- 1/2 cup pistachios roughly chopped
- Flakey sea salt for topping
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the unsalted butter. Allow it to cook until it turns a golden-brown color with a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
- Weight out 225g of the browned butter (this should be about what you have left from the browning process, as some of the weight has evaporated away).
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the brown sugar, white sugar, and the 225g of browned butter together until the mixture becomes fluffy and well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue to mix until the mixture lightens in colour and becomes creamy. Then, add the vanilla extract and mix to incorporate.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet mixture. Stir until a cookie dough forms.
- Fold in the dark chocolate chunks and chopped pistachios, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Scoop out portions of the dough (approximately 2 tablespoons) and shape them into golf ball sized cookie rounds. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the cookie rounds on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. The cookies will continue to firm up as they cool.
- As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle a pinch of flakey sea salt on top of each cookie. This adds a delightful contrast to the sweetness and really elevates the flavours!
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make-Ahead: If you want to prepare these cookies in advance, you can shape the cookie dough into balls and freeze them. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet and freeze until they are solid. Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag, and they can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, let the frozen dough balls come back to room temperature and bake as directed.
- Storage: These cookies are best enjoyed fresh, but you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-5 days.
- Variations: If you’re not a fan of pistachios or want to try a different variation, feel free to customize the recipe. You can skip the pistachios altogether and just go for a classic chocolate chunk cookies! Or you can try out other mix-ins like shredded coconut or toffee bits for a unique twist on these cookies.