Browned Butter Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Published Date: June 22, 2023 | Last Updated: October 25, 2023
This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission on your purchase. Thank you for shopping through my links.  Anyone who follows me on social media knows my obsession with sourdough. My audience has been asking for a cookie bar version of my wildly popular browned butter sourdough chocolate chip cookie recipe (aka the best cookie recipe on
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Anyone who follows me on social media knows my obsession with sourdough. My audience has been asking for a cookie bar version of my wildly popular browned butter sourdough chocolate chip cookie recipe (aka the best cookie recipe on earth) And after lots of testing and perfecting, Viola! These Browned Butter Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are absolutely amazing. The addition of that heavenly browned butter flavor, and that zing from the sourdough, gives these cookie bars so much incredible flavor and chewy texture. I know you will love them!

Sourdough makes these cookie bars: a) chewier, b) more buttery tasting, c) easier to digest, and d) adds some prebiotics. Plus, these treats are a great way to use up sourdough discard.

Cookie Bars  

I love to make cookie bars because 1-they’re faster and easier than rolling out individual cookies, 2-you can bake them all at once, and 3-they make more servings! Perfect to take to a party or gathering. This recipe makes 24 large cookie bars, or could easily be cut into smaller portions, (up to 48 servings!) I bake these in a standard half-size sheet pan. I love this one because it comes with a lid for easy storage.

If you want to make this recipe but in cookie form, you can find that recipe here.

What Kind of Sourdough Starter Should I Use?

For this recipe, you are going to use sourdough discard. Starter is considered discard when it is unfed, flat, and runny. It won’t have any bubbles in it and at room temperature, it will be the consistency of heavy whipping cream. Your sourdough starter is in its discard state if it hasn’t been touched for a few days.

This recipe won’t work very well with active starter, since that will thicken the cookie dough too much. For more sourdough information, check out this blog post for a beginner’s guide to sourdough starters.

Ingredients for Browned Butter Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Butter

I use salted butter for almost everything. This recipe is formulated for salted butter, but if you only have unsalted butter, increase the salt to 1¼ tsp.

It’s important to note that for this recipe, the butter must be browned. Do not skip the browning step or it will result in dough that is too wet and cookie bars that are too cakey. If you are looking for a cookie bar recipe that doesn’t require browned butter, make these delicious chocolate chip cookie bars instead.

White Sugar and Brown Sugar

This combination of white sugar and brown sugar makes these cookie bars perfectly chewy and sweet. 

Egg Yolks

This recipe calls for 4 egg yolks only. Don’t add the whites. The egg yolks will add fat and make these cookies delicious. Just save the whites and add them to your next omelette!

Sourdough Starter

See my notes above for all my tips about sourdough starter. 

Baking Powder and Baking Soda 

This recipe uses both for a perfect rise!

Salt 

My very favorite salt for cooking and baking is Redmond Real Salt. I love it because it is pure, unprocessed, and full of naturally-occurring trace minerals. It has no fillers, anti-caking agents, additives or unhealthy pollutants. Redmond mines their salt from an ancient sea bed in central Utah, so it is true sea salt! 

You can get 15% off with my affiliate discount code, AMBERSKITCHEN.

This recipe calls for TWO different kinds of salt. One for baking, and the second for finishing. I like to sprinkle a little bit of finishing salt on top of the cookies after they are baked. Maldon Salt is perfectly flaky and crunchy and adds just an extra something for these cookies! 

Vanilla 

Use a good quality pure vanilla extract for this recipe.

All-purpose Flour

Just use whatever all-purpose flour that you normally use in your baking.

Chocolate Chips

My personal preference is to use semisweet chocolate chips although my family prefers milk chocolate. So sometimes I’ll do half and half. But if these were just for me, they would be 100% semi sweet or even dark chocolate. If you like a sweeter cookie, you could use milk chocolate, and if you’re a chocolate purist, go for extra dark. Guittard is my very favorite chocolate brand but use whatever you like!

How to Make Browned Butter

Browned butter is truly heaven-sent. Browned butter is butter that has been cooked over the stove until it turns a dark amber color. It has a rich, toasted, and almost caramelized flavor. It is so delicious and it is a major upgrade to every food that it’s in! 

To make brown butter, simply follow these steps: 

  1. Add your butter to a saucepan.
  2. Turn on the flame to a medium to medium-high heat and allow the butter to melt. After the butter melts, it will start to foam considerably. Keep going.
  3. Stir the butter as it continues to cook.  The foam will slightly subside. While stirring,  you’ll notice that the liquid under the bubbles starts to turn yellow, then dark yellow, then brown. This is typically where I remove it from the heat, but If you keep going, it will develop brown flecks. Just be careful that it doesn’t burn. Once removed from the heat, let it cool for at least 30 minutes.  
  4. Once the browned butter is cooled it’s ready to be used for this recipe. It can stay at room temperature for up to 24 hours before being used.
  5. If needed, you can store the browned butter in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. Just let it come to room temperature before adding it to this recipe. 

More Cookie Recipes

Browned Butter Sourdough Molasses Cookies

Large and In Charge Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chunk S’mores Cookies

More Sourdough Recipes

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Sourdough Waffles

Sourdough Cheeze-its

Happy Cooking!

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. If you want to follow along on my cooking adventures, follow me on Instagram @AMBERSKITCHEN

Browned Butter Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Hands down my favorite cookie bar! The browned butter combined with the sourdough discard takes the flavor to the next level! Oh, and the coarse salt on the top? It makes it! These bars are huge and are perfect for a crowd.
4.73 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 24 cookie bars
Author: Amber

Ingredients

  • cups salted butter
  • cup white cane sugar
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1⅓ cups flat and runny sourdough discard
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • teaspoon vanilla
  • 3⅓ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • 4 oz. 1/2 cup chocolate chips for pressing into the top of the cookies
  • ¼ tsp coarse flake salt, for topping

Instructions

  • Brown the butter.  In a medium saucepan on the stove over medium to medium-high heat, add the butter. Let melt. Then stir as the butter begins to bubble and foam. Stir frequently. (Read: don’t walk away or it could burn) When the liquid butter under the foam turns from yellow, to deep yellow, be ready because it’s nearly done. Once the liquid starts turning a light brown remove it from the heat and let it cool at least 30 minutes or more.
  • Combine the browned butter and both sugars. Beat together with an electric hand mixer or with a stand mixer. The mixture will look a bit dry and crumbly, like semi- wet sand. 
  • Add the egg yolk to the mixture and beat with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes. As you continue beating, the mixture will become lighter and fluffier.
  • Add the vanilla and the flat and runny sourdough discard and mix.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Mix, then add all of it to the wet ingredients. Mix with a large mixing spoon until just barely combined. Don’t over mix.
  • Add the chocolate chips and mix together until combined.
  • Pour cookie dough into a greased cookie sheet. Use your hands to flatten it to reach the edges of the pan. 
  • *not necessary but optional for full sourdough fermentation effect* Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for up to 24 hours to ferment. 
  • Preheat your oven to 350℉.
  • Bake for 17-21 minutes. Do not overbake or they will be crumbly. For cold refrigerated dough, you do not need to bring it to room temperature first, but you’ll need to increase the baking time by about 1-2 minutes. They should come out of the oven with the top set and should be a light golden brown color.
  • Remove from oven and top with a few more chocolate chips and a sprinkle of flake salt.
  • Cut into 24 equal squares or cut into your desired serving size. Enjoy!

Notes

These are best the day of and the following day, but beyond that, I would recommend freezing any leftovers in an airtight bag or container so they don’t get crumbly over time. 

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Recipe Rating




    1. Post
      Author

      If you don’t have a sourdough starter, I’d suggest either getting one from a friend to make this recipe, or make my classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, found here

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  1. 5 stars
    These are the best bar cookies ever. I’m pretty picky about cookies, so good. Took them to a family party over the 4th, everyone loved them.

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      Author
  2. 5 stars
    I’ve made these twice and they are amazing. You wouldn’t even know there was sourdough starter in there! Definitely a keeper recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Holy moly, these are amazing! The flavor and texture turned out perfect! Because it made so much, I was able to share with a few neighbors and to quote my 15yo babysitter, “these are BUSSIN” haha.

  4. 5 stars
    Love making the cookie version of these and these are even better! Love these so much and their always a hit when I make them. I never add extra chocolate chips after baking and I think they turn out perfect!

  5. 5 stars
    These cookies are one of the best I’ve ever had. I actually got 40 cookies out of the pan that were plenty big enough. I used milk chocolate and semi sweet chips and the course salt on top is absolutely insane and makes them perfect! Curious how many calories each one is! I’ll be making these often!

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks for the question. Use a standard half sheet pan 13×18. Let me know how this turned out for you! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Hands down the best chocolate chip cookie treat ever! They are amazing! The taste and texture are incredible! They are my go-to whenever I need to take a treat and then share the recipe because everyone loves them! The. Best!

  7. Have you tried cutting these into shapes? My son wants chocolate chip heart cookies for his Valentine’s Day party.
    I was thinking I could just use a cookie cutter instead of cutting into bars?

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      Author
  8. Hi! I plan to make these next weekend. I’m going out of town tomorrow. Excited! But have you ever lessened the sugar? Are the bars overly sweet? If not I’ll keep recipe as is. I LOVE sugar in carb form lol but just don’t want the bars ridiculously sweet. And it says “add egg yolk” assuming you meant all 4-yolks? Not just 1 right? Thanks SO MUCH , hope your well thus far in 2024.

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      Author
  9. Hi Amber! What size cookie sheet are you using for this recipe? A full sheet pan? That doesn’t seem to be deep enough for me… It always puffs up over the edges. So so so delicious that we love them.

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      Author
  10. 5 stars
    This recipe makes the BEST the sourdough & brown butter together create a the muddy delicious flavor. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe with the world!

  11. 2 stars
    Horrible recipe. I really had high hopes for this, as I was baking it for a memorial day party. I literally had to bake it for 30 minutes longer than what it says and it was STILL undercooked in the middle. I used a 13.5 x 9.5 glass pan. Now i have to bake something else and be late for the party. So disappointed!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Kristin, these would have turned out better for you if you had baked them in the right pan. The recipe calls for a half sheet pan (13×17) and you used a 9×13. I hope you try them again in the correct sized pan and love them!

    1. Post
      Author
  12. 5 stars
    I made these today to take to a missionary open house and they are SO good! I had half and half fresh sourdough discard and discard that had been in the fridge for a couple of weeks. The flavor of the baked cookies is incredible. The brown butter is definitely something worth the effort! To speed up my butter chill time, I placed my pan of hot browned butter in my butler pantry sink full of ice. I hadn’t planned on the 30 minute cool down time…haha! The butter cooled in half the needed time. Next time I’ll plan accordingly! Also wanted to say thank you for all the content you put out. I’ve learned so much from your posts and recipes. You inspire so many in the best way!

    1. Post
      Author

      Thank you so much for your kind comment, Sheryl. I am so happy that you loved this recipe. And good tip for cooling down the butter!

  13. Do you test these for the perfect amount of flour like you do the individual cookies? If so, what is your process? Thank you!

    1. Post
      Author
Ambers-Kitchen-Sourdough-Bread-2

Hi! I'm Amber

I'm obsessed with all things food and a mom to five. Baking bread and using my instant pot are my favorite things to do in the kitchen, and I can't wait to bring all that I have learned to you! Connect with me on Instagram because there's where I basically live these days.