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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.
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
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.
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!
See my notes above for all my tips about sourdough starter.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda
This recipe uses both for a perfect rise!
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!
Use a good quality pure vanilla extract for this recipe.
Just use whatever all-purpose flour that you normally use in your baking.
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:
- Add your butter to a saucepan.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
More Sourdough Recipes
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
- 1½ cups salted butter
- 1¼ cup white cane sugar
- 1¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1⅓ cups flat and runny sourdough discard
- 1½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1½ 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
- 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!