Brown butter. Toffee bits. Chocolate chips. Flaky sea salt. You need The Perfect Cookie in your life RIGHT NOW.
This past year, I’ve become OBSESSED with these cookies. They are a modified version of Bon Appetit‘s Brown Butter and Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie. Which is a mouthful to say. Instead, I’m calling my version, The Perfect Cookie.
Because, really, this cookie IS perfect. Brown butter. Toffee bits. Chocolate chips. Flaky sea salt. You get the picture.
My modifications were slight, but enough to warrant a recipe. I substituted toffee bits for chopped up Skor bar and chocolate chips for chocolate wafers/discs. I also adjusted vanilla and sugar amounts. Basically, my version is more plebeian and accessible; everything can be found at the grocery store.
TWO YEAR UPDATE: Since discovering these cookies, I’ve baked them SO. MANY. TIMES.
I’ve memorized the recipe. The ingredients occupy a permanent place in my pantry. I’ve made these cookies for friends, family, teachers, coaches, neighbors, the mailman, delivery workers, plumber, etc. etc. And everyone says the same thing: these cookies are SO good!
Hands down, these are my favorite cookie. And my kids’ favorite cookie as well. My oldest daughter even compares every other cookie she eats to these! So far, nothing compares to The Perfect Cookie.
There’s two ways these cookies can bake: thin + crispy OR thick + chewy.
The difference lies in a very small detail: the amount of time the eggs are beaten.
For thin + crispy cookies, add the eggs and beat until just combined.
For thick + chewy cookies, add the eggs and beat until just combined. Then increase the hand mixer speed to medium and beat until lighter and thicker. This doesn’t take long — an additional 30-60 seconds at most. Don’t overmix!
A small, minor difference that creates a vastly different cookie texture! You can see the difference in the batter below:
Honestly, they are both good. Some people prefer them thin + crispy. Others like them thick + chewy. It’s really a matter of personal preference. I’ve baked them both ways and loved them both ways.
I’ve included both textures in the recipe below. Enjoy!
FAQ: Can I freeze these cookies?
Yes, these cookies freeze well. I recommend 2 options:
- Bake the cookies as usual. Cool completely then transfer to a container and place in the freezer. When ready to eat, defrost cookies at room temperature or briefly reheat in a 350F oven.
- Scoop the raw cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. When the raw cookie scoops are frozen, transfer to a container and keep in the freezer until ready to bake. When ready to bake, preheat the oven at 350F (vs the usual 375F) and add an extra 2-4 minutes to compensate for the frozen dough. They won’t spread as much FYI.
FAQ: How do I store The Perfect Cookie?
These cookies taste best on the day they are made. But if you need to store extras, keep them in a cookie tin. Airtight containers do not work — the texture becomes BLEH.
You can also leave the cookies loosely covered, at room temperature. They will harden after 2-3 days, though.
If you can’t finish the cookies within 3 days, I recommend freezing the cookies. That’s the best way to keep their texture. When ready to eat, defrost at room temperature or briefly reheat in a 350F oven.
I love these cookies. But they can be finicky. Here are some tips to help:
- COOL THE BROWNED BUTTER. After the butter is browned, it’s very hot. Immediately adding eggs will inadvertently temper the eggs. DO NOT TEMPER THE EGGS! This will affect the final texture! Instead, set a timer and cool the butter for 15 minutes.
- DO NOT USE A STAINLESS STEEL BOWL. I’ve learned the hard way — stainless steel prevents the brown butter from cooling properly. The metal retains all the heat and accidentally tempers the eggs. Instead, use a ceramic, glass, plastic, or bamboo bowl.
- BAKE A LITTLE UNDER. These cookies taste best when a little undercooked. Just as brownies need to be undercooked to get that perfectly chewy bite, so do these cookies. Pull them out of the oven when they are firm and crispy looking on the edges and soft in the middle. At first, they will look puffy. But they will collapse as they cool, leaving cracked tops and ripply edges. Leave them on the baking sheet for 10 minutes to firm up. Then transfer to a wire rack for cooling.
PIN FOR LATER!
The Perfect Cookie
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup toffee bits
- Flaky sea salt (I use Maldon)
- In a medium saucepan, brown the butter: cook over medium heat until the butter melts then turns caramel brown in color, about 5-7 minutes. The butter will foam and bubble. Stir often. Transfer into a large bowl (I recommend plastic, glass, ceramic, or bamboo. DO NOT use a stainless steel for faster cooling). The brown butter will contain sediment that sinks to the bottom.
- Cool browned butter for 10-15 minutes, at room temperature. Then add brown sugar and sugar. With an electric hand mixer, beat on low speed until the sugars and butter have combined, about 1-2 minutes. It should look like muddy sand.
- For thin + crispy cookies: add the vanilla and eggs and beat until just combined.
- For thick + chewy cookies: add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Then increase the hand mixer speed to medium and beat until lighter in color and thicker. This doesn't take long — an additional 30-60 seconds at most. Don't overmix!
- Add flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix on low until just combined.
- Add chocolate chips and toffee bits. Switch to a hand held spatula. Mix until fully combined.
- Set aside for 30 minutes, at room temperature. The batter will thicken slightly.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F/190C and line sheet pans with parchment paper.Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough onto the sheet pan. For smaller cookies, use a medium cookie scoop which measures 2 Tbsp. For larger cookies, use a large cookie scoop which measures 3 Tbsp. Do not flatten as the cookies will spread on their own. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
- Bake until edges are golden brown and firm but the center is still soft, about 7-11 minutes. The cookies will be puffy when they first come out of the oven but will "collapse" as they cool. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool and enjoy.