If you've ever felt that tiny pang of guilt discarding your excess sourdough starter, this recipe for Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies is about to become your best friend. Prepare yourself for the softest, chewiest cookie you've ever tasted, perfectly balanced between the rich sweetness of chocolate, nutty browned butter and a surprising hint of salty tang.
- ⭐ Why You’ll Love This Sourdough Cookie Recipe
- ⏲️ Substitutions & Variations
- 📖 How To Make Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies: Step-by-Step Instructions
- 👩🏻🍳 Expert baking tips
- 💭 Recipe FAQs
- ❄️ How long do sourdough cookies last?
- More Sourdough Recipes You’ll Love
- Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 💬 Comments
If you're anything like me, finding new, exciting ways to use up your precious sourdough starter discard is almost a hobby (because, let's be honest, it feels awful to waste it!). From banana bread to pancakes, that tangy goodness brings an extra dose of je ne sais quois to everything it touches.
The next time you've got an abundance of starter on your hands, make this fun, twist on classic chocolate chip cookies. These aren't just any treats; they have that delightful tang from the sourdough, paired impeccably with the nuttiness of browned butter, plus a kiss of salt that enhances the sweetness perfectly.
Made with just 11 simple ingredients, you can whip up these sourdough discard chocolate chip cookies anytime the craving strikes. The best part? Each bite not only promises deliciousness but also brings the satisfying feeling of giving your sourdough discard a purpose filled with joy and chocolate chips. This is one of my absolute favorite recipes, and I have a hunch it might just become one of yours, too!
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Sourdough Cookie Recipe
Let me tell you a bit more about why these sourdough chocolate chip wonders are about to become your new cookie jar heroes:
- Deliciously Sustainable: Bid farewell to the guilt of wasting food! These cookies are a testament to the joy of sustainable baking, turning what was once “discard” into a treat that's impossible to resist. Rather than tossing it away, we're folding it into a treat that's both delightful and eco-friendly. It’s a win for your palate and the planet!
- Made With Only 11 Ingredients: This recipe is proof that you don't need a pantry full of ingredients to whip up something truly special. With just 11 staple ingredients, you're on your way to cookie heaven.
- Chewy & Soft: Prepare for the ultimate sensory delight! Each sourdough discard cookie offers that irresistible chewy texture, coupled with an oh-so-soft crumb that will have you reaching for just one more... and maybe one more after that!
As promised, you only need a few simple ingredients to make these chocolate chip sourdough cookies. Here’s what to grab:
- Browned Butter - Browning your butter adds an extra layer of deliciousness that’s nutty and crave-worthy.
- All-Purpose Flour - Plain white flour is all you need.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda - You’ll need both types of leavener to achieve the perfect tender crumb.
- Kosher Salt - A touch of salt helps to awaken all the complex flavors these sourdough cookies have to offer.
- Granulated Sugar & Brown Sugar - These two sweeteners have different chemical properties that affect how the cookies bake up. You need them both! Feel free to use either light or dark brown sugar. You can also substitute cane sugar or caster sugar for the granulated sugar if needed.
- Egg Yolks - Using just the yolks increases the fat content, resulting in a more tender crumb.
- Sourdough Starter Discard - Make sure your starter is 100% hydration, i.e. equal parts flour and water.
- Vanilla Extract - For aromatic warmth. Feel free to use an equal amount of vanilla paste or vanilla powder.
- Dark Chocolate - You can use a chocolate bar or chocolate chips here. Bar chocolate melts into pools of meltiness rather than holding its shape, while chips makes the process a snap. Up to you!
- Flakey Sea Salt - It’s hard to beat the pyramids of Maldon, but any flaky salt like sel gris will also work!
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
⏲️ Substitutions & Variations
While I love this sourdough discard cookie recipe just the way its written, there are plenty of ways to make it your own. Feel free to experiment.
Here are a few fun ideas of how to jazz up your sourdough chocolate chip cookie experience:
- Spiced Autumn Crunch 🍁: Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a handful of chopped pecans to the mix. This will introduce a warm, spicy undertone that pairs perfectly with the chillier months.
- Tropical Bliss 🏝️: Incorporate shredded coconut and white chocolate chips. The tropical flavor of coconut intertwined with the creamy sweetness of white chocolate will transport you to a sunny beachside.
- Berry Delight 🍓: Fold in dried cranberries or dried cherries. The tangy-sweetness of the berries beautifully complements the rich depth of the sourdough and chocolate.
- Mocha Dream ☕: Infuse the dough with 2 teaspoons of instant coffee or espresso powder. This will lend a subtle coffee note which, when paired with chocolate, browned butter, and sourdough, becomes a match made in cookie heaven!
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
📖 How To Make Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies: Step-by-Step Instructions
This chewy sourdough chocolate chip cookies recipe is super simple. Here’s how it’s made with leftover sourdough starter:
Step 1: Brown Butter in a small saucepan.
Step 2: Dry Ingredients. While the butter is browning, gather the dry ingredients and whisk them together to ensure they are well combined.
Step 3: Butter & Sugar. In a separate large bowl, combine the browned butter and sugars. Use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer to whisk the mixture together.
Step 4: Add the Egg Yolks to the mixture and continue to mix for a few minutes on medium speed.
Step 5: Add the Active Sourdough Starter & Vanilla. Mix into the mixture for a few minutes until the mixture becomes smooth and fully combined.
Step 6: Add Dries. Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter. Mix on low speed just until everything comes together to form a dough, being careful not to overmix.
Step 7: Add Chocolate. Add the chocolate chunks to the dough. Mix briefly until the chocolate chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Step 8: Rest Dough. Place the dough in an airtight container and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours so that the dough starts to solidify before baking.
Step 10: Bake cookies for about 14-16 minutes or until you notice that the edges are set and slightly golden brown.
Step 11: Finish. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, sprinkle with flakey salt and after a few minutes, transfer the delicious cookies to a cooling rack or wire rack before enjoying!
👩🏻🍳 Expert baking tips
- Don’t rush the rest. Giving your dough time to chill out in the fridge both improves the flavor and the texture. I like to make them as 2-day chocolate chip cookies, mixing up the dough the night before, then baking them off the next day. Or whip up the dough in the morning, and bake off in the evening!
- Sprinkle on the salt while the cookies are still warm from the oven. If you try after they’ve cooled, the salt won’t stick.
- Precision matters. You’ll get the best results if you use a kitchen scale. I also recommend using a spring-loaded cookie scoop to ensure all your cookies are the same size, which helps them to bake evenly.
💭 Recipe FAQs
What makes chocolate chip cookies fluffy instead of flat?
Ingredients like baking powder and baking soda release carbon dioxide gas into the cookie dough during baking, which gives rise to that airy, fluffy texture. Refrigerating your cookie dough before baking also helps. Cold dough takes longer to melt and spread out in the oven, which helps maintain a thicker, puffier shape.
Can you ferment cookie dough?
Indeed, you can ferment cookie dough! Fermenting introduces depth of flavor due to the development of natural acids and enzymes. Using sourdough discard is a way of fermenting the dough. It lends a delightful tanginess and complex flavor profile to your cookies.
Furthermore, allowing cookie dough to rest in the refrigerator for 24-72 hours will deepen its flavors. This process allows the flour to fully hydrate and enzymes to break down starches into simpler sugars, enhancing the caramelization and flavor when baked.
How do you use sourdough discard?
Sourdough discard is the portion of your sourdough starter that you might typically throw away when you feed or refresh your starter. But, rather than wasting it, there are myriad delicious ways to use it up.
One of the easiest and most popular ways to use up discard is in pancake or french toast batter. It creates an amazing tangy flavor and complements the sweetness of your syrups or toppings. You simply mix it into the batter, and the discard's natural fermenting qualities add a lovely lift, making your breakfast treats even more special.
But why stop at breakfast? Your sourdough discard can bring a subtle complexity to homemade pizza dough, giving your pizza night a gourmet twist. It also works wonders in quick bread, sourdough crackers and muffin recipes, offering a delightful tang and improving texture. And let's not forget about desserts! Brownies, sourdough banana bread, cakes, and these sourdough starter cookies all benefit from the unique zing that sourdough discard provides.
❄️ How long do sourdough cookies last?
Storing your homemade cookies properly ensures they stay fresh and delicious for as long as possible. For short-term enjoyment, keep your cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days.
If you're thinking ahead, these cookies freeze beautifully—just place them in a freezer safe bag, set them in the freezer and you can extend their life for a couple of months. Whenever you're ready for a treat, simply thaw them on your baking sheet as you preheat the oven, and they'll be ready to bring joy to your taste buds all over again.
More Sourdough Recipes You’ll Love
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Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Hand Mixer
- ½ Cup (113.5 g) Butter
- 3 cups + 2 Tablespoons (375 g) All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 cup (200 g) Granulated sugar
- 1 cup (200 g) Brown sugar
- 3 Egg yolks, from large eggs
- 1 cup (240 g) Sourdough starter discard, 100% hydration
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2 ⅔ Cups (450 g) Dark chocolate chips, or dark chocolate, chopped
- Flakey sea salt, to top
- Start by melting your butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Use a pan with a light-colored bottom so you can keep track of the color while the butter starts to brown. Swirl the pan occasionally to make sure that the butter is cooking evenly. As the butter melts, it will begin to foam, sputter and the coloring will get darker. Once the butter has developed a deep golden brown color and has stopped sputtering, pour into a heatproof glass container and set aside.½ Cup Butter
- Gather the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Place these dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk them together to ensure they are well combined.3 cups + 2 Tablespoons All-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon Baking powder, 1 teaspoon Baking soda, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- In a separate large bowl, combine the browned butter and sugars. Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer to mix the ingredients for a few minutes.1 cup Granulated sugar, 1 cup Brown sugar
- Add the egg yolks and continue to mix for a few minutes on medium speed.3 Egg yolks
- Mix the sourdough starter and vanilla into the mixture for a few minutes until the mixture becomes smooth and combined1 cup Sourdough starter discard, 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- In two parts, add the flour mixture to the batter. Mix on low speed just until everything comes together to form a dough, being careful not to overmix.
- Add the chocolate chips to the dough. Mix gently with a spatula until the chocolate chips are evenly incorporated throughout the dough.2 ⅔ Cups Dark chocolate chips
- Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap or move the dough into an air tight container. Set in the fridge for at least 2 hours so that the dough starts to solidify before baking.
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Meanwhile, with a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the dough into uniform dough balls and place on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until you notice that the edges are set and slightly golden brown. If you notice that the cookies are spreading too much for your liking, you may need to chill the dough a bit longer!
- Remove the cookies from the oven, sprinkle with flakey salt and after about 4 minutes, transfer them to cooling rack before enjoying!Flakey sea salt