Butterscotch Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Chocolate | Cookies

Butterscotch Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

September 16th, 2016
5 from 9 votes
5 from 9 votes

Butterscotch Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are ridiculously flavorful and chewy with crisp edges and an ooey gooey center. Keep scrolling to learn what the SECRET INGREDIENT is!

Yield: 25 large cookies

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

OMG these are CRAZY good!! That first bite will blow your taste buds away! Super chewy, crisp at the edges, and gooey in the middle. Cookie perfection!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: SO MUCH FLAVOR. Butterscotch, caramel, browned butter, chocolate… it’s a party in your mouth.
Texture: Ultra chewy with crispy edges and a gooey center. Like every chocolate chip cookie should be in my book!
Ease: Definitely more involved than your typical cookie recipe, but well worth the effort.
Pros: Possibly the most flavorful cookies ever.
Cons: Browning the butter requires your constant attention and the 24 hour chill period requires patience.
Would I make this again? Absolutely. I have this cookie dough in the freezer! (Learn how to freeze cookie dough here).

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These cookies are an explosion of flavor in your mouth. I feel a little bit like Guy Fieri for saying that… but it’s true!

Butterscotch Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are ridiculously flavorful and chewy with crisp edges and an ooey gooey center.

I’ve taken every step to 10x the flavor of chocolate chip cookies so much that I think these are on a whole other playing field. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try soon!

OMG these are CRAZY good!! That first bite will blow your taste buds away! Super chewy, crisp at the edges, and gooey in the middle. Cookie perfection!

Secret Ingredient

The secret ingredient to these Butterscotch Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies is…. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels. They are absolute perfection. I was first turned onto them by Gaby of What’s Gaby Cooking and have been in love ever since.

In addition to a cup of chocolate chips in this cookie recipe, I’ve added in two whole cups of these chocolate butterscotch caramels. The complex salty sweet flavor they add to an already flavorful cookie dough is insane. Your taste buds will love you for it!

However, if you can’t get these specific candies, you can also use Rolo candies. Think of the Trader Joe’s candies as a classier more refined version of Rolos. If you’re going the Rolo route, I’d reccomend you add a sprinkling of flaked sea salt to the top of each cookie dough ball before baking.

Butterscotch Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are ridiculously flavorful and chewy with crisp edges and an ooey gooey center.

Brown Butter

Browning the butter adds a rich toasted nutty flavor to these cookies and really just pushes them over the edge. If you’ve never browned butter before, not to worry. Just follow the recipe instructions closely and don’t walk away from the pan. The butter can go from perfectly brown to burnt real fast.

Do I have to use bread flour?

The bread flour has a higher protein percentage, which helps create a chewier texture in these cookies. It’s definitely worth picking up a bag at the store if you don’t have any on hand. However, if you don’t have any you can use only all-purpose flour, the cookies just won’t be as chewy.

By the way, the egg yolk in this recipe also adds chewiness and richness!

Do I need to chill the dough?

The 24 hour chilling period is absolutely worth the wait. You can actually chill the dough for up to 72 hours, just make sure it’s in an airtight container. Think of this chilling period like marinating. All the flavors intensify and since the flour absorbs moisture from the dough during this time, the texture of the cookies becomes thicker and chewier. After the dough is chilled, just let it sit at room temperature until it’s warm enough to scoop.

If you don’t want to wait that long, or maybe just want to bake off a few cookies asap, then simply chill the dough until it’s firmed up enough to scoop. The cookies won’t be quite as perfect, but they’ll still be delicious.

Scooping the dough

I find that by baking off large chocolate chip cookies you can achieve a MUCH better texture than smaller cookies. I use my large 3-tablespoon cookie scoop to do this. You can use the more standard 1 1/2-tablespoon scoop instead if you prefer, just shave off about 3 minutes from the baking time.

Why use a cookie scoop?

Using a stainless steel spring-loaded cookie scoop when portioning out cookie dough is one of the KEYS to beautiful, uniform, evenly-shaped and evenly-baked cookies. My cookie scoop is one of my most frequently used kitchen gadgets. A spring-loaded scoop saves you *so much time* in forming the balls of dough. When using a scoop, you ensure each ball is evenly sized so the cookies bake evenly, meaning you don’t have any small overbaked cookies or large underbaked cookies. Learn more about Cookie Scoops and how to use them here!

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5 from 9 votes

How to make
Butterscotch Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 25 large cookies
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Butterscotch Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are ridiculously flavorful and chewy with crisp edges and an ooey gooey center. Keep scrolling to learn what the SECRET INGREDIENT is!


  • 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (187 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (127 grams) bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups (200 grams) chocolate covered butterscotch caramels (see post above)
  • 1 cup (170 grams) semi sweet chocolate chips


  1. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops, continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the granulated sugar and dark brown sugar. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes to room temperature.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat the cooled butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, yolk, and vanilla, beating until combined. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and butterscotch caramels. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours but no more than 72 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.
  5. Let dough sit at room temperature just until it is soft enough to scoop. Divide the dough into 3-tablespoon sized balls and drop onto prepared baking sheets. At this point you can freeze the dough balls until hard then transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking as directed.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Serve or store in an airtight container for 3 days.

Recipe Video

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id="oPrdWOqk" upload-date="2020-12-07T21:11:55.000Z" name="How to Brown Butter" description="How to Brown Butter to use in any baking recipe!" player-type="default" override-embed="default"]
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Sophie — October 18, 2023 at 3:39 am

    sooo delicious! added 2 eggs instead of 2 +1. not sure if it made a difference but didnt want to waste the rest of the other egg haha. in any case the cookies turned out GREAT

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 18, 2023 at 9:24 am

      Hi Sophie! So glad to hear that you enjoyed these cookies! The additional egg yolk in this recipe adds chewiness and richness, so I recommend giving it a try next time 🙂 You can always freeze the egg white for a later use. While egg yolks don’t freeze well, egg whites freeze wonderfully! I always have a freezer bag in my freezer, labelled ‘Egg Whites’, and I add to it whenever I make a recipe like this, and eventually use all those egg whites for making Swiss Meringue Buttercream, French macarons, meringues, or an egg white omelet! I hope that helps! Happy baking!

  2. #
    Frank — September 3, 2023 at 7:09 am

    I am planning a deep dive in this 3T chocolate chip + melting wafers or toffee or butterscotch + hold dough in fridge for 2-3 days category over the next few weeks. I have two process related questions: 1. You always call for wrapping the dough in plastic wrap before placing in the fridge. Would a plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid work as well? The dough ball weighs a tad over three pounds. I have a collection of 6.2 cup Rubbermaid bowls I use to fridge ferment pizza dough that look like they would do nicely. 2. How big will these things be when baked? My guess is 4¼” in diameter. If that is right, I can only bake 6 at a time on a half pan ot 8 if I don’t mind some Siamese cookies.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — September 5, 2023 at 9:13 am

      Hi Frank! Yes, an airtight container or plastic wrap sealing the top of your bowl tightly will work just fine. We’re just trying to prevent the dry fridge air from drying out your cookies as they hang out in the fridge for a few days! All cookies will differ in size, but most using 3 Tablespoons of dough will spread to about 3.5-4 inches in diameter. Give one tray a try with the cookies spaced out a few inches apart, and you can always add a couple more to the next tray if they didn’t spread too much. I hope that helps! Happy baking 🙂

  3. #
    Reagan — July 5, 2023 at 7:30 pm

    I have made these cookies several times now, and every single time, they’re perfect. I use the dark chocolate Rolos instead of the butterscotch as we don’t have those anywhere locally. Everyone who has tried them can’t get enough! Thanks for this delicious recipe 🙂 definitely the new chocolate chip cookie in this household!

  4. #
    Justyna — March 6, 2023 at 7:15 am

    Can I scoop the cookies before chilling so they are ready to go the next day?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — March 7, 2023 at 9:54 am

      Hi Justyna! Yes, absolutely! Let us know what you think of these cookies once you’ve given them a try 🙂

  5. #
    Danny — May 21, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    Sorry, the website keeps truncating my post and cutting everything off:
    I have no idea if u got it, cuz it had only 3 lines. Again!

    https://imgur.com/a/VkDGC7m the PICS!

    Here is Mk.18 of my cookie! This is a GIANT Brown-Butter, Butterscotch Sea Salt caramel Chocolate chunk cookie! 113 Gram and extra chewy
    I did a lot of things differently and more accurately than last time. This cookie is a Frankenstein hybrid of 3 Handle the Heat recipes and a twist.
    Here’s a short list of problems I had to solve first:
    1. NEW OVEN. The last one busted, a big reason why I couldn’t get a cookie right, it was on its way to meet its maker, too hot, too cold, then too hot in BURSTS!
    2. Scooping out egg because all my eggs are XL and recipes are calling for L eggs. I tested this independently on a box mix and indeed its a HUGE.
    3. NEW baking soda. Mine still worked, but the box says to use no older than 30 days. So yea that also get much better browning.
    4. A very powerful, HAND Mixer! Another issue here was all recipes and the bakers were telling me I can’t do it by hand cuz it has to be 3 min of creaming. U can’t time it the same if by hand, doh! HUGE difference in texture.
    5. Pulling my cookie parchment with the cookies to the cold tile after 5 minutes so it stops cooking and prevents some areas to get hard.
    I browned and then re-chilled my brown butter and added 2 tbsp water that was lost, for a super huge taste enhancement!
    I also marinated my cookies for 3 full days!
    These are the best cookies I’ve ever put out and will continually experiment for even better.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 23, 2022 at 8:12 am

      So excited your experiments were so successful in perfecting these cookies, Danny! So happy to hear you nailed it 🙂

    • #
      Angel Marie — December 19, 2022 at 1:10 pm

      about your brown butter tip. I have a question. I usually brown my butter then store them in the fridge to use in other recipes that call for unsalted butter. is that bad? so would I need to add water to the brown butter after melting it to get a full stick like the regular butter? I want to use brown butter in recipes that call for regular butter but I’m afraid it won’t come out right.

  6. #
    Anita — April 2, 2022 at 10:25 am

    Follow-up Question

    You state to use 2 cups of the butterscotch caramels and equate that to 200g. However, the TJ bag has 7 oz./298 grams. Do you mean ~1 cup of caramels @ ~ 200g or do you mean 2 cups/400g instead?

    • #
      Emily — April 4, 2022 at 3:57 pm

      Hi Anita! The TJ’s bag is 7 ounces, which is actually ~198 grams. You’ll want to use the entire bag 🙂 I hope that helps!

  7. #
    Anita — April 2, 2022 at 9:35 am

    Most delicious and requested. Still making after all the years.

  8. #
    Steph — April 23, 2021 at 11:28 am

    I’m in agreement with another reader… You state to use 2 cups of the butterscotch caramels and equate that to 200g. However, when I weigh it out, 1 cup of caramels equals roughly 200g. So do you mean 2 cups/400g instead?

  9. #
    Samantha — October 27, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Beautiful, thick cookies with so much flavour! I live in Canada and since we don’t have Trader Joe’s here I used Rolo candies as per Tessa’s recommended substitution. The caramel melted and caused a bit of spread but that also added to the rustic look of the cookies. The chilling time and browned butter are worth the effort! Would definitely make these again!

  10. #
    Amy Storfer — December 27, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Tessa – thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I followed your directions exactly (I appreciate your providing the weight of each ingredient!) and everyone LOVED these cookies at my holiday party and asked for the recipe.I used the Trader Joe’s caramels per your suggestion — YUM!

  11. #
    Kayla — September 25, 2019 at 7:15 am

    Looking at your giant chocolate chip cookie recipe because I want giant cookies. can these brown butter caramel ones be adapted into 1/4 cup size cookies if i chill dough and just do a bigger scoop? or could i just add the tj’s caramels into the giant recipe? I’m a sucker for brown butter anything so this recipe is more appealing!

    drooling at work by the way!! 🙂

  12. #
    Ankita — August 18, 2019 at 12:32 am

    I love all your recipes.. I want to try all of them.. looking for new recipes too.m.

  13. #
    cynthia — January 26, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Made these the other night – I used Heath bar bits (choco covered toffee) instead of the TJs. I like Heath and TJs is about 1hr away. Used the 1.5tbs scoop as I like smaller cookies. These babies were crispy/tender, rich, decadent and completely crazy good. My husband swore they were the best he had ever had and that they were even better than any store cookie. We have a new favorite. I found your website while searching for ways to make chocolate chip cookies better and your baking/cookie guides created a lifelong fan. I’ve always been good, but your site has brought my confidence to new levels and my baking as well. Thanks! 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — January 28, 2019 at 11:59 am

      That’s so amazing, Cynthia! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. #
    Adam K — January 21, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    I made a batch exactly as you described in your recipe and they came out with incredible smell of browned butter and butterscotch caramels (even the raw dough). After baking the smell was even better with a rich taste of all of its ingredients. Probably the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever eaten. Thanks for sharing it.

  15. #
    Mindy — October 28, 2018 at 12:47 am

    I have made dozens of chocolate chip cookie recipes and have loved many of them, but today I made these and they just might have topped them all. Followed the recipe but just used regular flour. Did a couple test cookies before refrigerating to check flour content. Perfect.

  16. #
    Cristina — July 2, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Hello Miss Tessa! Can I add some mollases for this recipe? If thas ok, how much?

  17. #
    Farah Imam — May 25, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Hi Tessa,
    Cant wait to Make these.
    Where in TJ’s do you usually find the caramels?
    Also if i just used all purpose flour. He many cups would it be?

  18. #
    Angéliqe — December 17, 2017 at 3:34 am

    Bonjour Tessa! J’ai envie de faire cette appétissante recette. Je suis française et je ne sais pas quoi acheter comme caramel car je ne trouve pas d’équivalent, aurais tu une idée ? Très bonne journée !

  19. #
    Lori — November 12, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Hi Tessa..just wondering about a measurement ..the recipe calls for 2 cups or 200 grams of the butterscotch caramels..200 grams fits in 1 cup so I wasn’t sure if I should add more..thanks , Lori

  20. #
    Kristina Ma — October 29, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Tessa this recipe is Uhmayzing! Gooey on the inside withcrispy edges! It is definitely a big more involved than the average recipe BUT so worth t and browning the butter was neat! Thanks for another delish recipe, Cookie Queen!

  21. #
    Sonia Gupta — June 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Tessa, I recently made Cranberry Pistachio cookies. But when I looked at this recipe of yours, I cursed myself for not seeing this earlier. Anyways, I have to now find an alternate to your secret ingredient here in India and give it a shot. You are genius.


  22. #
    Terra — February 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Tessa,
    Can I leave these longer than 72 hours? Also, what difference would it make chilling it for 24 hours vs. 72 hours?
    I’m going to try to make these over the weekend. Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — February 14, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      I wouldn’t the dough will start to dry out after 72 hours. The longer the chilling period, the thicker and more flavorful the cookies will be!

  23. #
    Shani mantra 108 — December 8, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    These were really good!!!

  24. #
    Suzanne — September 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I just put these in the fridge to chill…can’t wait until tomorrow night!

    • #
      Tessa — October 1, 2016 at 10:15 am


  25. #
    dana apple — September 22, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    I just popped them in my fridge! I’m making a couple now to see if I can tell the difference 😉

    • #
      Tessa — September 22, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      Yay!! Let me know what you think 🙂

  26. #
    Jodi Perschetz — September 17, 2016 at 11:24 am


    You are the best. I have NEVER made one of your recipes and not had it be the hit of meal. I just finished this dough (stopped at Trader Joes hours after I read this!). I can’t wait until tomorrow!!!

    • #
      Tessa — September 18, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Ah that makes me SO happy to hear, Jodi!! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. It just made my afternoon 🙂

  27. #
    Gemma — September 16, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    HI Tessa. Can I cook this in a steamer? I don’t have oven. 🙂 thank you

    • #
      Tessa — September 17, 2016 at 11:09 am

      No, Gemma, an oven is definitely necessary here!

  28. #
    Carol Smith — September 16, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Do you chop the chocolate covered caramels or leave them whole?

    • #
      Tessa — September 16, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      I leave them whole, then as you’re scooping out the dough they tend to break up a little bit for a nice balance of whole pieces and parts. However, if you’d prefer to chop then feel free 🙂

  29. #
    Jenniffer — September 16, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Cannot wait to make these this weekend…just have one question. If I cannot find the “secret” ingredient at TJ’s, would you recommend using Rolo Mini’s or the full size Rolos as a substitute?

    • #
      Tessa — September 16, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Yay! Hope you find it at your TJ’s. The last time I went there was only one bag left!! I would use full-size, but that’s my personal preference. Use whichever you want. Some of the candies get broken up as you scoop the dough, which I actually like 🙂

  30. #
    Karen — September 16, 2016 at 8:09 am

    What are chocolate covered caramels and where can I get them?

    • #
      Tessa — September 16, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Did you read the post under Secret Ingredient?

  31. #
    Patty K-P — September 16, 2016 at 8:05 am

    They certainly seem like an explosion of flavor in your mouth! And, so perfect if anyone has leftover Rolos after Halloween 😀

    • #
      Tessa — September 16, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Exactly! Thanks, Patty!

  32. #
    Jill — September 16, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Question about the caramels – you refer to them as ‘toffee’ in the recipe; does that mean I can use Heath Bar bits for this ingredient?

    • #
      Tessa — September 16, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Hi, Jill! That was more of a typo on my part. I’ve clarified. You can definitely use heath bar bits but the texture will be more crunchy 🙂

  33. #
    Heather @Boston Girl Bakes — September 16, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Oh Tessa, you speak my cookie love language. I’m such a sucker for the salty and sweet combo especially when it’s all rolled up into a cookie 🙂 Going to have to hunt down these caramels now….

    • #
      Tessa — September 16, 2016 at 8:13 am

      They’re sooo good, Heather! Let me know what you think if you find them 🙂

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