Baking Cookies Dessert Winter

The “Chipless” Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe




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The Perfect “Chipless” Chocolate Chip Cookie ~ if you’ve ever wondered if a chocolate chip cookie would be any good without the chips, I’ve got the answer for you (spoiler alert: YES!!) Especially when you amp up that buttery cookie flavor with a few easy tricks.

hand holding stack of chipless chocolate chip cookies

Sometimes a deliciously plain cookie is all you want

But guess what?  They pretty much don’t exist…a quick scan of your supermarket cookie aisle proves it.  So I’ve taken up the cause and created a basic cookie recipe that has all the wonderful crunchy/chewy/buttery payoff of a chocolate chip cookie, sans the chocolate.  The result is more irresistible than I could have imagined, better get your glass of milk ready!

a stack of chipless chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack

Yes this chipless chocolate chip cookie recipe is simple, but the flavor is surprisingly complex.

If you’re the type that goes weak at the knees at the scent of mall-style chocolate chip cookies, this recipe is for you. You might not realize it, but it’s not the chocolate you’re smelling at all, it’s the combination of butter and sugar baking together that drives you crazy. It’s the famously arousing effects of the Maillard Reaction (when sugars and proteins react under heat to create browning, flavors and aromas) that have you under their spell.  Think peanuts, coffee, or rotisserie chicken, they all benefit from the same tasty reaction.

Making the dough for chipless chocolate chip cookies

I could have called these Chewy Butterscotch Cookies

As much as I’m a fan of chocolate, I just can’t get enough of all things butterscotch, toffee, caramel, and brown-sugar. In the absence of chocolate, all the other complex flavors in these cookies get to shine. The magic happens when sugar and dairy (in this case butter,) get together at high temperatures.

There is a distinct maple syrup aroma when they come out of the oven, which makes sense, because maple syrup has a similar caramel-y flavor profile.

a plain butterscotch cookie on a cookie sheet

Isn’t a chipless chocolate chip cookie boring?

Fear not, because these cookies have a lot going on under the hood. I’ve maximized the butterscotch flavor and chewy texture of these cookies in a few ways, without making them overly complicated to make:

  • Brown sugar and an extra little bit of molasses give them a rich flavor and color. And don’t worry, you don’t end up tasting the molasses at all, it just ads complexity.
  • Browned butter gives the most amazing toasty, nutty flavor to these cookies and requires very little extra effort.
  • A blend of baking powder and baking soda, along with a couple hours chilling in the fridge give these cookies a nice shape and perfect chewiness once they’ve baked up.

breaking apart a chewy chipless chocolate chip cookie

Ok, but can I add chocolate chips to these cookies?

Of course! This recipe makes a great base for a chocolate chip cookie if you just can’t live without chocolate. Try my Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies if you love yours soft and pillowy (I make a soft batch oatmeal chocolate chip cookie too.)  If you’re more of a shortbread type, try my Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, they’re based on a shortbread style dough.

chipless chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack

Now, if you’re still missing those chips ~

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4.07 from 15 votes

"Chipless" Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Perfect "Chipless" Chocolate Chip Cookie ~ if you've ever wondered if a chocolate chip cookie would be any good without the chips, I've got the answer for you! (Spoiler alert: YES!!) But only when you amp up that buttery cookie flavor with a few easy tricks.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill time 2 hours
Yield 18 large cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour

Instructions

  • Brown the butter by melting it in a medium saucepan until it starts to bubble and foam. Continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, a couple of more minutes until the solids in the butter start to turn golden and caramelize. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn, once it starts to brown it goes pretty quickly.
  • Remove the browned butter from the heat and allow to cool partially.
  • Once mostly cooled, add the two sugars and molasses to the pan and whisk to combine.
  • Whisk in the eggs, vanilla, and salt, and combine well. Then whisk in the baking powder and baking soda and whisk until smooth.
  • Finally, add the the flour and fold everything together until the dough is formed and there are no dry, unmixed bits of flour remaining.
  • Cover the dough and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Roll the dough into balls about the size of large walnuts. This batch makes 18 large-ish cookies, or you can make them whatever size you like, just make sure to adjust your baking time accordingly. Press them down slightly on the baking sheet, and leave about 2 inches between each cookie to allow for spreading.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes until slightly puffed up and starting to go a bit brown around the edges. Don't over bake!
  • Allow to cool on the pan for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to finish cooling.

chipless chocolate chip cookies pin

 

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18 Comments

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  • Reply
    Susan Stanewick
    July 31, 2020 at 5:40 am

    I’m wondering how some chopped pecans would affect these. My husband wants chipless but also would like nuts. What do you think?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 31, 2020 at 5:48 am

      Oh absolutely, go for the nuts, I like that idea.

  • Reply
    Liam
    May 17, 2020 at 5:41 am

    I haven’t baked them yet but so far so good. I know me and my family will love it

  • Reply
    brooke myers
    April 11, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    5 stars
    Sooooo good!!

  • Reply
    Glen Powell
    April 5, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    I wonder if these taste anything like the Linden Buttercrunch cookies that you can only buy in delicatessens. They are very popular cookies and have such a great flavor. The buttercrunch cookies also have pieces of chewy butterscotch candy pieces in them. I was wondering how these would taste with Hershey’s sea salted caramel morsels, which are absolutely delicious straight out of the bag. You really need to try them if you like salty sweet flavors. There was another brand of salted caramel morsels that were artificially flavored and tasted too much like Kraft caramels without any salt. The Hershey’s sea salted caramel morsels might be good for these cookies and blondies as well. I like chocolate but it gets boring. The combination of brown sugar and butter is great flavor and sea salted morsels might be just the right addition to these cookies.

  • Reply
    Etta
    February 13, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    I’m not a big chocolate fan…crazy, I know…but I love browned butter! Would never have thought to add just a touch of molasses…it’s raining here right now, so cookie baking sounds great!….think I’ll add some nuts…hmm, toasted pecans? Maybe buttery macadamias…what else i s in the freezer….

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 13, 2020 at 1:37 pm

      You’ve got the right spirit!

  • Reply
    Liz
    February 13, 2020 at 10:59 am

    Haven’t made em yet, but they’d be perfect for an ice cream sandwich…the absence of chips would let your ice cream flavor really shine.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 13, 2020 at 12:08 pm

      Yes, I was thinking that same thought!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    February 12, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    I love your site and have made and enjoyed many of your recipes! I would like to make a request/suggestion. Would it be possible include a picture of the finished product when printing out the recipe like other blogs do? The picture is what makes me want to try out the recipe in the first place so I really appreciate it when the picture appears on the print version. Also, I sometimes print off recipes to share with others and I want them to be enticed by the picture as well!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 12, 2020 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth, I actually disabled the photo in recipe print function after I got complaints from people who didn’t want to waste printer ink on the photo! I’ll think about changing it back.

  • Reply
    Denise P
    February 12, 2020 at 10:08 am

    I have been known to eat only the parts of the cookie that have the chips and then throw the rest away. So this wouldn’t work for me. 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 12, 2020 at 10:40 am

      Haha, these might surprise you Denise!

    • Reply
      KariG
      March 10, 2020 at 1:42 pm

      LOL. I’m the opposite. I always look forward to the last cookie from the mixing bowl, because it usually has no add-ins!

  • Reply
    Erin B
    February 12, 2020 at 9:36 am

    I want to make these, but I want to do them slice and bake style. So I would roll the dough in a log and leave it to chill in the refrigerator like that. I know you mentioned leaving some room the cookies to spread, so I’m curious as to how much they spread. Is there any chance they’ll hold a cylindrical-ish shape if I slice them about 1/2″ thick, or is this just not the best recipe to do as slice and bake? Most of the other recipes I do as slice and bake are shortbread style cookies. I just love the sound of these; while I love chocolate, my heart belongs to caramel, brown butter and lemon. In fact, I bet a hint of Meyer lemon zest would be great in this recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 12, 2020 at 11:06 am

      These cookies do spread, so if you’re looking for a shortbread style slice and bake, it might not be what you want. But you can certainly roll this dough into a log and slice and bake.

  • Reply
    Phyllis Bergst
    February 12, 2020 at 7:38 am

    5 stars
    How intriguing, just might try it soon. I’m thinking of adding some dried cranberries or cherries, your thoughts?

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 12, 2020 at 4:47 pm

      You can pretty much add any dried fruit or nut you like, I love the idea.