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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now, if you’re still missing those chips ~
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
- Flourless Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones
"Chipless" Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 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.