These Small Batch Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies are a brown butter chocolate chip cookie, filled with homemade salted caramel chunks. These Egg Yolk Cookies use two egg yolks, which gives an amazing chew to the cookies. This small batch cookie recipe only makes 12 cookies, and is the perfect recipe if you are looking for a fun way to use up egg yolks!
Table of contents
- Small Batch, Brown Butter Salted Caramel Egg Yolk Cookies
- Steps for making Small Batch Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies
- What does adding egg yolk to cookies do?
- How to make homemade hard caramel
- Steps for making a hard caramel
- Why don't you specify a temperature in the caramel recipe?
- I thought you weren't meant to stir caramel?
- Chopped Chocolate Vs Chocolate Chips in Cookies
- What kind of Chocolate is best for Chocolate Chip Cookies?
- Making Brown Butter with Salted Butter
- How to get Chocolate Puddles on Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Why are there two quantities of Brown Butter in the recipe?
- FAQ for Recipe
- For more recipes with Brown Butter, Check Out:
- Recipe For Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies
Small Batch, Brown Butter Salted Caramel Egg Yolk Cookies
Hi hi! I am just popping in to share the recipe for these Egg Yolk Cookies with you! They are another small batch situation. I have a whole bunch more small batch cookies coming at you over the next wee while and I can't wait to share them all.
These are a riff on my Brown Butter Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe, which is super popular on my site and a great addition to our chocolate chip cookie recipe collection. The recipe has a brown butter base, then is filled with chocolate and pieces of chopped caramel.
The recipe is great, but it makes loads of cookies, so I small batched it and re-worked it. This egg yolk cookie version uses egg yolks only instead of whole eggs, and is a small batch recipe, so only makes 12 cookies.
These cookies require no chill time, and no not need a mixer. I love the combination of the caramel chunks, the dark chocolate and the brown butter, all snuggled up in a chewy egg yolk cookie base. I love these and I hope you do too! If you are looking for a full size recipe, my soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies are a great place to start!
Steps for making Small Batch Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies
These Egg Yolk Cookies have a couple of extra steps. You will need to brown butter and make a hard caramel, but I promise the extra time is worth it. The extra steps are made up for by this recipe being quick and easy to make. This egg yolk chocolate chip cookie recipe is a no chill cookie, and can be made without an electric mixer.
- Brown the butter - I usually do this step first, or just after I have made the caramel. Browning the butter adds an incredible depth of flavour. Brown the butter and set aside to cool while you get everything else sorted.
- Make the caramel - I used to make this on a silpat silicone sheet, but have been setting it in a non-stick pan recently which seems to be much easier. Make the caramel by melting down the sugar on medium heat. Pour it into the pan and leave to set solid.
- Make the Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookie Batter - Once you have the brown butter and caramel done, the rest of the process is super easy. Make the cookie batter in a mixing bowl, and stir in the chocolate and caramel.
- Scoop the cookies - I love to use a cookie scoop to get super even cookies. This is the cookie scoop I use most often! You can also weigh your dough - weights are in the recipe.
- Bake the cookies - This recipe is a no chill recipe so the cookies can go straight into the oven. Bake the cookies until done - you can under bake them a tiny bit if you like soft middles.
- Scoot your cookies - This is an optional step, but we all know how much I love a scooted cookie. To do this, take a cookie cutter slightly larger than the cookie, and use it to 'scoot' the cookie into a perfectly round shape. This is a totally optional step!
What does adding egg yolk to cookies do?
This Egg Yolk Cookie recipe uses egg yolks only rather than whole eggs. I want a recipe for my site that I can recommend to people when they ask how to use up egg yolks, and this is going to be the one. Often I will tell people to make custard or ice cream or pasta, but egg yolk cookies is going to be my new go-to.
Eggs are super important in baking, and the whites and yolks play different roles. Egg yolks are high in fat in relation to the egg white which is high in protein so often acts as a binder. Adding egg yolks to the cookies yields a super tender, chewy cookie. Egg Yolk Cookies are slightly richer in flavour from the additional fat from the yolk. I love all cookies, and these are a super fun way to use up any extra egg yolks.
When it comes to tweaking the recipe to use just yolks, it is not as easy as just subbing an egg for two yolks. There were some other recipe changes to make too - I had to play around with the moisture in the cookie in order to compensate for the loss of the white.
How to make homemade hard caramel
This Egg Yolk Cookie recipe has shards of homemade caramel throughout. The caramel I use in this recipe isa dry caramel, which means that it does not have water in it when you are making it. You make it simply by melting down granulated sugar.
Don't be intimidated by the process. Just take your time, and move the pan off the heat as needed until the sugar is melted. Have the baking pan you are pouring your caramel into ready to go. There are a few stages the caramel will go through.
Steps for making a hard caramel
- Add the sugar to the pan, and place over a medium to low heat.
- Cook the sugar until it starts to melt a little around the edges. If you're worried, turn down the heat.
- Start to stir the caramel. It will get super clumpy, and you're probably going to think you've messed it up. You haven't, it's fine. Take it off the heat if you are worried.
- Slowly start to melt down the caramel. Bang your whisk on the bottom of the pot to knock off any clumps of sugar.
- The sugar will all melt, and then start to turn an amber colour. Keep cooking it until the sugar is all melted and it starts to smoke slightly. If there's still lumps in it, just pull it off the heat and stir off heat to help break them up.
- Pour the caramel into the pan you are using and leave it to set. It should look like an amber coloured piece of glass.
If at any time you are worried, just take the caramel off the heat and stir. If it seems like it is cooking too quickly, turn it down. Making caramel is a learning process - If you're worried you've mucked it up, just start again. It's all part of the learning process!
Why don't you specify a temperature in the caramel recipe?
I sometimes get this question, and the answer is that the quantity is just too small. If you use a probe thermometer, then the caramel is not deep enough to accurately read the temperature. By the time the sugar is all melted, the caramel will be hot enough to set. So while a candy thermometer is an essential kitchen item, it's not something you will need to use here.
I thought you weren't meant to stir caramel?
Often you aren't - in a wet caramel (where you put water in with the sugar) you don't want to stir the caramel until it has started cooking. Recipes will often instruct you to wash any sugar off from the sides with water on a brush. Because this is a dry caramel, I just use the whisk throughout the process. It's all good - I've made it loads and you don't have to freak out about not stirring it.
Chopped Chocolate Vs Chocolate Chips in Cookies
There are a few options when you are making chocolate chip cookies in terms of selecting your chocolate. I much prefer chopping my chocolate by hand rather than using chocolate chips.
- Super melty pockets of chocolate - Chopping the chocolate gives you nice flat pieces, which then melt into pockets of chocolate. Chocolate chips are made not to melt, so they hold their shape in the cookies due to the stabilisers. Chocolate chips have a time and a place, but to me, that time and place is not in chocolate chip cookies.
- Shards of chocolate - When you chop chocolate, you get lots of little shards of chocolate which distribute themselves throughout the dough, giving you chocolate all through your chocolate chip cookies. It's the best. In these egg yolk chocolate chip cookies it works particularly well as you have small shards of caramel alongside the shards of chocolate.
- Giant Chocolate Puddles - Using chopped chocolate means that you can make massive puddles on the tops of your chocolate chip cookies. Pressing extra chocolate onto the cookies before baking means it melts down into perfect chocolate puddles. However, this is an optional step too - if you prefer your cookies without puddles, leave this step off.
What kind of Chocolate is best for Chocolate Chip Cookies?
There are a few different types of chocolate you can use if you want to chop your own chocolate for cookies (which hopefully you now do after hearing my case for chopped chocolate?). The best part about chopping your own chocolate is that you can grab whatever you have in the cupboard and use it to make up the right amount of weight for the recipe. I will often make a 'grab bag' of chocolate from the pantry - grabbing whatever I have that needs to be used up.
My theory is if you're going to take the time to make cookies, you might as well make them as delicious as you can, using good quality chocolate! I used chopped chocolate from Trader Joe's for these Egg Yolk Cookies.
- Chocolate from a bar - This is what I use most often. Just whatever chocolate you would purchase to eat. I usually use the pound plus bar from Trader Joe's as it is a great price and the chocolate makes amazing puddles, or if I am in NZ, I will use a mix of different things, usually adding some Whittaker's in the mix too.
- Chocolate Feves - A 'feve' refers to the shape of the chocolate. Feves are made by Valrhona and they are super delicious in baking! I will often grab a handful to pop into cookies if I have some on hand. The shape is beautiful in the scooped dough too and you can pop one or two on the top of cookies. My friend Michelle is ultimate fan girl for the feves!
- Chocolate Wafers - Some companies like Guittard make their chocolate into wafer or disc shapes. These also work great in cookies, provided the quality of chocolate is high. These are not the same thing as chocolate melts, they just have the same shape.
Making Brown Butter with Salted Butter
These Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies use Salted Butter. I often call for unsalted butter in recipes. However, salted brown butter is super delicious. It gets really rich and the salt really shines through, which is important in this recipe to stand up to the egg yolk and salted caramel chunks. If you only have unsalted butter that is fine too - just increase the salt in the recipe a touch.
Using a good quality butter really helps here too - I use one from New Zealand but something European or Irish (or anything lower in moisture) will be great here.
How to get Chocolate Puddles on Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies
I like to use a little trick to get those big puddles on the tops of my chocolate chip cookies. Just before the dough goes in the oven, I take each ball of dough, and flatten it slightly. I then press chunks of chopped chocolate onto the top. You can add some of the chocolate dust from chopping too. Then I squeeze it back into a ball, and place it on the baking sheet. This means that when the cookie bakes, the chocolate will end up spread across the top of the cookie, and give you those big chocolate puddles on the tops.
Why are there two quantities of Brown Butter in the recipe?
Different butters will have different moisture levels, which affects the yield of brown butter. American style butter have a higher water content, so will produce less brown butter when the water is cooked off. European or New Zealand style butter, which is higher in fat than American butter, will have less water that needs cooking off, so you will end up with a higher yield of brown butter.
The quantity of the butter in the recipe is important here, so the best way to measure it is by using a scale. You start with an initial quantity of butter - in this case 165g, and then cook it down. You then re-measure the weight of the brown butter, and use 120g of that in your cookie recipe. I have accounted for the moisture loss from the initial quantity of brown butter in the recipe. The quantity of butter called for in the ingredient list is not the same as in the recipe - this isn't a typo.
FAQ for Recipe
This dough doesn't freeze or chill well due to the caramel in the dough. They do best all baked off straight away.
Sort of - it melts when baking then firms up again in the cookie when it cools.
I haven't tried, but you could add in chopped up caramel if you like.
Yes - just adjust the salt quantity slightly.
I used this Eighth sheet pan - anything non stick will work or you can use a silpat.
Just fill the pan with hot water and it should melt the caramel off. Put it back on the heat and boil if needed. I use this trick for cleaning brown butter off too - a good soak helps a lot.
For more recipes with Brown Butter, Check Out:
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Answers to your baking questions
Over the years, many of you have asked me questions about:
- baking in grams
- adjusting oven temperatures
- what kind of salt to use
- and many more!
I've curated and answered them all for your easy reference in this frequently asked questions post!
Recipe For Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip CookiesPrint
Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies
These Small Batch Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies are a brown butter chocolate chip cookie, filled with homemade salted caramel chunks. These Egg yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies use two egg yolks, which gives an amazing chew to the cookies.
- 120g granulated sugar
Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 165g salted butter, cold from the fridge is fine
- 110g light or dark brown sugar
- 55g granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks (about 45g)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 135g all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp (2g) salt - increase this if not using salted butter
- 100g dark chocolate (approx 72% cocoa solids), chopped, plus more for the tops of cookies if desired.
- Flaky Sea Salt for finishing, optional
- Place a silicone mat on a heat resistant surface (I often use my counter) or onto a baking tray, and have nearby. Alternatively you can set the caramel into a non stick pan.
- Place the sugar in a medium saucepan, and place over medium low heat. Heat the sugar, stirring occasionally with a whisk, until all of the sugar has melted (the sugar will clump as you heat, but continue to stir - it will soon smooth out). Continue to cook the caramel until it is amber in colour and just beginning to smoke slightly. Immediately pour onto the prepared silicone mat, and leave to cool while you prepare the cookie dough.
EGG YOLK CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
- Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper
- Place the butter in a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted, and then continue to cook, swirling the pan often, until the butter foams and turns golden brown and nutty - this should take 3-4 minutes
- Measure out 120g (see Notes section below) of the brown butter into a medium bowl. Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes so it does not scramble your eggs.
- Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar and egg yolks to the bowl with the brown butter, and mix to combine. Whisk well for 1-2 minutes, or mix using an electric mixer, until the mixture has lightened in colour and has thickened. Add the vanilla and mix well.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine with a rubber spatula until there are some flour streaks remaining - this is to ensure you do not over work the dough.
- Bash the caramel in the baking pan to break up, or carefully peel the caramel sheet off the silicone mat, and place onto the chopping board. Using a sharp knife, cut into coarse chunks. There will be some small shards, and larger pieces.
- Use caution as the shards will be sharp. Add the caramel shards to the bowl along with the chocolate, and mix briefly to combine with a rubber spatula until well incorporated.
- Using a two tablespoon scoop, scoop balls of dough (about 55g per dough ball) onto the prepared baking tray. I can fit 6 at a time but ensure that there is room for spreading. If desired, flatten each ball of dough, press more chocolate on top, and roll into a ball.
- Bake the trays one at a time for 10-11 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed up and set around the edges. Remember that they will continue to cook a little once you remove them from the oven. If the cookies have lost their round shape a little in the oven due to the caramel, you can use a round cookie cutter slightly larger than the cookie to scoot it back into a circular shape.
- Sprinkle each cookie with coarse sea salt, then cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat the baking process with the remaining cookies. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
You may notice that there are two quantities of butter in the recipe - the initial quantity of butter, then a second measurement in the method which is the quantity of brown butter. The larger initial quantity is to account for water loss when browning - read more about that in my FAQ.
Please note that if you use the 2x button to double the recipe, this only doubles the quantity in the ingredient list and not the quantity within the method, so you need to weigh out 240g of the brown butter to make the cookies with.
I love these! The salted brown butter is amazing 🙂
small batch is the best!!
These are absolutely delicious!! Was looking for a recipe to use up excess yolks but this might just become my new favourite cookie recipe!!
Ahh so so happy you love it!!
The browned butter is one of the best smells known in this world!!
My dough came out a little greasy, even after letting the butter cool & measuring all ingredients to the gram/tsp. Was it a problem with the mixing or was butter still not as cooled ?
Yay! Did the cookies come out ok? It may be from not whisking the butter well enough with the sugar and egg!
That happened to me too. I did mix by hand but did so until it seemed pale bit definitely less power than with an electric mixer. My cookies kinda break apart when lifted and seemed greasy too. I will try again as the flavor profile was great and perhaps with less sugar too.
Hello! This looks delicious and I have 6x egg yolks to use up😅 but was wondering if anyone has tried using a GF flour instead and whether they work? Cookies and gf flour seem to go wrong for me😭
Hi hi! Sorry I missed this - they look like they came out ok eventually! GF can be so sneaky x
these are quite literally the best cookies i’ve ever made!! i just polished off the last one. i want to put hard caramel shards and brown butter in every cookie i make now… the little crunch from the caramel is amazing. i love the decision to use salted butter in the brown butter, it had the perfect amount of salt to contrast all the sweet and i didn’t add the flaky salt on top. can’t wait to make more some day!!
So yummy! Made for national ccc day 🙂
So happy you love!
So I followed the recipe but cut the sugar as I usually do with most cookie recipes. Unfortunately the dough turned out super greasy. Is that due to cutting the sugar?
I also found the addition of the 1/2 Tsp of salt too much.
I didn’t do the caramel shards either.
Would love your feedback!
Hi! Yes sugar really affects the texture and reducing it would have meant the butter to sugar ratio is off. The salt is there to balance out the caramel so if you left out the caramel it would have been too salty. The caramel is very important for the structure of the cookie which explains why they were greasy and probably spread a lot too
Ok got it. I ended up baking the dough in a muffin tin they didn’t spread and they are delicious! Next time I’ll be sure not to cut the sugar - the recipe was still delicious regardless! Thanks
You mention setting aside 120g of butter to cool. What happens to the remaining 45g?
Hi hi! There’s a section in the blog post titled “why are there two quantities of brown butter” where I’ve popped some info on this 🙂
Hi Erin I have a question - my browned butter is still liquid after 15-20 mins of cooling (it's hot here). Is it okay to add to the mix as a liquid, or should I wait for it to solidify? Thanks!
Hi! So sorry just saw this! Yep you use it as a liquid 🙂
Erin, do you store leftover egg yolks? I always seem to have them left from making Swiss meringue buttercream and never know how to keep them or if I should just pitch them.
Hi, I just made these cookies and they are currently cooling. I of course couldn’t wait so I’ve already tried them and I think they are great. I wasn’t able to make the caramel b/c I’m quickly baking during nap time. However, I used a locally made toffee covered in chocolate along with a high quality dark chocolate bar I chopped up. They are sort of flat like a bakery style cookie but are still soft on the interior and a little crunchy on the edges. I love the flavor too, they’re very complex due to the brown butter. I also sprinkled the tops with maldon sea salt which makes them delicious as well. I would absolutely make these again and am so glad to have also not wasted egg yolks.
Ahhh I am so happy you love! store bought toffee is one of my very favourite things x
Incredible! They are dangerous to have in the house. How many is too many in one sitting, asking for a friend.
Thanks for another wonderful well tested recipe.
I did this recipe because I had spare egg yolks… but little did I know, I would then have spare egg whites cause they are SOO good, my family wanted me to bake them every week!
They are rich and tasty and nutty because of the brown butter and the caramel shards are such a nice addition because they melt.
Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe
This recipe is sooooooo good! The flavors are so different - the browned butter, the egg yolk, and the hard caramel! Please take the time to make the caramel - it's super easy and break it up real fine. It's a game changer to the cookie flavor and texture! I left semi-big chunks of caramel in my cookies and they were good but I prefer it fine and scattered in every bite. Let me go make another batch here...
Do you think if I left out the caramel shards I could freeze the dough in balls Erin? 🙂
Probably! I haven't tried it though
Should bake time be longer if frozen ?
I wouldn't recommend freezing these ones, as the caramel will get a bit strange!
Great way to use up egg yolks from a meringue