Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies are super easy to make. Small Batch Cookies are made with brown butter and can be made by hand - no mixer required. This cookie recipe makes 12 homemade chocolate chip cookies, and can easily be doubled. This cookie dough freezes well, so that you can always have a stash of frozen cookie dough to bake as needed!
Hi hi! Just popping in to share this recipe for Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies. This recipe makes just 12 cookies, and comes together with just a whisk or an electric hand mixer - no stand mixer required! The dough is great to freeze and have on hand in the freezer for whenever you need a cookie!
I have a lot of homemade chocolate chip cookies on my site, and few brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipes - my brown butter chocolate chip cookies, and brown butter salted caramel cookies, small batch cookie recipes, but wanted to make something that can be made by hand and doesn't make two dozen cookies.
These small batch cookies are great to whip up for a quick dessert, or to just have when you need a few cookies. Back when we used to have friends over, or if we were going somewhere for dinner, I would make cookie dough ahead of time and then pop it in the oven to bake after dinner.
Warm cookies and ice cream makes the best dessert. Now we just do that at home with just us, and it's just as delicious. Cookies are the best for any time! If you want a larger scale recipe check out my best chocolate chip cookies, and if you are after a dairy free recipe, my small batch olive oil cookies are amazing too.
The best small batch cookies
There are a couple of things that make these cookies so, so good. I think I made them about 8 times while testing - playing around with flour quantities, sugar ratios, leavening, chilling time, and baking time. I finally landed on what I think is the best small batch cookie dough.
- Small Batch - This recipe only makes 12 chocolate chip cookies, which is perfect if you are in a small household or have limited freezer space. You can easily double this recipe for a full 24 cookies if you need!
- Brown Butter - I love adding brown butter to recipes. It adds a depth of flavour that isn't immediately obvious what it is, but adds a complexity to the cookie.
- No Mixer Chocolate Chip Cookies - I made these using just a bowl, a whisk, and a spatula! You can use a handheld electric mixer if you like, but a whisk works just fine.
- Easy to freeze - If you don't want to bake all of this small batch cookie dough off at once, you can freeze some of the dough. I'll add tips for that further down the post.
Steps for making Small batch Chocolate Chip Cookies
These are super easy to make - there is a little waiting for the brown butter to cool (so your eggs don't scramble), and for the dough to chill, so make sure you keep that in mind, but these are so easy to make!
- Brown the butter - The first step in making these is to brown the butter. Browning butter involves cooking the butter over the stove until the water evaporates, and the milk solids in the butter cook and turn brown, hence the name 'brown butter'. The butter is then left to cool just for a wee bit.
- Add the sugars and egg - Brown sugar, white sugar, and egg go in. Then, the mixture is whipped until thickened and lightened in colour. This aeration of the mix helps to give the cookies lift, similar to the process of creaming room temp butter and sugar.
- Add the flour, salt, and leavener - All these go in, and are mixed with a spatula until almost combined. This prevents any over mixing.
- Chopped Chocolate is added - I use chopped chocolate because I love having a variety of chocolate sizes in the cookie - from big chunks to tiny crumbs spread throughout. The chocolate goes in and is folded in to the mix. This also incorporates the rest of the flour at the same time.
- Scoop the cookies - The cookies are scooped using a 2 Tbsp cookie scoop, and placed on a parchment lined baking sheet. I prefer to scoop my dough before chilling it, because I don't like scooping chilled dough.
- Chill down time - This recipe needs a 30 minute chill, which is just enough time to firm up the dough to ensure that they don't spread everywhere in the oven. You can do up to overnight if you like, or bake some off now and leave some for later. If you want a no chill cookie recipe, my brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe is great for this.
- Bake them off - Now is the time to add additional chocolate on the top of the cookies, and then bake them off. I like to finish them off by scooting them until they are perfectly round with a cookie cutter, and finishing with a healthy dose of flaky sea salt.
The best way to freeze cookie dough
If you want to make this chocolate chip cookie recipe super small batch, and have six cookies now and six later, you can freeze some of the dough. Chill all the dough down. Then, place however many balls of dough you are wanting to freeze on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Cover lightly with plastic and then freeze until solid (also known as a flash freeze) - 30 minutes to an hour. Transfer the dough to an airtight container or ziploc bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I like to label the dough with what it is and baking time - you will need to add 2-3 minutes onto the baking time when baking frozen dough. There is no need to defrost. You can bake it straight from frozen! Sometimes we will bake just two cookies off to have in the evening. I like to drop the temperature when baking to 325°f / 160°c and increase the bake time by a few minutes to account for frozen dough.
For all my best tips on freezing cookie dough and baking from frozen, check out my post: How to freeze cookie dough
How to get perfect chocolate puddles
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. If you are freezing your cookie dough, do this step before they go into the freezer. You can't squish frozen dough!
Why weighing ingredients in baking is important
If you've read even one recipe on my website you know how important it is that you bake by weight. You can read more about this on my FAQ page if you like, but in short - cups aren't accurate. Baking is a science, and it requires accuracy. Measuring with a measuring cup will not give you this accuracy, and will give you inconsistent results. There are so many ways to fill a cup with flour - scoop and sweep, packing it in etc, but realistically there is no way for me to guarantee that the way you fill your measuring cup is the same way that I fill mine.
Not to mention that US cups and cups from the rest of the world have different capacities. There is no way to give a standardized cup measurement that will be accurate. Cup measures suck. If you are serious about baking (or even if you're not and you just want your recipes to work), you need to be baking with a scale. As a recipe developer it makes sense too. By posting my recipes in grams, I know that you are using the exact same quantities of ingredients as I am, removing a huge margin of error. Also - how do you even measure one cup of chocolate? It just doesn't make sense. Here is the scale I use. I am super hard on it, and it has lasted well. It's pink. I love it.
If you bake in cups and want to convert my recipes, by all means feel free to google. But, you've been warned. If they don't turn out how you are expecting, it is because you haven't made the recipe accurately.
Moisture loss when browning butter
Ranting aside, it is particularly important that you use a scale to bake with for small batch recipes, or recipes using brown butter. Small batch recipes rely on the ratio of ingredients being correct and there is much less room for error. And the best way to get this correct is to by using a scale. 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 120g, and then cook it down. You then re-measure the weight of the brown butter, and use 95g of that in your cookie recipe. I have accounted for the moisture loss from the initial quantity of brown butter in the recipe.
The role of Brown and White sugar in Chocolate Chip Cookies
This article by my friend Stella is one that I turn to time and time again. Sugar does a lot more in a recipe than provide sweetness - it also plays a huge role in texture too. This is why I don't recommend reducing the sugar in recipes without thinking carefully about how it will affect texture too. The method also plays a part in the role of the sugar - whether a recipe uses creaming room temperature butter and sugar, or whether the butter is melted. Have a read of the article - I learn so much every time I read it!
I use both brown and white sugar in this Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, and when I was testing, I played around with the ratios. A general rule of thumb is that brown sugar will make cookies a little thicker, while white sugar will cause them to spread more. I play around with ratios when I am testing. If I want a cookie to spread out thin and have crisp edges, I up the quantity of white sugar in relation to the brown. It is important to also take the leavener used in the cookie into account here too though - brown sugar is slightly acidic, so will react with baking soda in the recipe. Science!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are there two measurements of butter in the recipe?
When you brown butter, you cook off some of the moisture, so end up with less butter than when you started due to this. The recipe accounts for this moisture loss - so you will start with 120g butter, then use 95g brown butter in the recipe.
What Cookie scoop do you use?
I use a 2 Tbsp cookie scoop - I like this 2 tbsp cookie scoop. You can also weigh your dough balls if you don't have a scoop. Mine weighed about 55g each.
For more homemade chocolate chip cookie recipes, check out:
❤️ Made this recipe and love it? ❤️
I would LOVE for you to leave me a review and star rating below to let me know how you liked it! Also, please make sure to tag me on Instagram!
These Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies are super easy to make. They are made with brown butter and can be made by hand - no mixer required. This recipe makes 12 chocolate chip cookies, and can easily be doubled.
- 120g unsalted butter, cold from the fridge is fine
- 120g dark brown or light brown sugar
- 45g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 140g all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp espresso powder (optional)
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 180g chocolate from a bar, chopped (I used 100g dark and 80g milk, use what you like here), plus extra for pressing on top, if desired
- 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 95g (see Notes section below) of the brown butter into a medium or large mixing bowl, and set aside for 15-20 minutes to cool so that it doesn't scramble your eggs.
- When the butter is cool, add the brown sugar and white sugar, and whisk briefly to incorporate.
- Add the egg and 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, salt, espresso powder if using, baking powder, and baking soda. 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.
- Add the chopped chocolate and mix with a spatula to incorporate and finish incorporating the flour.
- Line a quarter sheet pan or other container with parchment paper. Using a 2 Tbsp cookie scoop, scoop balls of dough (approx 55g) , arranging them on the parchment (they can be touching). Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. See "how to freeze cookie dough" in post for tips on freezing
- 10 minutes into the chilling period, preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Arrange 6 cookie dough balls onto the pan. If desired, flatten each ball of dough, press more chocolate on the top, and roll into a ball, then space evenly on the pan.
- Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes, or until set around the edges and golden brown. Bake for closer to 11 minutes for still gooey inside, or 12-13 for more set cookies.
- Remove from the oven, and if desired, use a cookie cutter slightly bigger than the cookies to 'scoot' them into a round shape.
- Sprinkle with flaky sea salt if using. Leave to cool on the pan for 10-15 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Repeat the baking process with the remaining 6 balls of dough.
- 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 ingredients list and not the quantities within the method, so you need to weigh out 190g brown butter to use in your cookies.
Keywords: Small batch, Small Batch cookies, Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brown Butter, Brown Butter chocolate chip cookies