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The PERFECT Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

These sourdough chocolate chip cookies are so much better than traditional chocolate chip cookies. Every time I make them, my family sneaks them until they’re gone.

These cookies are soft and chewy. They have a little hint of something that just makes them perfect in my opinion.

It’s the perfect way to use sourdough starter in addition to making sourdough bread. Need more ideas? I have a whole list of delicious and fun sourdough starter and sourdough discard recipes!

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Tin of chocolate chip cookies on a wooden background.

Why sourdough chocolate chip cookies?

When you have sourdough starter, you have a lot of starter. Even if you store it in the fridge, it still multiplies sometimes faster than you can make bread. Or you want to make something other than bread.

You know how to take care of your sourdough starter, right? If you have any questions, I have your sourdough starter answers here.

So why not make sourdough chocolate chip cookies? Sourdough works just as well for sweet items as it does for savory.

Stack of sourdough chocolate chip cookies sitting on a blue cloth.

And the addition of active sourdough starter to chocolate chip cookies? Holy cow. This takes homemade chocolate chip cookies to a whole new level.

And it isn’t like it’s any harder to make them than it is to make the traditional chocolate chip kind.

Do I need to feed my sourdough starter?

When you bake with sourdough, you want to use a mature starter that’s been fed. But you don’t want a recently fed starter.

What does that mean? If you fed your starter more than four hours before you want to bake, you’re set.

You need an active starter, so you have to have fed it in the last day or two. And if you store your starter in the fridge, go ahead and warm it up and feed it, then let it sit a few hours before you use it in this recipe.

To measure your sourdough starter, stir it just a bit so that any hooch gets incorporated and it isn’t filled with air bubbles. You want to measure it “flat” rather than super puffy for a consistent measurement.

Ideally, you measure it by weight rather than volume for a truly accurate measurement. One cup of sourdough starter is the equivalent of 227 grams.

Talk to me about the butter…

When baking, use unsalted butter. Salted butter has different levels of salt depending on what brand you use.

Instead, control how salty your foods are by using unsalted butter and adding hthe salt yourself. It works better and is more consistent across recipes.

Second butter recommendation: make sure you use softened butter. Butter from the fridge won’t combine properly with the sugar and does not make the sweet treat you want to enjoy.

Don’t simply put your butter into the microwave to soften it, however, as it’s too easy to simply melt it accidentally. Melted butter changes the texture of your cookies, too.

Instead, pour hot water into a tall glass and let it warm up. Pour out the water, then turn the glass upside down over the butter standing on edge.

The residual heat softens the butter in under ten minutes without melting it.

Why do I add cinnamon to these chocolate chip cookies?

Cinnamon is one of those ingredients like salt or cardamom that adds a ton to the flavor profile that you don’t realize.

It doesn’t make the cookie taste like cinnamon, but it’s a depth of flavor that makes them even better. My daughter “doesn’t like” cinnamon but agrees these are the best cookies I make.

That said, if you don’t have cinnamon or don’t like cinnamon, you can leave it out. Try it with the cinnamon though.

Do I need to refrigerate the dough before I bake these cookies?

Refrigerate them if you can spare the time. Letting the dough rest makes a huge difference in the final product.

The sourdough starter makes this more important than for other cookies – although all cookies benefit from resting for at least 15 minutes before you bake them.

Just like homemade pasta or pizza dough, you need to let the dough rest and the gluten relax. An hour in the fridge does just that.

You can even leave the dough in the fridge overnight if you wish, but make sure you cover it with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out if you leave it there for more than an hour.

If you skip the refrigerating step, your sourdough chocolate chip cookies bake for less time, so make sure you adjust that. Instead of 11-13 minutes, bake them for 7-9 minutes.

Can I freeze sourdough chocolate chip cookies?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze your homemade cookies. In fact, you can freeze them before you bake them or after.

If you freeze your baked cookies, place them in a tightly sealed container, and store them in your freezer for up to three months. I prefer to separate layers with parchment paper to ensure they don’t stick together.

Ensure they are fully cooled before you freeze them. When you’re ready to eat them, enjoy them straight from the freezer or let them thaw on your counter overnight.

Alternatively, you can make the cookie dough, then scoop it into cookie dough balls. Place those onto a baking sheet in a flat layer and freeze.

Once solid, place them into a zip top bag and store in the freezer again for up to three months. To bake them, let them thaw overnight in the fridge in a single layer, then bake as normal. They may take a minute or two longer to bake, however.

Holding a chocolate chip cookie with more cookies in a stack in the background.

 How to Make Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Start with softened butter. You simply can’t properly cream butter and sugar with cold butter.

Add the butter and both the brown sugar and granulated sugar to your bowl, and cream until lightened and fluffy.

Add the egg and your sourdough starter, then mix this on medium speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of your bowl.

Add the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix again until combined.

Add two cups of flour, and stir on low just until it’s mostly incorporated. It’s fine to still have some streaks of flour at this point.

Check your dough, as sometimes your sourdough starter is more or less hydrated than you think. You may not need the last quarter cup of flour, but generally I do.

Add the chocolate chips and the last quarter cup of flour. Stir just until distributed.

Refrigerate the entire bowl of dough for one hour and up to overnight. Be sure to cover your bowl if you refrigerate it for longer than an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line your baking sheets with either silpat or parchment paper.

Scoop your dough onto your cookie sheet with a medium cookie scoop. You want approximately three tablespoons if you don’t have a scoop (but it’s so worth investing in one).

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes until the edges are lightly golden. They will continue to bake when you remove them from the oven, so don’t worry if they look a little underbaked.

Cookies on a baking sheet fresh from the oven.

Let them cool on the baking sheet for five minutes, then place them on a wire rack to finish cooling.

Store in a tightly sealed container on your counter for up to a week. These remain soft and chewy cookies for longer than most cookie recipes do.

Save this recipe for the perfect chewy cookie to make later!

Stack of sourdough chocolate chip cookies sitting on a blue cloth.

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

You've eaten chocolate chip cookies all your life, but you've never had these chocolate chip cookies. Sourdough discard turns them from a classic to perfection.
4.65 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes
Servings: 42 cookies
Calories: 119kcal
Author: Michelle

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sourdough discard
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour divided
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Add softened butter to your bowl, along with both sugars. Cream until lightened and fluffy.
    12 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Add sourdough starter and egg, and beat again. Scrape down sides.
    1 cup sourdough discard, 1 egg
  • Add cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla, and mix until combined.
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Add 2 cups flour and stir just until mostly mixed.
    2 1/4 cups flour
  • Add chocolate chips and remaining 1/4 cup flour and stir just until chips are distributed.
    2 cups chocolate chips
  • Refrigerate cookie dough one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Scoop dough onto silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake in batches for 7-9 minutes, then let cool on the baking sheet at least five minutes before placing on a wire cooling rack.
  • Store fully cooled cookies in a tightly sealed container on the counter 2-3 days. If storing longer, freeze for up to a month.

Video

Notes

  • The cinnamon is optional, but it pairs well with the chocolate chips.
  • If you do not have time to chill the dough, you can make them directly, but they will have a slightly different texture. Alternatively, you can refrigerate them up to 24 hours if needed. Make sure you cover with plastic wrap if you refrigerate overnight or longer.
  • The cookies will be soft and may not look fully cooked when you take them from the oven. They continue to cook on the baking sheet. If you prefer your cookies more cake-like, bake them for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

Close up holding a chocolate chip cookie.

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