We all know that the queen of cookies is the chocolate chip cookie, and I am constantly on the hunt for delicious variations (have you tried my sourdough discard chocolate chip cookie recipe yet?). I really think I nailed it with these Salted Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies! They have everything you love about a classic chocolate chip cookie - rich, brown butter cookie dough studded with lots of melty chocolate chips - while incorporating coffee flavor and salt! Trust me, if you love CCCs, you are going to LOVE these espresso ones!
These are perfect cookies to impress your friends and family at any gathering. Whip them up and be prepared for rave reviews! Try a delicious variation in my Gooey Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This simple recipe uses fewer than 10 ingredients and comes together in only 4 steps!
- The espresso adds a subtle bitterness from the coffee flavor that brings out the chocolate flavor in these cookies. They're so perfect for any coffee lover!
- It comes together in about an hour, so these are perfect to whip up mid-week or as a last minute gift!
- It uses brown butter, adding a rich, nutty flavor to the dough.
- Espresso grounds are what set these apart from your average chocolate chip cookies. These are finely ground coffee beans you can buy or grind in the grocery store or at your favorite cafe!
- Even though these are a sweet treat, salt is a critical ingredient in these espresso cookies! It helps balance the sweetness in the cookies and enhances all of the flavors. You will want to use a flaky sea salt to sprinkle on top, such as Maldon salt.
- I recommend using good quality chocolate here because that it the main event. My go-to chocolate chip brand is Ghirardelli, or you can chop up a high quality chocolate bar for the perfect chocolate puddles.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions & Variations
- You can play around with the type of chocolate chips you use such as bittersweet, dark, milk chocolate, or a combination of them. Use chocolate chunks for extra melty chocolate puddles!
- Coffee lovers, add an extra tablespoon of espresso grounds for a strong coffee flavor.
- Instant coffee powder or espresso powder can be used in place of espresso grounds, but the strength of the coffee flavor may differ.
- If you don't want the extra nutty flavor from the browned butter, feel free to just melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the ground espresso into it.
- Try a caramel macchiato version of these cookies by adding small caramel pieces to the dough!
- Next time, for extra crunch in these espresso chocolate chunk cookies, mix in toffee bits or toasted pecans or walnuts.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Brown the butter in a pan over medium-low heat until the bubbles subside, the color has turned a golden brown, and you smell a strong, nutty scent. Remove from the heat and mix in the espresso grounds. Set aside to cool until it becomes mostly solid.
Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream the espresso butter mixture with the brown sugar for a few minutes. Add the large egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Step 3: In a medium bowl, combine the all purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Then fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, followed by the chocolate chips.
Step 4: Place 3-4 tablespoon cookie dough balls onto a cookie sheet about 2-3 inches apart. Bake at 350°F for 9-12 minutes until you have slightly tan, crisp edges but not dark. Sprinkle each baked cookie with flaky salt and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Tip #1: You can make and refrigerate the browned butter in advance to make throwing this recipe together even simpler. Just leave it on the counter to soften for an hour before beginning the recipe.
Tip #2: If you don't have flaky sea salt, use table salt sparingly on top of the cookies. Table salt is more potent than flaky sea salt.
Tip #3: Use a large cookie or ice cream scoop to make round cookie dough balls that are all equal in size.
They're finely ground coffee beans that are used to make espresso shots. It is very powerful, so a little goes a long way in these cookies.
Because these chewy espresso chocolate chip cookies use espresso, they do contain a small amount of caffeine. Use decaf coffee beans to eliminate the caffeine.
These cookies can spread too much if you mix the sugar into the butter while it's still warm. You want to make sure the browned butter has had time to cool until it's mostly solid and room temperature.
This is likely from over-measuring the flour. I highly recommend weighing your dry ingredients in grams (see metric tab in recipe card below) using a food scale - it's much easier and more accurate than using measuring cups!
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Add a slice of bread to the container to keep the cookies soft for a longer period of time!
Store pre-rolled dough balls or baked cookies wrapped tightly in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
More Cookie Recipes You'll Love
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Salted Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Baking sheet
- Mixing bowls
- Large cookie scoop 3-4 tablespoon capacity
- Measuring spoons
- Wire cooling rack
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon finely ground espresso
- ¾ cup brown sugar light or dark, packed
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour weighed in grams or spooned and leveled
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips or chunks
- flaky sea salt for topping
- In a small/medium pan over low/medium heat, cook the butter while stirring until brown bits form on the bottom and it gives off a nutty aroma.Remove from heat and stir in the espresso grounds. Transfer it to a heatproof bowl and let cool until it's a soft solid. This can be sped up by placing it in the refrigerator, but you'll want to stir and check on it every once in a while so it doesn't get hard.
- Preheat oven to 350°F while the butter cools.
- Mix the cooled espresso butter with the brown sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Stir the flour, baking soda, and salt into the wet ingredients just until most dry streaks disappear. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Place large dough balls (3-4 tablespoons each) on a cookie sheet, 2-3 inches apart, and bake until the edges are lightly golden (9-12 minutes).
- Sprinkle flaky salt on the warm cookies, then let cool on the pan until firm enough to transfer to a wire rack.
I agree on doubling the espresso - they are tasty cookies. I also think I would put the flaky salt on the unbaked dough so it sticks better. thanks for the recipe. I made them smaller and got 16 which is a perfect smaller recipe.
Hello, could you use ground coffee instead of ground espresso? Is this added in dry and not brewed grounds?
Kayla Burton says
Hi! Yes, ground coffee should also work. Correct, it uses dry finely ground coffee beans!
hello! is 1/2 cup of browned butter, referring to the amount before or after browning? 🙂
Kayla Burton says
Great question! It's the amount before browning. I'll update to clarify! Thank you 🙂