Are you wondering what to do with sourdough discard? These Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best way to use up leftover sourdough starter! These chocolate chip cookies are perfectly soft, chewy and so easy to make in less than 30 minutes! It's also a convenient small batch recipe, yielding about 9 cookies.
I received my sourdough starter as a gift a few months ago but have yet to make actual sourdough bread. I've tried a few sourdough discard recipes but haven't found any I loved, so I created my own in this sourdough chocolate chip cookies recipe! All of my friends love them and one even said they're the best cookies he's ever had!
Why We Love This Recipe
- It's a great way to use up sourdough discard instead of letting it go to waste!
- The sourdough cookies have a perfect soft and chewy texture and sweet and salty flavor!
- It makes about 9 regular cookies so it's nice to share amongst a few people.
- All purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Dark brown sugar: recommended, but light brown sugar will work as well.
- Sourdough discard (unfed sourdough starter)
- Vanilla extract
- Semi sweet chocolate chips: feel free to use a dark, milk, or whatever you like instead.
- Egg yolk
- Unsalted butter
See recipe card below for quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
Mix-ins: Feel free to add ¼ cup of your favorite mix-ins like nuts or toffee. You can also replace the chocolate chips with something else if you'd like. For super melty chocolate puddles, use dark chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips!
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
Before you get started, let your refrigerated ingredients reach room temperature and preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Step One (Picture 1 above) - In a medium/large bowl, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until they're combined well and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
Step Two (Picture 2 above) - Mix in the sourdough starter discard, followed by the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
Step Three (Picture 3 above) - In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir them into the wet ingredients just until the flour streaks disappear.
Step Four (Picture 4 above) - Gently mix the chocolate chips into the cookie dough. The dough will be slightly sticky.
Using a cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoon capacity), place cookie dough balls 2-3 inches apart on a baking sheet. Top with extra chocolate chips if you'd like.
Bake the cookies on the middle oven rack at 350°F/177°C until their edges are slightly tan (8-11 minutes). Sprinkle on some flaky salt and let them cool for a bit on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
Tip #1 - Use unfed sourdough starter. This is the leftovers that don't get fed any flour or water and is usually discarded. When I tested these with fed sourdough starter, the cookies were okay but you could taste the extra flour.
Tip #2 - Weigh your dry ingredients. Over-measuring flour is a common issue that makes cookies dry and puffy. This is easily prevented by using a food scale to weigh the flour in grams (see metric tab in recipe card below). If using measuring cups, spoon the flour into the cups and level it off with a straightedge.
Tip #3 - Don't over-bake the cookies! Take them out when the edges are light tan. They'll continue to bake on the hot sheet after you remove them from the oven. If you leave them in the oven for too long, the cookies might turn out dry, hard and crunchy.
Sourdough discard (also known as unfed sourdough starter) is the sourdough leftover after measuring out the sourdough that gets fed. This is generally thrown away, which is why I've created this cookie recipe so that it doesn't have to go to waste!
You can, but it isn't recommended. Using fed sourdough starter can give the cookies more of a floury flavor.
When they're hot out of the oven, place a larger round object around them and scoot the edges back in. This is called cookie scooting!
This is likely from over-measuring the flour or over-baking the cookies. For the best results, use a food scale to weigh the flour in grams.
Room Temperature: Store in an airtight container with a slice of bread for up to 1 week. The bread will absorb the moisture, keeping the cookies soft for days!
Refrigerator: Storing the baked in the refrigerator can dry them out, so this is not recommended. While the dough is best baked right away, it can be covered and refrigerated overnight and then baked the next day.
Freezing Instructions: Wrap the completely cooled cookies in plastic wrap and/or a freezer-safe bag labeled with "Sourdough Discard Chocolate Chip Cookies" and the date for up to 1 month. The dough balls can also be frozen for 1 month and baked within that timeframe.
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Sourdough Discard Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Baking sheet
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons
- Hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment optional
- Cookie scoop
- Wire rack
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ scant teaspoon salt (scant = a little less than ½ teaspoon)
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar light or dark, packed
- ¼ cup sourdough starter discard unfed
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional).
- In a medium/large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until very well combined (2-3 minutes). Mix in the sourdough discard followed by the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until the flour streaks are gone. Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop cookie dough balls (about 2 tablespoons each) onto a baking sheet 2-3 inches apart. Top with extra chocolate chips (optional).
- Bake on the middle rack until the cookie edges are lightly golden (8-11 minutes).
- Recommended: scoot your cookies! Right out of the oven, place a slightly larger round object (biscuit cutter, large cup, etc.) over the cookie and scoot it around to bring the edges in, making the cookie perfectly round.Also feel free to sprinkle the cookies with flaky salt!
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet until they're firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack (5-10 minutes).