September 22, 2021

Halva Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This small batch recipe for brown butter egg yolk cookies yields a chewy cookie packed with dark chocolate. This recipe makes 12 cookies and can be halved to make a mere six! 

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This small batch recipe for brown butter egg yolk cookies yields a chewy cookie packed with dark chocolate. A combination of egg yolks and brown sugar gives these cookies perfect texture. 

This small batch chocolate chip cookie recipe makes 12 cookies and can be halved to make a mere six! 

So I’ve made these cookies maybe 5 times in the past month. I’m a little obsessed. The initial idea was simply to add halva to chocolate chip cookies but I wanted to amp up the flavor so I created it with brown butter: knowing that the ‘nutty’ parts of the taste would complement the halva so well. In the end it appears I have basically created a one (or two) egg yolk chocolate chip cookie with brown butter!

What is halva? Can I make halva? 

Halva means many different things around the world. The ‘halwa’ (halwa means sweet in arabic) I grew up with was kind of like jelly; gelatinous, made with ghee and nuts and flavored with saffron. But the kind of halva we’re talking about today has origins in Istanbul and is made with tahini (sesame seed paste) which is candied with a sugar syrup. You can make it at home, but it likely won’t taste as good as the one you find in a local middle eastern store. The ‘marbled’ halva (mine pictured has chocolate in it) is really, really good in these cookies. 

whole egg cookies vs egg yolk cookies

Why do I use egg yolks in cookies rather than whole eggs? Because they make for a chewy cookie that stays chewy for days. Think chewy to the point of ‘bendy’. It also gives a richer, fully flavor to the dough which I really love. 

And those leftover egg whites can become: a pavlova, double chocolate chip cookies, swiss meringue buttercream or mini pavlovas

Should I use chocolate chips or chocolate chunks in brown butter chocolate chip cookies? Do I have to chop a chocolate bar? 

Chocolate chunks, chopped from a good quality chocolate bar (not bought from a bag claiming to be chocolate chunks) will taste better and give you a better melt within the cookie. 

How to brown butter for brown butter chocolate chip cookies

Over medium heat, melt the butter and then cook it as it sputters and spits. Once it starts to foam and you see brown bits on the bottom it’s browning. As it starts to go quiet it has browned. 

Moisture is lost in the browning process and depending on how long you brown it you’ll have more or less butter afterwards. This is why I ask you to weigh it after browning – we want to make sure we have just enough. 


Steps to make small batch brown butter chocolate chip cookies 

  1. Brown the butter, let it chill. 
  2. Cream together the sugar and solidified brown butter for a full 5 minutes. This aerates the mixture and allows the sugar to begin dissolving. 
  3. Add the egg yolks and beat for at least 2 full minutes, this allows the yolk to emulsify into the sugar/butter mix. 
  4. Add the flour and beat to just combine. 
  5. Fold in the halva crumbles and chocolate chips. 
  6. Portion and bake! 

FAQ about Small Batch Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Do I have to brown the butter?

For this recipe you do – as the quantities listed yield a brown butter cookie. If you simply wanted to add halva to a chocolate chip cookie recipe I recommend the one yolk cookie recipe or it’s big sister, egg yolk chocolate chip cookies

Where can I buy halva? 

Check a local middle eastern store, they’re almost certain to have it. 

Can I skip the halva? 

Sure, you’ll have a brown butter chocolate chunk cookie. And it’ll be so good too!

I don’t have sour cream! 

You may use full fat yogurt in place of the sour cream or even labneh. I have tried the labneh and it was probably my favorite. 

Can I halve this recipe? Can I double it? 

Yes, absolutely yes to both. Just be sure to weigh your butter after you brown it and calculate how much you’ll need accordingly. 

Help, My Chocolate Chip cookies spread too much! My cookies didn’t spread! 

Structurally speaking, how much a cookie spreads will depend on a few factors: how much butter is in the recipe (did you weigh it after you browned it?) how big the yolks are (a standard ‘large egg’ carton will have different sized eggs) and how you measured the flour (a scale is best!). If yours did not spread enough then there either wasn’t enough butter or there was too much flour. If your cookies did spread a lot then you had too much butter or not enough flour. Egg yolks will affect the recipe, but not as much. 

Also how long you let the dough ‘sit’ before you bake it will affect spread as well: as the dough sits the flour absorbs moisture and the cookie will spread less. 

Finally, what type of chocolate you use will affect spread as well: a chip will yield a thicker cookie with specks of chocolate. If you use feves or big chunks of chocolate this will push the dough out and cause it to spread more. 

Other Egg Yolk Cookie Recipes 

Egg Yolk Chocolate Chunk Cookies 

One Yolk, Six Monster Cookies 

One Yolk, 8 Birthday Chocolate Cookies 

One Yolk, Six Perfect Chocolate Chunk Cookies 

Homemade PB Cup Stuffed Cookies

Other Brown Butter Recipes 

Brown Butter Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls 

Brown Butter Milk Chocolate Buttercream 

Vanilla Bean Brown Butter Cake with Whipped Salted Caramel 

Brown Butter Chocolate Pecan Pie 

Brown Butter Peanut Butter No Churn Ice Cream 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Brown Butter Buttercream 



Small Batch Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Small Batch Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This small batch recipe for brown butter egg yolk cookies yields a chewy cookie packed with halva crumbles and dark chocolate.
brown butter chocolate chip cookies
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
5 from 2 votes


  • ½ cup butter 113g (to be browned, you’ll need 90g after browning)
  • cup light brown sugar 120g
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream or labne
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 130 g all purpose flour
  • 100 g chopped chocolate
  • 90 g crumbled halva optional


  • Set the butter in a small frying pan and turn the heat to medium. Let it cook as it sputters and bubbles until it goes quiet. Remove it from the heat and pour into a heatproof bowl, making sure to scrape the brown bits into the bowl. You can measure it at this point, you’ll need 85-90grams for the cookie dough. If you have less, brown some more butter and reserve extra for another use. If you have more, reserve for another use.
  • Let the butter cool in a bowl until it’s thick and creamy. You can do this at room temperature for a few hours or use the fridge/freezer to speed up the process.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the butter, sugar vanilla and sea salt and whisk for a full minute.
  • Add the egg yolks and sour cream and whisk for another full minute or two until it’s airy and creamy.
  • Add the baking soda and flour and mix with a rubber spatula.
  • Fold in the chocolate and halva crumbles.
  • Portion dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper using an ice cream scoop.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Worth the extra work! Brown butter makes this the best chocolate chip recipe I’ve ever eaten. I wish the halva was a bit more pronounced after it was baked but if I could live off cookie dough for the rest of my life, this would be the recipe I choose👌