September 8, 2023

Brown Butter S’mores Cookies

Crispy edged, chewy centered graham cracker chocolate chip cookies filled with marshmallow fluff. These s’mores cookies are made with brown butter, graham crumbs, some whole wheat flour to accentuate the graham flavor and a ton of chocolate chips.

5 from 5 votes
Yield: 10 cookies
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These could have been a classic s’more cookie: chocolate chip cookies with chopped up graham crackers, some mini marshmallows (or mallows stuffed into the center) and some chocolate. 

But… I really wanted to create a cookie dough that itself was exceptional: one that had more than the classic chocolate chip cookie flavor. If it were to be a ‘smores cookie’ I thought, it should have graham cracker crumbs that would flavor it. It was very tasty as is but to drum it up even more, and lean into that graham cracker flavor, I swapped out some of the flour for whole wheat flour and browned the butter. 

Why these brown butter s’more cookies

Basically, I have made this dough unbelievably delicious. Honestly even if you didn’t want to use the marshmallow it’s such a great standalone cookie dough recipe! 

That said, marshmallow fluff is absolutely delightful here. You can either buy it (cheaper and easier) or you can make it with the recipe below (you get to use brown sugar & honey, salt and lots of vanilla which makes it taste like so much more than sweet corn syrup!). 

Either way, I’m going to give you two ways to incorporate the fluff: either by making a little bowl with the cookie dough and putting the marshmallow fluff in the center then baking it so it’s exposed; or you can cover the bowl and make a huge cookie with the fluff stuffed into the center. 

Recipe Ingredients 

Butter: Unsalted, cold is fine because we’re going to brown it! If you use salted, reduce the amount of added salt. 

Sugar(s): Granulated and brown sugar. I’ve made these some seventeen hundred times and I much preferred dark brown sugar for them. It leans more into the caramel/toffee taste of the cookies and it gives a better spread to the cookie. 

Egg: One large egg and a yolk. The added yolk keeps the cookies chewy. 

Milk: When we brown butter we lose both liquid and creaminess so I like to add it back in a way that doesn’t mess up the structure of the cookie. For this recipe I picked milk because it also helps hydrate the flour. 

All purpose flour: I use KAF all purpose which has a protein content of about 11%. 

Whole wheat flour: You can also use white whole wheat here. This gives the dough more flavor. 

Graham crackers: If you’re using standard graham crackers, you need just 4 sheets. I also LOVED these with digestive cookie crumbs. Weigh the crumbs if you’re using anything other than standard crackers though! 

Salt: Fine sea salt. Reduce it if using salted butter and reduce it if your salt is table salt. 

Marshmallow fluff: In the photos where the fluff is exposed, I used store-bought fluff (the jar with the red cap). In the photos where you see it stuffed into the cookie, I made my own using the recipe below. Either will work!  

Chocolate chips: Mini chocolate chips! These are small enough to disperse evenly through the whole cookie and won’t give us too much trouble when shaping the cookies.*

*As much as I wanted to add big chunks of chopped up chocolate to this recipe, they make it very hard to shape the cookies around the marshmallow fluff. You can add regular chocolate chips or big chunks of chopped chocolate on top of the cookies after adding the fluff (either on top of the fluff or on top of the top layer of the cookie if you are doing the stuffed method). 

How to make brown butter s’mores cookies 

First, brown the butter: I like using a clear colored pan for this task so I can actually see the milk solids turning brown – this way I know when to take it off the heat. You’ll first see the solids separating from the liquid (they’ll be cream colored and kind of look like panko) and as the butter cooks, they’ll toast and caramelize.

Once all the solids are brown, immediately transfer the butter to a bowl. Never leave brown butter to cool in the pan because it will continue to cook, and then burn!

For our recipe, the butter and sugar need to be creamed so we’ll briefly chill the butter. It doesn’t need to be cold and solid, but ‘room temperature’ so it’s soft enough to be beaten.

To the creamy browned butter we’ll add the sugars, leavening (both baking soda and powder) and flavorings (vanilla and sea salt). Adding them at this point helps disperse them and intensify the flavors.

Now, using a hand mixer or if you’re doing this in a stand mixer (use the paddle attachment), beat on medium until the mix is light and fluffy. You can add the milk at this point and continue to beat until it’s “creamed”.

Add the egg and yolk and beat for a good 2-3 minutes, you’ll see  the mix turn several shades lighter. It will be what we call “fluffy”.

All the dry ingredients can go in at once (both flours and the ground up graham crackers) and then we’ll forgo the beater for a rubber spatula.

Mix until you can’t spot any more dry bits of flour and then add the mini chocolate chips.

Once those are folded in, you’ll cover the bowl and set it aside. Because this dough is made with whole wheat flour I like to give it about half an hour to hydrate.

Prepare to bake 

Now line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. I grease my cookie sheets first so that the parchment paper sticks to the pan (and doesn’t fly up in the oven or shift around when I move the pan!).

Note: ALWAYS use parchment paper. If you bake directly on the pan there is no barrier between that hot metal and your cookies. They’ll overcook on the bottom and spread more than you’d like. 

Portion the cookie dough: if you’re doing a stuffed cookie portion all of the dough into 1.5 tablespoons. You’ll use two of the portions to make one cookie (so it will be 3 tablespoons of dough with some fluff stuffed in). If you’re doing an exposed cookie use about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough.

You’ve got two options for how to shape them. The exposed fluff is very pretty but I found it gave me less room for chocolate chips.  More on exposed fluff cookies versus stuffed fluff cookies below (in the section titled “two ways…”).

Bake the cookies until they are golden on the edges, cracked all over on top, and they aren’t ‘wet’ in the center.

Making marshmallow fluff at home 

I wasn’t about to do this until I read through a few marshmallow fluff recipes, noticed they were all very much the same and realized, it’s just like making an italian meringue (except with a LOT more sugar lol). To make it cook the sugar to the candy point then pour it over egg whites as they whip. You’ll whip the mix to stiff peaks, it can take up to 10 minutes. 

A note on making the fluff: I did notice that in the oven, homemade fluff puffed up slightly but didn’t spread the way the store-bought stuff did. So, if you want the marshmallow flavor all over the cookie, that’s something to keep in mind.

Here’s the recipe I made (adapted from Livfor Cake):  

Homemade Brown Sugar Marshmallow Fluff 

  • ½ tsp cream of tartar 
  • 3 large egg whites (no bits of yolk at all) 
  • ¾ cups honey 
  • ⅓ cup cool water 
  • ¾ cup brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

Instructions 

  1. Add the honey, sugar and water to a large pot. Stir to combine then set the pot over medium heat. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot (or keep an instant read or laser thermometer nearby). 
  2. *If you’re using cup measurements for the honey, coat the cup in a thin layer of oil. This will help it slide out more easily rather than stick to the cup. 
  3. *The honey will boil up, but if you place a wooden spoon over the top of the pot it won’t spill over the pot. 
  4. When the sugar reaches 220 F, set the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and begin whisking on low until the egg whites have very soft peaks. 
  5. When the sugar reaches 240 F, remove it from the heat and with the mixer on, slowly pour the sugar into the bowl over the egg whites. Turn the mixer to medium high, add the salt and vanilla, and whisk until the fluff holds stiff peaks (will take roughly 7-10 minutes). Use immediately. 
  6. Store the fluff in an airtight container at room temperature, it will keep for about 2 weeks. If it gets too thick, microwave it to loosen it. 

Two ways to stuff the marshmallow fluff into the cookie dough 

Exposed fluff cookies

In some of the photos you’ll see  a large puddle of (store-bought) white marshmallow fluff in the center of the cookie. I call these ‘exposed fluff’ and to make them you’ll scoop the cookie dough, then shape the dough into a small bowl, then scoop some fluff into the center.

Gently (and this part may be a tad messy) try to squeeze the bowl around the top of the fluff. I’d add more chocolate chips at this point too – in the photos you see that they kind of slide down as the marshmallow fluff melts and the cookie spread in the oven but they’ll stay intact to the cookie.

Stuffed fluff cookies

The cookies below were made by stuffing some (homemade) marshmallow fluff. To do this you’ll make the ‘bowl’ shape and stuff some fluff into the center.

Then take another scoop of cookie dough and cover the fluff and seal it around the fluff, pressing and squeezing the dough around the fluff.

With a full top of cookie dough you can now cover it in chocolate chips (or chunks).

Which method should you use? 

I think there’s something special about the exposed fluff, it doesn’t just look like a regular cookie. That said, you definitely get more chocolate if using the stuffed method!

 

Brown Butter S’mores Cookie Recipe



Brown Butter S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies with graham cracker crumbs, whole wheat flour and marshmallow fluff for a s'mores flavor!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Yields: 10 cookies
5 from 5 votes

Ingredients

  • 140 g or ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter to brown
  • ½ cup or 113g unsalted browned butter from above
  • ¾ cup brown sugar preferably dark brown
  • ¼ cup or 50g granulated sugar fine
  • 1 large egg plus 1 yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 95 g or ⅔ cup white whole wheat or whole wheat flour
  • 95 g or ⅔ cups all purpose flour
  • 62 g or 4 graham crackers ground into crumbs
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips plus more for topping
  • Marshmallow fluff

Method

Start by browning the butter (and hour before making the dough)

  • Place the butter in a light-colored frying pan and set the heat to medium-low. Cook as the butter melts, then begins to separate. Stir often. The cream-colored bits will begin to toast, and turn brown in the process. When the butter has gone mostly silent and you see no more cream colored bits but all brown bits, immediately remove from heat & transfer it to a large bowl, scraping down the pan to get all the bits. Let the brown butter cool on the counter or in the fridge until it’s soft and creamy.
  • Add the sugars, salt, baking soda and powder, and vanilla to the bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat the mixture for about 3-4 minutes, until well blended.
  • Add the milk, egg and yolk and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and switch to a rubber spatula. Stir until all the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Fold in the mini chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave on the counter for about half an hour.
  • (if you’re making the marshmallow fluff, do it now)

Shape and bake the cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two greased cookie sheets with parchment paper.

If you’re making stuffed cookies:

  • Scoop the cookie dough into 1.5 tablespoons. Use two 1.5 tablespoon scoops per cookie: shape the first into a mini bowl and place about 2 teaspoons of marshmallow fluff into the center. Shape the other dough into a flat circle and cover the fluff completely. Roll the dough between your palms to seal it. Add more chocolate chips to the top of the cookie, if desired.

If you’re making exposed fluff cookies:

  • Scoop the cookie dough into 2 tablespoons per cookie. Shape the dough into a mini bowl and use two spoons to scrape enough fluff into the center so that it comes almost to the rim of the ‘bowl’. Squeeze it from the sides to seal it a bit. You can add more chocolate chips on top of the fluff.
  • For 3 TB stuffed cookies: bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden on the edges and the center doesn’t look ‘wet’ or doughy anymore.
  • For 2 TB exposed cookies: bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden on the edges.

Notes

Exposed fluff cookies: recipe makes about 12 medium cookies.
Stuffed fluff cookies: recipe makes 8 large cookies.

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Recipe Reviews




  1. 5 stars
    It doesn’t get much better than these cookies! First of all- that DOUGH. I could barely stop eating it! So flavorful and delicious, with a wonderful texture from those graham crackers. I decided on going with exposed fluff using store-bought fluff. That was a bit messy, but I popped the dough in the fridge for a few minutes and that really helped. I used a 2.5 tbsp scoop, made a little well in it, and used a small cookie scoop to dump the fluff in. The cookies were super cute and everyone loved them. Definitely a keeper!

  2. 5 stars
    Ok, I made the fluff, with honey I get from my neighbors. The homemade fluff, made with local honey, had a very strong honey taste. Too strong, I thought. I didn’t want to chance it in the cookies, so I went to the store and bought the Jet Puffed marshmallow fluff and they came out really tasty. So–if you have stronger flavored honey, it might be too much to use in the cookies 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    These cookies were excellent! I went the exposed marshmallow fluff route. I used a partially filled and lightly greased with cooking spray 2 tsp cookie scoop to transfer the marshmallow fluff to the cookie. Then used a spoon (also greased with a bit of cooking spray) to move the fluff around. I think it worked well! Thanks for the recipe!