An easy, yet decadent recipe for homemade soft & chewy chocolate chip cookies made with leftover sourdough discard or bubbly active starter- your choice! The dough can be made in advance and baked straight from the fridge for convenience.
If you need a break from baking sourdough bread, bake cookies. Sourdough cookies. Made with bubbly active starter (for extra puffiness) or even leftover starter (excellent sourdough discard recipe) you’re guaranteed this: delightfully soft & chewy cookies and puddles of oozy dark chocolate every time.
And here’s the kicker: they’ll actually stay soft and chewy beyond the first 5 minutes out of the oven!
About The Recipe
My version is adapted from “The Cookie Book” by Rebecca Firth.
It’s a fantastic resource packed with over 75 inspiring recipes, easy to follow instructions and really beautiful pictures (I think I gained 5 lbs. just looking at it).
But here’s what I love most: there’s a chapter specifically dedicated to homemade chocolate chip cookies! There’s classic soft and chewy, thin and crispy, brown butter chocolate chip, tahini macadamia nut…
I mean, does it get any better?
So, What’s the secret to soft & chewy SOURDOUGH chocolate chip cookies?
You cant just throw brown sugar or an egg yolk into the mix and hope for the best.
The secret is an intentional combination of both ingredients and technique that deliver a soft and chewy element.
Let’s talk about this more, shall we?
WHY This Recipe Works
- Brown Sugar: has the ability to retain more moisture during the baking process. When used in a higher proportion to regular granulated sugar, it results in a wonderfully soft cookie.
- Sunflower Oil: is fantastic in baking because of its neutral flavor and its ability to keep baked goods soft. You already know this if you’ve made muffins and quick breads before, but rarely do we see oil in a cookie recipe. So unique!
- Milk: According to King Arthur Flour, the natural fat and sugar in milk adds “extra tenderness and richness.” Their article goes into more specific detail (apologies, my scientific narrative is limited).
- Flour Blend: Rebecca uses both bread flour and all purpose flour for best results. Bread flour, which is higher in protein than all purpose flour will add more chewiness to the cookie.
- Lots of Chocolate Chunks: The dough bakes up puffier around the rugged edges of chopped chocolate chunks. Good old chocolate chips from the bag will work too, but the cookies won’t have the same look.
- Sourdough Starter: This is my addition to Rebecca’s original recipe. I used bubbly, active sourdough starter for extra puffiness. And boy, does it work well! Leftover sourdough discard is fine too. And no, the cookies do not taste sour. They are wonderfully sweet and delicious.
Tip: For best results, use a 100% hydration starter. This type of starter is fed with equal parts flour and water by weight and has a consistency similar to thick pancake batter. If you need a sourdough starter, follow my Beginner Sourdough Starter Recipe (it takes about 7 days and up to two weeks to become active).
About the Technique
After the cookie dough is made, it needs to chill for about 1 hr. for puffy cookies.
You can leave the dough overnight if you wish, although the flavor will change slightly. I’ve found the cookies to be nuttier and slightly less sweet 24 hrs. later.
Then, you’ll roll the dough by hand like a meatball and bake in the top third of the oven.
TIP: Rebecca says baking higher up in the oven bronzes the cookie and cooks the exterior more than the center which adds to the desired soft and chewy texture. Who knew? I’ve always been a center rack baker.
These sourdough chocolate chip cookies are calling your name!
The flavor is rich, sweet, salty and extremely chocolatey.
Serve warm or at room temperature and I guarantee you’ll be the most popular person in the house.
Oh, and get The Cookie Book. Her fresh lemon madeleines are to-die-for…Print
Soft & Chewy Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 50 Cookies
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
An easy, yet decadent recipe for homemade chocolate chip cookies with sourdough starter (so soft and chewy!). The dough can be made in advance and baked straight from the fridge. Recipe adapted from The Cookie Book, by Rebecca Firth. I’ve also included the original non-sourdough version in the recipe notes below.
- 8 tbsp. (115 g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (210 g) light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup (96 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (158 ml) sunflower seed oil or other neutral oil
- 1/2 cup (100 g) bubbly, active sourdough starter OR leftover sourdough discard (100% hydration)
- 1 tbsp. milk, room temperature
- 1 tbsp. real vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups (238 g) all purpose flour (see notes below)
- 1 1/2 cups (204 g) bread flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 1/2 cups (300 g) chopped dark, semi sweet, or milk chocolate (or a combination)
Notes & Substitutions
This recipe can be made without sourdough stater. Simply decrease the amount of all purpose flour to 1 1/2 cups (204 g) total.
Instead of chopped chocolate chunks, you can go the traditional route and use (1x) 340 g bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips instead. My kids prefer the chips to chunks because the latter is too rich for them (they’ll learn one day).
Rebecca’s original recipe calls for only 1 tsp of salt with the optional dusting of flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, to sprinkle on top of the cookies. I didn’t have any flaky salt when I made this recipe. So, I increased the total amount of salt to 1 1/4 tsp instead. Delicious!
I used King Arthur Flour for this recipe. Their bread flour contains 12.7% protein and their all purpose flour is about 11.7%. If you’re using another brand with a lower protein content, or you choose to make these cookies with all purpose flour only, the dough might be too sticky. Please add additional flour (not too much!) if necessary.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the oil, sourdough starter, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, bread flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this to the wet mixture (in batches) and mix on low speed until just combined.
Fold in the the chocolate chunks with a wooden spoon. Check the bottom of the bowl to make sure the ingredients are fully blended. The dough should be soft and not stick to your hands.
Cover and chill the dough for 1 hr. The dough can be baked cold.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Set the oven rack to the top third, about 6 inches from the heat source. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Portion the dough into 2 heaping tbsp. balls (about 30 g each). Then gently roll by hand like a meatball. Place onto the baking sheets 3 across and 4 down, about 2 inches apart. Bake 1 pan at a time.
Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. They will be light golden brown when ready. Cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes to set up, and then transfer to a wire rack.
Do not over bake these cookies. They will become more crisp but still fantastic to eat!
Keywords: sourdough chocolate chip cookies, soft and chewy, sourdough cookies, sourdough baking, the cookie book
I made these cookies about a year ago, had some issues, but they were very good. I think I rushed and didn’t read/follow the directions as written. Today I made them again and really followed the directions….I also added 1 Tbsp of Jameson Orange Whiskey, 1 Tbsp orange zest, and 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts. All I can say is WOW!!!! I think that even without the additions these are THE BEST chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. It is true as was stated above that “an intentional combination of both ingredients and technique that deliver a soft and chewy element”. They came out puffy, tender, rich and chewy! I will always use this recipe! Thank you!!!
Hello! Love these cookies! Can the dough be frozen so they can be made later?
Elisa H says
These are delicious! What can I substitute for the butter, please? My hubby cannot tolerate butter. Thank you!