sourdough chocolate chip cookies

sourdough chocolate chip cookies

I’ve been dabbling in the art of homemade sourdough baking and these sourdough chocolate chip cookies are the perfect thing to bake with the extra sourdough discard in my refrigerator. I read Eat Like a Human earlier this year and found many of the principles fascinating, albeit extreme. The author shares extensive research detailing how humans have evolved with their food environment and how we should be eating for optimal health and wellness. While I won’t be foraging through Central Park for bitter herbs or eating raw liver, as the book suggests, I do abide by the notion that fermented wheat products are better for our digestion and health.

sourdough chocolate chip cookies

Inspired by the desire to eat naturally leavened bread products, I cultivated a sourdough starter that I feed daily. A daily sourdough feeding requires that you remove half of your starter and replace it with fresh flour and water. The discard can be thrown away, or better yet, kept in the refrigerator and used to make various baked goods. I add to my jar of discard everyday until I have enough to bake delicious waffles or chocolate chip cookies.

The good bacteria in the starter ‘pre-digests’ the gluten in the flour, making these cookies easier to digest than non-fermented varieties. While the sugar content disqualifies them as a health food, these cookies are healthy-ish and satisfying when the craving strikes!

My recipe is based on the sourdough cookie on the King Arthur flour website. I’ve made several changes to create a more streamlined recipe.

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies: recipe notes

  • Browned butter: We start by browning a stick of butter to enhance notes of toffee and caramel in these cookies
  • Sourdough discard: I make these using unfed sourdough starter to avoid food waste
  • Ferment overnight: Ideally, you’d refrigerate the dough overnight, allowing the good bacteria in the starter to break down some of the gluten. If impatience prevails, refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before baking.
  • Sweet not sour: If your sourdough discard hasn’t been sitting in the refrigerator too long, these cookies will only have a slight tang. Despite what the name implies, the cookies won’t be sour.

If you’re a sourdough baker, I hope you use this recipe to give new life to your leftover starter. Leave me a comment if you have any questions or to let me know how your cookies turned out!

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sourdough chocolate chip cookies

sourdough chocolate chip cookies

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  • Author: Sepideh Campos


Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies 


  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter discard (unfed)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Place the stick of butter in a skillet and melt over medium heat. When the butter has fully melted, continue to heat the butter, gently swirling the pan, until the foam subsides and the white milk solids turn golden brown. Once the butter has browned and smells nutty, immediately pour the browned butter into a medium mixing bowl so that it stops cooking.
  2. Add the brown and granulated sugars to the butter and mix with a rubber spatula until combined.
  3. Add the egg and stir until fully combined and glossy.
  4. Add the sourdough starter discard, vanilla extract and salt. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and chocolate chips to the batter.
  6. Fold until fully combined.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and use a #24 ice cream scooper to scoop out portions of cookie dough.
  8. Arrange the cookie dough balls onto the baking sheet. You can place the dough balls close together to fit everything on one baking sheet for easier refrigeration. Before you bake the cookies, you’ll want to spread the dough balls at least 3 inches apart.
  9. Cover the cookie dough balls loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerator for at least 1 hour or ideally, overnight.
  10. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, spread the dough balls out at least 3 inches apart, and bake until the edges of the cookies set and are slightly browned 20-22 minutes. Bake the cookies in several batches since they won’t all fit on one baking sheet.
  11. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool for 10 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely, 1 hour. You can also enjoy the cookies warm after they’ve cooled on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes.
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