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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins for the Young at Heart

  • Author: Sarah Marx Feldner
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Makes 12 muffins.



For the Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

For the Batter:

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (like table salt or fine grain sea salt)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 whole large egg, room temperature
  • 1 large yolk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 10 oz mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (¼ cup reserved)


Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Generously butter 12 muffin tins – or line with paper or foil liners.

To make the topping:

  1. Using your fingertips, rub together all the topping ingredients in a medium bowl until crumbly. Set aside.

For the muffins:

  1. To brown the butter (yum!): Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Gently swirl the pan every few seconds until the butter starts to smell nutty and brown bits appear in the pan (~5 minutes). Immediately pour into a heatproof bowl to stop the cooking and let cool for ~ 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, whole egg, yolk, and vanilla. Then whisk in the browned butter.
  4. Add the milk-butter mixture to the flour mixture and stir until almost combined (white streaks of flour should still remain). Fold in all but ¼ cup of the chocolate chips just until everything is combined.
  5. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups. Use the reserved 1/4 cup chocolate chips to evenly sprinkle each muffin cup, then sprinkle with the topping (you will use all the chocolate chips, but will have leftover topping).
  6. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden toothpick comes out clean, 18 – 20 minutes.
  7. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then run a knife around edge of each muffin top and carefully remove from cups.


  • If you want to be very literal in your measurements for the topping, 3 TB sugar = 2 TB + 1 ½ teaspoons sugar.
  • Whether or not it’s scientifically correct, for an extra crumbly topping, I like to store the topping mixture in the freezer while preparing the batter. A metal bowl works best, as it gets colder faster than plastic or glass.
  • When browning butter, watch closely, as those nutty brown bits can quickly turn black, i.e. burnt. i.e. yuck! If you've never browned butter before, don't worry, it's easy! But for more in-depth instructions, here's a great tutorial.
  • If you’re not in the mood to brown butter, simply melt 6 TB (vs. 7 TB) butter in the microwave, and then proceed as directed.
  • Be sure to use mini chocolate chips – most grocery stores carry them; Nestle Toll House is a common brand. Regular-size chips are too heavy for this batter. And plus, the mini chips are just c.u.t.e. J
  • If you’re feeling frisky, reserve ½ cup (vs. ¼ cup) mini chocolate chips for sprinkling on top.
  • This recipe makes a lot of topping, and you won’t use it all. Put extras in a Ziploc bag and store in the freezer for the next time – one less thing to make!
  • As with most muffin recipes, these are best enjoyed the day they’re made. That said, day-old muffins can easily be perked up with a couple of seconds in the microwave.
  • This recipe is adapted from the September 2003 issue of Gourmet magazine and the delightful Joy the Baker.

Keywords: Muffins, Breakfast, Chocolate, Brunch, Kid-Friendly