Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best cookies with crispy edges, a chewy center and lots of chocolate. Learn how to make these delicious sourdough chocolate chip cookies using sourdough starter discard!

pinterest graphic for sourdough chocolate chip cookies

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Chocolate chip cookies are a deliciously nostalgic treat. I have memories of coming home from school to a countertop full of homemade chocolate chip cookies cooling on cut up paper bags. Those were good days. Now I have kids of my own, and they love to see a fresh batch of cookies just as much as I did. 

sourdough chocolate chip cookies

Instead of using a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe, I came up with a recipe for sourdough discard chocolate chip cookies. Adding a little sourdough starter allows the dough to naturally ferment, giving the chewy sourdough chocolate chip cookies the health benefits that come with fermented grains. I wouldn’t go so far as to categorize these cookies as “healthy,” but they sure are a delicious treat that everyone loves.

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After many test batches, I am confident saying these really are the best cookies. One thing I love about this recipe is that it consistently turns out perfectly every time. Some chocolate chip cookie recipes tend to be finicky – sometimes they spread in the oven, sometimes they don’t. These sourdough discard cookies are a great way to use up some extra sourdough starter and get perfect results every time.

sourdough chocolate chip cookies cooling on a wire rack

why sourdough?

We love sourdough cookies for a lot of reasons. I choose this method over a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe not only because of the delicious flavor that sourdough imparts, but also because of the health benefits. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a healthy recipe. But incorporating sourdough does allow the grains to ferment, which breaks down the gluten. This makes the grains easier to digest, and also allows your body to better absorb nutrients from the flour. This cookie dough could be baked right after making it, but giving it some extra time in the fridge will increase the health benefits.

Active Sourdough Starter – starter that has been fed water + flour and allowed to sit until it is bubbly and about doubled in size.

Sourdough Starter Discard – the portion of the starter that is removed and discarded before feeding the remaining starter, UNLESS you use it up in a delicious recipe like this one. 10/10 recommend. 🙂

ingredients you’ll need

  • softened butter
  • brown sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • eggs
  • sourdough starter discard (active sourdough also works too)
  • all purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • sea salt
  • dark chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

tools & equipment you’ll need

how to make sourdough chocolate chip cookies

Let me show you just how to make the world’s best sourdough chocolate chip cookies!

The very first step is to combine the dry ingredients into a medium size bowl. When doing this, make sure to measure the flour correctly using the scoop and level method. Simply put, this method is exactly what it sounds like. You’ll use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup. Then, you’ll level off the top with the back of a knife so the flour is level with the top of the measuring cup. This will prevent you from using too much flour which would result in a cake-like cookie instead of a soft and chewy texture. Whisk the dry ingredients to combine them well.

Next, add the softened butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed using the paddle attachment. (Butter left at room temperature for about 2 hours is the perfect consistency.) You could also use a hand mixer and a large bowl. Once the butter and sugar is well beaten, mix in the eggs, vanilla and sourdough starter. Beat on medium speed until all of the ingredients are just combined. You don’t want to beat too much or at too high of a speed, or you will whip too much air into the dough resulting in a cakey cookie.

If you're using sourdough discard (not active starter), the longer it has been "aging" in the fridge, the more flavor it will add to the cookies.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low or stir with a wooden spoon until they are about halfway incorporated, and then add the dark chocolate chips. Use a LOT of chocolate chips! Chocolate chunks are a fun addition too. Finish mixing until everything is well-combined.

This is when you’re going to allow the dough to long ferment (if you want to). Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Let the cookie dough soften a bit by coming to room temperature so that the dough is easier to scoop. Line a couple of sheet pans with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough so that all of the cookies are close to the same size. Bake 12 on a cookie sheet at a time (fewer if you’re using a large cookie scoop). Press them down just a bit. 

At this point you can either bake the dough or freeze it. 

​Bake on 350 degrees F for 9-11 minutes. The cookies will not look done after this amount of time, but take them out anyways. As they cool on the cookie sheet, they will flatten down into the best crinkly soft chocolate chip cookies. After about 15 minutes, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

how to freeze cookie dough

Since this recipe makes a lot of cookies, I like to freeze some to have on hand ready for an impromptu guest or an effortless treat. The easiest way to do this is to line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out individual cookie dough balls with a cookie scoop, and freeze them for 30 minutes. They can be close together on the baking sheet because you’re not baking them at this point, so you don’t have to worry about them spreading out. 

Take them out of the freezer and store in a ziploc bag or an airtight container until you’re ready to use. It’s ok if the cookie dough balls are not frozen all the way through, just the outsides need to be frozen so they don’t stick together.

When you’re ready to bake, take the dough balls out of the freezer and place onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Allow them to thaw for about 30 minutes while the oven is preheating. Bake according to the instructions in the recipe card.

tips for making sourdough chocolate chip cookies

-For best results: DO NOT OVERBAKE THE COOKIES!! If you like them on the really doughy side, bake them for 9 minutes. For perfectly soft and chewy cookies, 10 or 11 minutes is perfect.

-If you want to save cookies for later but don’t want to freeze the dough, just bake all of the dough and freeze some cookies at the end. Stored in an airtight container, they will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months and be just as delicious when you thaw them to enjoy.

hungry for more sourdough discard recipes?

recipe card for sourdough chocolate chip cookies

sourdough chocolate chip cookies cooling on a wire rack

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

These Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best cookies with crispy edges, a chewy center and lots of chocolate. Learn how to make these delicious sourdough chocolate chip cookies using sourdough starter discard!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter discard
  • 3 cups organic, all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients into a medium size bowl. 
  2. Next, add the softened butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed using the paddle attachment.
  3. Once the butter and sugar is well beaten, mix in the eggs, vanilla and sourdough starter. Beat on medium speed until all of the ingredients are just combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low or stir with a wooden spoon until they are about halfway incorporated, and then add the dark chocolate chips. Finish mixing until everything is well-combined.
  5. This is when you're going to allow the dough to long ferment (if you want to). Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
  6. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Let the cookie dough soften a bit by coming to room temperature so that the dough is easier to scoop. Line a couple of sheet pans with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough so that all of the cookies are close to the same size. Press them down just a bit. 
  7. ​Bake on 350 degrees F for 9-11 minutes. The cookies will not look done after this amount of time, but take them out anyways. As they cool on the cookie sheet, they will flatten down into the best crinkly soft chocolate chip cookies. After about 15 minutes, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  8. Store cookies in a ziploc bag or airtight container.

Notes

For best results: DO NOT OVERBAKE THE COOKIES!! If you like them on the really doughy side, bake them for 9 minutes. If you like them perfectly soft and chewy, 10 or 11 minutes is perfect.

If you want to save cookies for later, bake all of the dough and freeze some cookies at the end. Stored in an airtight container, they will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months and be just as delicious when you thaw them to enjoy.

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6 Comments

  1. Thanks for this recipe! I didn’t thoroughly read the recipe until after I made them and didn’t measure the flour as described, so mine turned out “cakey” but still delicious! I’ll be more careful with the flour next time 🙂 I used half as much sugar and it turned with my preferred amount of sweetness!

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