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The Best Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Easy sourdough chocolate chip cookies that use sourdough discard starter. They’re buttery, chewy, and full of chocolate chips. Sourdough starter discard recipes are always a popular search on this site, and sourdough starter cookies deserve a top spot.

a bird's eye view of a broken cookie with melted chocolate on a black wire rack

Sourdough discard cookies

The sourdough starter in these cookies is not to leaven the cookies. It’s there to bring some acid to the dough which creates a softer and more tender cookie. You can use an active starter or a cold discard starter from the fridge.

The more unfed the starter is the more acid it will bring to the dough. The acid reacts with the baking soda in this sourdough discard chocolate chip cookies recipe and makes them puff.

Sourdough cookie dough ingredients

These sourdough cookies are made in two bowls. The first one is for the wet ingredients, the second is for the dry ingredients. The exact amounts for this sourdough chocolate chip cookies recipe are written on the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Butter – this can be salted butter or unsalted butter. The butter is melted which makes a chewier cookie.
  • Sugar – both granulated sugar and soft brown sugar. The soft brown sugar adds extra moisture to the cookie.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Egg
  • Sourdough starter – a runny discard starter is best, but you can also use a more active sourdough starter.
  • Vanilla extract or paste
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Chocolate chips – Semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate can be used. You can also chop up a chocolate bar into chocolate chunks and use that instead.
a close up of a bowl of cookie dough with a pile of dark chocolate chips

The method

In a microwave-proof bowl or small saucepan, melt the butter. Melting butter in a cookie is great for adding a chewy texture.

Once it has melted let it cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt, and baking soda and set it aside. Ensure you’ve mixed the baking soda in well so there are no little lumps of unmixed baking soda.

To the melted butter add the sugars, vanilla, and sourdough starter and mix it together well, either with a wooden spoon or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on low-medium speed.

The sourdough starter may be a bit tricky to mix in at first, but keep stirring until combined.

Tip in the flour and stir or mix it all together until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. They may not stick very well to the buttery dough but they will once the sourdough cookie dough has chilled. Chill the dough.

The initial dough will be very sticky (there’s a lot of butter in there!), so it needs to be chilled for at least 2 hours before you can roll the cookies out into balls. You can also chill it overnight or for up to two days to ferment the dough longer.

a glass bowl of cookie dough with chocolate chips in it and a wooden spatula sticking out

Baking

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Use about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough (a medium cookie scoop) for each cookie and roll it into cookie dough balls—line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Space the cookies about 3cm apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes until the edges of the cookies are golden brown but the tops are still pale and look a bit underdone.

This will give you a more chewy cookie. If you like them fatter and thicker, bake them a minute or two longer.

Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt for a sweet and savory combination.

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack and cooling further.

Sourdough Cookies Recipe Notes

  • The acid in the sourdough discard starter reacts with the baking soda to help the cookie rise. If you let the cookies bake longer, it results in a soft cake-like cookie. Under baking the sourdough cookies a little is what keeps them chewy. You can choose whichever version you like best!
  • Both brown and white sugar is used in the recipe. If you would like to omit one or use more of the other, go for it. More brown sugar will create a more moist cookie, while more white sugar creates a crispier cookie with crisp edges.
  • Roll the cookie balls nice and round and don’t press them down. As they bake they will spread out by themselves into thick circles. Once baked you can bang the oven tray down on the bench once or twice to deflate them a bit. To make the perfect cookie shape, once they are out of the oven and still hot, use a jar band or similar circle to scoot around the cookies to make them rounder. This only works when they are just out of the oven.
  • There isn’t much of a sour flavor in these cookies. If you want more of a tang, you can ferment the cookie dough for up to 2 days in the fridge before rolling.
a sourdough chocolate chip cookie broken in half on a black wire rack with out of focus cookies in the background and foreground

Storing

Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. The baked cookies can also be frozen for up to three months.

Making in advance

The unbaked cookie dough balls can be made in advance and frozen for up to three months. Thaw them in the fridge before baking.

Related recipes

Do you have more discard starter to use up? Why not give this sourdough pastry a go next or these sourdough palmiers?

Or try these chocolate chip cookies without butter. They’re made with oil and taste great!

a bird's eye view of a broken cookie with melted chocolate on a black wire rack

Soft and Chewy Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 16-18 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes

Easy sourdough chocolate chip cookies that uses sourdough discard starter. They're buttery, chewy and full of chocolate chips.

Ingredients

  • 150g (1/2 cup + 2 1/2 TBSP) butter
  • 100g (1/2 cup) soft brown sugar
  • 100g( (1/2 cup) white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 225g (1 3/4 cup)all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 100g (1/2 cup) discard sourdough starter
  • 170g (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a microwave or the stove, then let it cool to room temperature.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda and set it aside. 
  3. To the melted butter, add the sugars, vanilla, egg, and sourdough starter. Mix it together well. The sourdough starter may be tricky to mix in initially, but keep stirring until combined.
  4. Tip in the flour and stir it all together until combined.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips. They may not stick very well to the buttery dough, but they will once the sourdough cookie dough has chilled.
  6. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F.
  8. Line two cookie sheets with baking paper. Roll the cookie dough into 16-18 balls of around 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough.
  9. Space the cookie balls about 3cm apart on the baking sheets. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes until the edges of the cookies are light golden brown, but the tops are still pale.
  10. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before placing them on a wire rack to cool further.

Notes

In the original recipe the all-purpose flour amount was 300g and the discard starter amount was 150g. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 95mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g

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11 Comments

  1. Thanks for the recipe I’m about to make them but I’m not sure about the discard.

    Should I use an active starter discard or one from the refrigerator?

  2. I put the dough in gladwrap and formed a cylinder, then sliced it for baking when chilled down. Apart from the fact I overcooked them a bit, they came out a smash hit with the Grandies and hubby.

    1. Ooh that’s great to know they work as slice and bake cookies too! Thanks for letting me know! 😀

  3. I made these on the weekend, chilling the dough overnight (until around lunch time) and made 24 delicious cookies and froze 8 uncooked. Loved them

  4. Would there be much of a difference if I used bread flour rather than all-purpose flour for this? I bake a lot of bread now (thanks to your other great recipes) so only have bread flour in the cupboard.

  5. I made these dairy free using olivani instead of butter and adding raisins instead of chocolate. The texture was nice and the kids liked them.

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