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Salted Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies
I’ve thrown quite a few cookie recipes out there, and I've even written two cookbooks, both of which contained cookie chapters. So you can trust me when I say I know a thing or two about cookies and I guarantee that this salted pistachio chocolate chunk cookie recipe is about to become one of your favorite chocolate chip cookie variations! They're the perfect balance of crispy, chewy, and soft, not to mention the melty pools of chocolate and chopped pistachios you get in every bite.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Flavor. Obviously, these cookies are jam-packed with chocolate and pistachio flavor, but they're also made with brown butter, which makes everything taste better!
- Texture. These chocolate pistachio cookies are both crispy and chewy, like all good cookies should be.
- Easy to Make. It's a one-bowl recipe, and it doesn't require a mixer, so it comes together super quickly!
- Yield. Not only is this an easy recipe, but it yields exactly 16 cookies, which is the perfect amount.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Butter: I prefer using unsalted butter in my baked goods, but salted is just fine too... you'll just want to reduce the salt the recipe calls for to 1/8 teaspoon.
- Light brown sugar: The color, moisture, and flavor you get from the molasses in brown sugar can't be beaten. You can use an equal amount of dark brown sugar if that's all you have on hand!
- Granulated sugar: It's nice to have a bit of balance as far as sweeteners are concerned.
- Egg: Only 1 large egg is needed here, which helps deliver a chewy final result!
- Vanilla: It enhances all the other flavors. I like to use vanilla bean paste, however, vanilla extract will work just fine too! Leaving it out will result in cookies that taste a little bland.
- Dark chocolate: I love using dark chocolate in cookies (and all baked goods for that matter), but you could also opt for a semisweet chocolate for this recipe. When it comes to baking with chocolate, make sure to use the highest quality one that has the fewest ingredients.
- Pistachios: I usually use unsalted raw pistachios for this cookie recipe, but you can use raw or roasted pistachios, salted or unsalted, whichever you prefer. I recommend buying them already shelled to save time.
- All-purpose flour: Only 1 cup of all-purpose flour is needed!
- Baking soda: This provides a little leavening action and also helps the cookies to brown nicely while baking.
- Salt: Cookies made without salt taste a little plain, so don’t skip it.
How to Make Salted Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies
These salted pistachio chocolate chunk cookies are really easy to make and come together quickly. Here's how you make them!
How to Brown Butter
Browning butter is an easy process that only takes a few minutes to complete. All you need is your butter, a saucepan (light-colored makes it easier to see when the milk solids are browning), and a utensil to stir the butter as it browns (I like to use a silicone spatula).
- Melt butter in the pan. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low to medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Stir. Once the butter is melted and begins to bubble and foam, stir continuously to ensure none of the milk solids—those little brown bits that appear as the butter melts— burn as they settle on the bottom of the pan.
- Wait for the color change. Lower the heat if necessary, and wait for the butter to become a warm shade of golden brown with an undeniably nutty aroma. Remove from heat immediately.
- Transfer and cool. Transfer the brown butter to a heatproof bowl and proceed with the recipe as written!
How to Get Perfectly Round Cookies
This cookie recipe yields a slightly thinner cookie, which results in a chewier center and delightfully crispy edges. Cookies that spread like this, however, tend to look a hot mess when they first come out of the oven, but there's an easy trick to get perfectly round cookies: use a cookie cutter! By swirling a large round cookie cutter around the freshly baked cookie, you can tuck in the uneven bits and reshape it before it cools and sets, creating a perfectly round cookie with picture-perfect ruffled edges. In order to take advantage of this trick, I recommend baking only 5-6 cookies at a time, leaving ample space between the cookies and the edges of the cookie sheet (so you have room to swirl).
Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
Do I have to chill the cookie dough?
Yes, you MUST chill the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes, though I recommend an hour. If you bake the un-chilled dough, the cookies will come out thinner and crispier and won't hold their shape at all. This cookie dough is a bit on the oily side before chilling due to the brown butter, and it becomes less oily as it chills. Trust the process!
How can you tell when the cookies are done baking?
Remove these cookies from the oven while they still look ever so slightly underdone in the center. The residual heat of the pan will continue to finish cooking them to soft perfection and cause them to set.
Why is this recipe in grams?
I post my recipes in grams as it’s the most accurate way to bake and it’s how I develop them; cups are not only inaccurate, but they vary in volume worldwide! In any event, if you look at the recipe card underneath the ingredients list, you can click “US Customary” and it’ll convert to volume measures!
Watch How to Make These Salted Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies:
Salted Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- 113 g unsalted butter *see Notes*
- 110 g light brown sugar
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg (≈ 50g)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 125 g all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 113 g 70% cacao dark chocolate chopped & divided
- 95 g shelled pistachios finely chopped & divided
- flaky sea salt optional
- Cube the butter and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning; you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and you'll begin to smell a nutty aroma. Once browned, immediately remove from heat, pour into a heat-proof bowl, and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. You should have 7 tablespoons (98 grams) of brown butter.
- To the brown butter (which should still be liquified), add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and whisk until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk again until well combined.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined; be sure not to overmix! Fold in ½ cup (75 grams) of pistachios and most of the chocolate chunks (reserve some for the next step) until incorporated.
- Using a 1½-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop the dough into balls and place dough balls on a lined baking sheet. Top with remaining chocolate chunks then loosely cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line another baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned on the sides; the centers will look very soft. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the tops with remaining chopped pistachios and flaky salt. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.