Genius Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle is the Instant Gift We All Need

December 13, 2017

This chocolate chip cookie variant should get its own special bookmark in your brain right now, for the next time you need a last-minute party snack or cookie swap entry or a gift for pretty much anyone (including yourself).

It's speedier, easier, and—especially for us crispy cookie devotees—leaps and bounds better than the standard back-of-the-bag chocolate chip experience.

The reason why is so simple: This is just what happens if you take out any trace of leavener in chocolate chip cookies—no eggs, no baking powder or soda, no airy creamed butter—and mash the dough into a thin layer on a baking sheet.

It sounds like something curious kids would make by mistake and has all the makings of a terribly ill-fated idea. But instead, thanks to a generous proportion of melted butter and raw sugar, this dough turns into an addictive, crunchy brittle that falls somewhere between candy and cookie.

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Cookbook author and blogger Shauna Sever developed this naturally sweetened recipe for her cookbook Real Sweet based off a version she had found in The American Country Inn Bed and Breakfast Cookbook. After her recipe was pinned a half million times on Pinterest, she ended up demoing it on the Today Show to an incredulous Al Roker.

I first learned about Sever's mystical recipe from Luisa Weiss of The Wednesday Chef. "It is so addictive and so good and so insanely easy that you'll never want to make choc chip cookies again (well, not really, but you know what I mean)," Weiss wrote to me. "It's worth the price of the book."

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Top Comment:
“I was wondering if I swapped the flour for a good gluten free flour, the recipe would have the same consistency. Just wondering if you might know. Thank you.”
— ctgal

Conveniently, the brittle packs up well in a big jar for holidays, birthdays, and sugar-fueled road trips and plane rides. It's also quite friendly to swap-ins for the nuts and chocolate—coconut? chile? pretzels?—if you need a place to set yourself, Al Roker, or other curious kids free.

Photos by James Ransom

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected]. Thank you to Luisa Weiss at The Wednesday Chef for this one!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sistasheba
  • d
  • Shelley Ramsey
    Shelley Ramsey
  • Sandra Roberts
    Sandra Roberts
I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."


DIANA F. January 3, 2018
I made these 3 times and love them. I chilled them before giving them away. Great recipe! Definitely a favorite. Very easy too!
Sistasheba December 19, 2017
I used Demerara and it won't melt. Suggestions? Thanks!
d December 15, 2017
Should I line the baking sheet with parchment paper before baking? I'm afraid this will stick or burn and will stick to the pan.
Kristen M. December 16, 2017
d, it's not necessary, but if you'd feel more comfortable you can line the pan with heavy duty foil—the parchment will slide around a lot and make it harder to press down your dough into a thin, even layer.
Shauna S. December 18, 2017
I agree with Kristen--not necessary! There's so much butter in this stuff, sticking is a non-issue. Keep rotating the pan regularly during baking and you'll be good to go.
Shelley R. December 14, 2017
If you add coconut do you have to lessen the amount if chips? If I lose mind entirely and add coconut and pecans, does one ingredient need to be decreased or can the add-ins be equal?
Kristen M. December 16, 2017
Shelley, since the add-ins are just sprinkled on top and don't really affect the texture of the base much, you can lose your mind entirely! Just sprinkle on what looks good to you and lightly press it down into the dough.
Sandra R. December 14, 2017
This is hilarious! I got a recipe for cookie brittle from my first mother in law in 1976, and have made it every Christmas since. Never realized it was having it's moment of fame until now! (Of course in 1976 regular sugar and salt worked just fine.) I might suggest using mini-chocolate chips if you have them, they distribute more widely and are easier to cut.
ctgal December 13, 2017
I always love your recipes! I was wondering if I swapped the flour for a good gluten free flour, the recipe would have the same consistency. Just wondering if you might know. Thank you.
Shauna S. December 13, 2017
Thank you! I would feel really confident going gluten-free for this one, since there's really no structure or leavening issues. My favorite is Cup 4 Cup, I always feel like it's foolproof. If you try it for this recipe, report back!
ctgal December 13, 2017
I have some and will try it asap and let you know. Thank you!
Danielle U. December 13, 2017
Thank you for this! Any recommendations on what I could sub out for tree nuts?
Danielle U. December 13, 2017
Thank you for this! Any recommendations on what I could sub out for tree nuts?
Shauna S. December 13, 2017
You can just leave them out, if you like! And add an extra handful of chocolate, because why not?
Danielle U. December 14, 2017
I added extra chips and a 1/2 a cup of quick oats for texture. So good!
Evelyn P. December 13, 2017
Does it have to be turbinado sugar? Any substitutes fit in well?
Shauna S. December 13, 2017
It can be regular granulated sugar. It will just give you a slightly finer-textured brittle.
THEToughCookie December 13, 2017
Absolutely including this in my cookie gift tins and a charity cookie swap I'm going to this Friday night! FABULOUS idea!
Shauna S. December 13, 2017
Thank you, Gail!
Kristen M. December 13, 2017