Make Ahead

Shauna Sever's Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

December 12, 2017
10 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 3 dozen 3-inch pieces
Author Notes

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). 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 free. Adapted slightly from Real Sweet: More Than 80 Crave-Worthy Treats Made with Natural Sugars (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2015). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (200g) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 cup (200g) turbinado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (90g) coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 3/4 cup (130g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (60% to 70% cacao)
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C), with a rack in the center.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between bursts, just until the butter is almost completely melted and the sugar has started to dissolve, about 2 minutes. (Alternatively, melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, being careful not to let the mixture come to a boil.)
  3. Whisk the mixture until the butter is completely melted. Let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk continuously until the mixture is thickened and smooth and no longer looks separated, about 1 minute. Whisk in the vanilla and salt until combined. Add the flour and stir until no streaks of flour remain, then stir in half of the nuts.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a rimmed 12 by 17-inch (30 by 43cm) baking sheet and pat it into a very thin, even layer with your hands. It won’t look like you’ll be able to fill the entire baking sheet, but you will! Just keep patting the dough to the edges. Use an offset or rubber spatula to smooth the top. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and the remaining nuts over the dough and press them down lightly with your hands.
  5. Bake until light golden brown and slightly firm to the touch all over, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet every 7 to 8 minutes. Let the brittle cool completely in the pan on a rack.
  6. Use a wide, thin spatula to loosen the edges of the brittle, then ease the whole slab of brittle onto the rack. Alternatively, if it looks like the slab might not come out cleanly, line a second baking sheet with parchment paper. Flip the brittle slab onto the paper and then immediately invert it right side up onto the rack, peeling off the parchment. Once completely cool, break into pieces—try to avoid smudging the chocolate chips. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • samanthaalison
  • kathleen greenwood
    kathleen greenwood
  • OnionThief
  • Rhonda35
  • Leith Devine
    Leith Devine
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

84 Reviews

Kestrel December 24, 2021
As promised, easy and delicious, especially for those of us who love crunchy cookies!
Debbie February 10, 2020
Can you freeze the baked brittle?
Elizabeth January 19, 2020
This is such a good recipe, amenable to many iterations. Tonight I added a bit of orange zest....just enough of a subtle orange undercurrent. They always get gobbled up, which is a good thing or I would nibble at them incessantly.
Jean December 22, 2018
I ended up making about 6 batches of these -- for some teachers, a Christmas party, the office and the guys who were killing themselves working on the tile in our new house (a challenging installation!). Everyone loved them. The owner of the tile company asked if I would give him the recipe. I ended up baking them the full 25 minutes. I agree that chopping the portion of the nuts that is mixed in the batter a bit more finely will help integrate them into the batter but I would leave the other half in bigger chunks -- just my preference. I have never found them to be too greasy. I typically use Falfurrias butter for any Texans out there and it seems to work well. I also put them in the freezer to set the chocolate chips so they stay intact when I break it up. This is an easy, quick recipe that makes a great last-minute gift to bring to a party.
samanthaalison October 12, 2018
The first time I made this I baked for 22 minutes and it was burnt to a crisp. It was hard for me to see the visual cue that it was browned before then - I checked at 19 and it didn't seem much different, but at 22 it was way overdone. My oven thermometer read between 345 and 350, so I don't think that's the issue. I used a really crappy thin pan, so that may have contributed.

Second time I pulled them at 19 minutes and they were perfect, and the flavor is great. After about 10 minutes of cooling I popped the pan in the freezer, and once cold the whole thing popped off with no problem. I didn't find them too greasy at all. I love the caramel flavor from the turbinado sugar.
kathleen G. September 15, 2018
Just made this; not sure if anyone else has commented on the cooking time... less than 15 minutes in our oven that runs true. Also, next time I would chop the nuts more than coarsely. I feel like they did not integrate into the batter as much as they should have.
Mary July 22, 2018
Made this recipe Paleo by subbing 225gr. Cassava Flour 25gr. Almond Flour for the AP Flour. Coconut Palm Sugar for the Turbinado. Kept the Grassfed Butter but it will work with Ghee. Delicious! Paleo or as written in the original recipe.
Nancy February 19, 2018
This is very similar to Maida Heatter's "Dolly's Crisp Toffee Bars" which I love even though it took me awhile to get to that point. I was certain that they were just not my thing but then I found myself munching on them at will. My husband's co-workers kill for them!
OnionThief February 11, 2018
I subbed half of the butter with lard to get these extra crispy. So delicious!
Dot W. January 3, 2018
I loved this recipe...all the best bits of a chocolate chip cookie but so, so much easier to make!
Marlene B. December 22, 2017
PS--used turbinado sugar as recipe suggests, and that gave a wonderful depth of flavor to the brittle.
Marlene B. December 22, 2017
This came out great! I had no problems with it being greasy or not coming gout of the pan. I used mini chocolate chips, as another reviewer suggested. Amusingly, my husband looked at the cooling brittle and said, " Looks like you had an epic fail, assume you're tossing those? They are so dry!" I had to explain that they were exactly like they were supposed to be, and quite delicious, and that they weren't regular cookies!
Rhonda35 December 22, 2017
I'll probably be burned at the stake, but I don't think this recipe is "genius" recipe level. Don't get me wrong; it's tasty. Yet I found it incredibly greasy (yes, I used the exact amount of butter called for and it was high quality butter) and without the additional flaked sea salt I decided to sprinkle on top along with the chocolate chips and nuts, it would have been too sweet. Also, yes, you can bake it in a last-minute pinch, but it takes the chocolate chips a very long time to resolidify (mine needed an overnight rest after baking in the afternoon.) So, I'm not sure where the genius is in the recipe - except, perhaps, providing the general flavor profile of a chocolate chip cookie without the need to soften butter or scoop out individual cookie portions. Filing this under "good, not great" in my book.
RSVPPDQ36 December 22, 2017
You know, this recipe had consumers squarely in two camps in my circle. One group was “meh, okay”,the other was, “OMG. Can I have the recipe?” Nobody disliked it but some of us really liked it. I wonder if the name of it sets up expectations that aren’t met, I.e., it’s not a candy brittle. But boy, I was one of the ones who loved it!
Leith D. December 19, 2017
I had to hide some to have enough left to hand out for Christmas! I used all white sugar and chocolate chunks. Baked it on parchment paper and it came right off. Next time will add 1/2 brown sugar and pretzels. Great recipe!
Elizabeth B. December 19, 2017
I made this yesterday, it is quick, easy to put together. I put it in the center of the dinner table and let everyone have at it. The general consensus is that whereas it is tasty, it is a bit too greasy, maybe less butter? My husband did not care for it but thought a room full of kids would love it.
Tasha December 19, 2017
Any suggestions for a substitute for the nuts?
Kimberly December 19, 2017
I didn't use any son and I just aren't fond of them. I noticed that someone added oatmeal in place of nuts. I'm making a second batch tomorrow and I'm totally up for trying round two with the oatmeal ! I'm going to use quick oats since the texture would be closer to chopped nuts.
Leith D. December 19, 2017
Pretzels...trying it with my next batch!
Kimberly December 18, 2017
Just got it out of the oven and it's cooling. It seems like a lot of better...has anyone tried making this with less butter? Maybe a cup or 1.25 cups of butter?
Coco December 19, 2017
Recipe calls for 3/4 cup of butter + 2 tablespoons. How much did you put in?
Kimberly December 19, 2017
That amount...don't get me wrong, this stuff is addictive ! Just wondering if it could be done with less butter. Otherwise, I'll have to put a cardiologist on speed dial : )
ellen February 7, 2019
It calls for 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP of butter. Your suggestions of 1 or 1.25 cups are both MORE than the original recipe, not less...
Laura December 17, 2017
This is a new favorite! Trying it now with pretzels. Slides right out of the pan, no parchment or extra greasing necessary!
Tina December 17, 2017
Could you use coconut sugar?
Kristen M. December 17, 2017
I'm not very familiar with baking with coconut sugar myself, but based on Shauna's tips in this article, it sounds like it would probably work well and the brittle would stay nice and crispy. If you try it, let us know how it goes!
Jeff A. December 16, 2017
Hi. I used dark brown sugar and nestles semi sweet baking choc, cut to different sizes and milk choc chips... Also mixed pecans and wnuts. Came right off the pan. And it's very awesome. Thanks!