Browned butter adds toasty warmth to this deluxe chocolate chip cookie

Mei Lin of Nightshade and her über-nutty brown butter and espresso cookies.
(Portrait by Christina House / Los Angeles Times; cookie photo by Silvia Razgova / For The Times; food and prop styling by Leah Choi)

We asked several L.A.-area pastry chefs and cooks to contribute their favorite holiday cookies. Each is a simple, homestyle cookie that reflects the contributor’s memories of holidays past.

Mei Lin

Chef/founder of UMAMEI, chef of Nightshade

I’ve been making these cookies for about six years now every holiday season simply because I just love brown butter. It’s one of those ingredients that screams “fall” to me, and I love incorporating its nuttiness in this cookie.


Depending on the butter you use, there aren’t that many milk solids, so I add milk powder when the butter turns light brown to give it that added nuttiness and oomph — those little itty bits are where all the flavor is. And I decided to put espresso in them because those flavors work so well together.

I always make sure to make as many as possible so I can give some out to friends to share the wealth.

— As told to Ben Mims

Brown Butter Espresso Cookies

Time 1 hour, plus 6 hours chilling
Yields Makes 3 1/2 dozen