Want to bake the best chocolate chip cookies ever? Reach for salty, savory white miso

The unexpected ingredients takes an classic dessert to new heights

By Michael La Corte

Deputy Food Editor

Published March 4, 2023 4:30PM (EST)

Chocolate Chip Cookie (Getty Images/Burazin)
Chocolate Chip Cookie (Getty Images/Burazin)

A few weeks ago, I threw a secret ingredient into my typical chocolate chip cookie dough and then ever-so-slightly undercooked the cookie. When I took them out of the oven, I didn't love how they looked, but once they cooled a bit and I took a bite — I was blown away. These were the best cookies I'd made in years and I was super excited to share them.

What is this elusive, secret ingredient, you ask? Miso!

Back in the day, Christina Tosi's Milk Bar sold a miso-butterscotch chai, which I always thought was one of the most outrageously delicious sounding beverages to ever exist. Ever since, I've become a true miso adherent — as evidenced by the fact that many of my recipes contain white miso. 

I adore miso's versatility, savoriness, umami notes and depth of flavor. It is a great dessert ingredient, by the way — don't be spooked into thinking that it only belongs in savory food.

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I added miso to my cookie dough after trying a miso-sesame cookie from a local (legitimately stellar) temaki restaurant. I didn't love the crunch of the sesame seeds, which added a different flavor component, but I was really fond of the flavor that the miso added. 

And while that ingredient does a lot of the heavy lifting, but the brown butter, the cinnamon and the shorter cook-time helps these cookies become something special and altogether unique. 

Alas, I present to you: your new favorite cookie!

Miso-brown butter chocolate chunk cookies
10 servings
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes


2 sticks unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons white miso

1 tablespoon vanilla extract or paste

1/4 teaspoon maple extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup oats, pulverized, optional

10 ounces chocolate (chips, bars, chunks)

Flaky salt



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 large cookie sheets with silpat, parchment or spray with cooking spray.

  2. Over medium-low heat, brown your butter. Remove from heat once especially fragrant and bronzed, swirl or stir a few times to incorporate browned bits and let cool slightly.

  3. Transfer cooled brown butter to stand mixer or bowl. Mix in sugars and beat well, about 2-3 minutes, until slightly lightened and fluffy.

  4. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well. 

  5. Add miso and extracts and blend until just combined.

  6. Add flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon and oats, if using. Mix until combined and there are no dry pockets of flour remaining.

  7. Add chocolate and stir in by hand. 

  8. Portion into cookie balls with a small ice cream scoop. Place on prepared cookie sheet with a good inch of so between cookies (they'll spread a bit). Continue until all dough has been portioned.

  9. Transfer to oven and cook for 9-10 minutes or until the cookie has spread, its edges are slightly beginning to darken and they are slightly puffy.

  10. Remove from oven, sprinkle with flaky salt, let cool 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool further.

  11. Try not to burn your mouth on scorching chocolate when you dive in before they're fully cooled. Enjoy!

Cook's Notes

- I've never been into the whole "let your cookie dough rest in the fridge for a few hours or overnight" thing, so I'm skipping that entirely (it's such a long step for not much change in flavor or consistency, at least in my view). 

- If miso isn't your favorite, try tahini instead. 

-I detest a hard, over-cooked cookie; a slightly undercooked cookie is quite literally always preferable. Furthermore, the cookie will deflate a bit as it cools and cook slightly more (especially if you're letting it rest on the still-hot cookie sheet), so I always err on the side of undercooking a bit

-I love lots of vanilla extract or paste; some recipes call for such a teeny tiny amount and I think that that's silly

-I love the depth and flavor that brown butter adds, which in this case, pairs perfectly with the umami notes of the miso. I haven't made a cookie with un-browned butter in years, but it's obviously an optional step! Feel to skip if you want to get those cookies in the oven just a bit sooner. 

-I'm a brown sugar guy, through and through. I love veering to a ratio of much more brown sugar than white sugar in my recipes. Light or dark both work.

- I'm a silpat person, but parchment also always works. If you're foregoing and just placing directly on the cookie sheet, just be mindful that it might be a bit tricky tor remove after cooking. Cooking spray doesn't hurt, either.

- A small ice cream scoop (with a release lever) is so helpful for all things cookie dough.

- I use a stand mixer before mixing in the chocolate by hand, but this whole process could easily be done manually.

- I prefer chocolate chunks or bars over chips, any day of the week. I also like hand-chopped baking chocolate. I've also made the mistake of adding an immense amount of chocolate to cookies in the past, which doesn't ever work out that great. I like a cookie with lots of "cookie" and not all chocolate. I prefer semisweet, but I'm not against any particular type. Use whatever you like best (or whatever you have on hand).

-I like to throw in oats sometimes. You can even pulverize them if you don't like the chew, but enjoy the flavor.

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By Michael La Corte

Michael is a food writer, recipe editor and educator based in his beloved New Jersey. After graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, he worked in restaurants, catering and supper clubs before pivoting to food journalism and recipe development. He also holds a BA in psychology and literature from Pace University.

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