Brown Butter Sugar Cookies with a Hint of Salt

brown butter sugar cookies

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In my search for something new to bake I came upon a recipe that used browned butter to amp up the flavor of a simple cookie. I played with it a bit and may I present Brown Butter Sugar Cookies. The husband and I have decided that they are pretty much the best cookies EVER.

I was in the mood to bake some cookies and wanted to try something new so I took down a couple of my cookbooks – I only have a few available to me at the moment as most are in the basement awaiting the arrival of our bookshelves that we ordered months and months ago but that is another story. I found this recipe in one of my favorites, (affiliate link) The Perfect Cookie from America’s Test Kitchen. I played with it a little and here is the result.

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brown butter sugar cookies

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

  • 14 TBS unsalted butter
  • 2 cups plus 2 TBS all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar for rolling
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

make browned butter and mix with sugar

  • Melt 10 TBS butter in a 10″ skillet over medium high heat. Continue cooking, swirling skillet constantly until the butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma. (this took a bit. WATCH IT THE ENTIRE TIME. YOUR BUTTER CAN GO FROM BROWN TO BURNT IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE)
  • Pour browned butter into a bowl and add the remaining 4TBS of butter, stirring to melt. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool
  • Preheat oven to 35o and set rack in the center. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

make the dough

  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda
  • Add 1 3/4 cups of brown sugar and 1/2 tsp salt to the cooled brown butter and whisk until smooth and no lumps remain – about 30 seconds
  • Whisk in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla until incorporated
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • In a small dish mix together the remaining brown sugar and granulated sugar with the 1/4 tsp salt.

scoop balls of dough

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  • Using a 1 TBS cookie scoop or your hands gather small balls of dough and roll into balls. Drop into the sugar mixture and roll around until coated.
  • Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet about 2″ apart
  • Bake in the preheated oven (one sheet at a time) until the edges have set but the centers are still a bit soft, about 12 to 14 minutes. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking

baked cookies

  • Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely

How Were the Brown Butter Sugar Cookies?

Oh.My.Word! I do believe these are the best cookies I have made in a long, long time. They are slightly chewy and delightfully buttery tasting. The salt adds a wonderful addition to the sweet and I cannot wait to make these again.

I have heard bakers go on about what browned butter does to a recipe but I have never used it before. Now I understand. I will be experimenting further with it in recipes both sweet and savory. It will surely enhance a recipe where the butter is a main component.


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