Tender nutty Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies, the richest most irresistible cookies around!
You guys… These cookies.
There are no words for just how intensely buttery and decadent they are.
Over the holidays I was talking with a friend about our shared love of Christmas cookie exchange parties. She told me she was part of an annual cookie exchange with a group of pastry chefs and restaurant owners. Out of all the elaborate cookies these women bring to the party each year, the favorite was a simple brown sugar cookie recipe.
The brown sugar cookies were so sought-after in fact, that each year the person who makes them is asked to bring the same cookie recipe again and again.
Well of course I had to know what makes brown sugar cookies so great. After all, I’m pretty darn proud of my classic “white” sugar cookies. Hearing this story felt like a challenge.
So I set off to see if I could replicate them, based on her description.
It’s been a couple months, but I finally have a recipe I consider a contender. These Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies are just about the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth!
When testing recipes, I found that using my sugar cookie recipe with brown sugar, instead of granulated sugar, created a similar style cookie with a slightly caramelized flavor. However, using brown sugar and brown butter created a richness and depth of flavor that is not usually found in a simple cookie recipe.
So What Is Brown Butter Exactly?
It’s butter that has been simmered on the stovetop until brown. As the butter simmers, the milk protein particles separate and sink to the bottom of the pan. These particles are what are actually turning brown.
Allow the butter to simmer until the particles at the bottom are a deep teddy bear brown, then turn off the heat. The butter should smell rich and nutty, but not burnt.
Some people remove the protein particles for “clarified” brown butter, but I think leaving them in adds so much more flavor to any recipe.
Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies Baking Tips
For these cookies to turn out perfectly, you must take the time to cool the brown butter so it solidifies again. This gives you the opportunity to then cream the butter and brown sugar together so the cookies have a light airy texture.
PS – If you don’t cream the butter and sugar together until the sugar granules are broken down into the butter, the cookies lose their fluffiness, and will have a dense texture. This goes for all baked goods recipes that ask you to cream the butter and sugar. That just means you need to beat them together in a stand mixer on high power for about 5 minutes.
Don’t ever skip this step in a recipe!
My last tip is to not over-bake the cookies. If you want them to be soft and chewy, they should look like the are slightly under-baked in the center when you take them out of the oven.
Cookies continue to cook as they cool. If they look completely done when you take them out, they are likely to be dry once they cool.
If you brown your butter, then cream the brown butter and brown sugar properly, you will end up with some of the most tantalizing cookies you’ve ever tasted.
These Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies are utterly divine. Soft, tender, ultra rich, undeniably addictive, and most definitely on the list for my cookie exchange next year.
They are so fabulous, in fact, I think they should grace my Easter and Mother’s Day table this year as well!
Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies
- 3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, 3 sticks
- 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Place the butter in a small sauce pot over medium heat. Watch the butter as it melts and simmers, stirring occasionally. Once the butter particles in the bottom of the pot have turned a dark teddy bear brown, and the butter is light brown, turn off the heat. It should smell nutty, not burnt. Place the butter in the refrigerator until in has solidified again.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Scrape the firm brown butter into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Make sure to scrape in all the dark particles... They add a lot of flavor! Add the dark brown sugar and beat the mixture on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. It's ok if there are a few brown sugar chunks left.
- Scrape the bowl and low the mixer of low. Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt. Once well combined, slowly add in the flour. Turn the mixer off when the mixture looks smooth.
Place the granulated sugar in a small bowl. Use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the cookie dough. Roll the scoops into balls, then roll each ball in the granulated sugar to coat.
- Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press to dough balls into flat 1/2 inch disks.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies should look golden around the edges, but a little under-baked in the center. Cool on the baking sheets.