Brown Butter Sugar Cookies are sure to impress with their rich, nutty flavor and their chewy, soft texture. This homemade sugar cookie recipe is incredibly easy to prepare, but totally guest-worthy at the same time!
Here are a few reasons these brown butter cookies have become one of my favorites to make and share.
- The perfect texture. These brown butter cookies are soft and chewy on the inside with slightly crispy edges – just the way a perfect sugar cookie should be!
- Incredible flavor. Brown butter is life-changing! It takes any recipe to the next level, and that level is called pure amazingness. These cookies are no exception. The nutty-ness, the depth of flavor, the creamy quality that still lingers… it just can’t be described.
- Quick and easy to make. This recipe is made with pantry staples and the dough comes together quickly and easily, with no chilling necessary.
What is Brown Butter?
Brown butter is just a regular stick of butter that has been cooked in a pan/skillet until, you guessed it, brown. During the cooking process the fat and water in the butter separate, the water cooks out, and an addicting, rich flavor begins to shine through. The milk particles in the butter are what actually turn brown by the end, and when they are properly toasted (but not burned!) the trademark nutty flavor is achieved. Here’s more info/a tutorial on how to brown butter if you’re curious!
Okay, now that we’re all dreaming about drool-worthy brown butter, let’s talk ingredients! Here’s what goes into these simple brown butter sugar cookies:
- Butter: I generally use a stick of unsalted butter for this recipe.
- Flour: I like to use unbleached flour, but regular all-purpose flour will work too.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder: Including both ensures that your cookies will have a nice lift to them instead of turning out flat.
- Salt: To enhance and balance out the sweetness in the cookies.
- Sugar: This recipe uses a mix of packed brown sugar (both light and dark) and granulated sugar. The brown sugar offers caramel notes that complement the brown butter really well, and granulated sugar keeps the traditional sugar cookie texture/flavor intact.
- Egg: This is the binding agent for your cookie dough.
- Vanilla Extract: For extra sweetness!
Can The Dough Be Prepared in Advance?
If you want to bake the cookie dough at a later date, feel free to roll the cookie balls, save them in the fridge for a couple days, and proceed with the rest of the recipe later.
You can also freeze the balls of dough on a baking sheet, then transfer to another container once they’re frozen. You can bake the cookies straight from frozen, you’ll just need to add a few extra minutes of bake time.
See? Easy! Brown butter sugar cookies are so simultaneously simple and delicious that they are fast becoming the solution to my daily “what should we have for dessert?” dilemma…
Anyway, before you head into the kitchen, I’ve got some last minute tips that could make the baking process even easier:
- Let the Brown Butter Cool: 20 minutes may seem like a lot of time, but you want the butter to solidify so that it will blend completely with the sugar (don’t quite cream them together, but make sure they are completely combined).
- Don’t Overbake the Cookies. These brown butter sugar cookies bake quickly. Be sure to keep a close eye on your oven and remove them from the oven as soon as the edges begin to brown. The center will still look undercooked but don’t worry – they’ll continue to bake after you remove them from the oven!
- Add Sprinkles: Why not? They’re super festive and fun, and you can color coordinate for holidays, seasons, etc!
After some readers had issues with flat cookies, I retested the recipe. I baked some immediately after rolling, but I also rolled some, put them in the fridge for 15 minutes, and then baked them. Both methods had awesome results, so if you are having issues, try popping them in the fridge before baking.
Other things that could cause flat brown butter sugar cookies are using ingredients that aren’t fresh or an oven temperature that’s a bit off.
How to Store
- Counter. I like to keep these brown butter sugar cookies in an airtight container on my countertop for a week or so. That way they’re easily accessible for midday snacks!
Can I Freeze These?
Sure thing. Freeze your brown butter brown sugar cookies in an airtight container for 2-3 months – thaw them in the fridge overnight before eating again!
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup unbleached flour, plus 2 tablespoons
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Follow these steps to brown the 1 stick of butter: How to Brown Butter. Transfer butter to a large bowl and allow butter to cool for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a shallow bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons brown and granulated sugar. I used my fingers, but you could also use two forks. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 cup brown sugar to bowl with cooled, browned butter and mix until combined. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined and there are no lumps. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Roll about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough into a ball using your hands. Then toss the dough in the brown/granulated sugar mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each cookie
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. The cookies are ready to come out when the edges have just turned a light golden brown. They will appear underdone in the center…but they will be fine after resting!
- Remove cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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