These brown butter sugar cookies are the perfect combination of rich, nutty flavors from the brown butter and the sweetness of sugar, resulting in a soft and chewy cookie on the inside with a slightly crispy edge. Plus, they're incredibly easy to make!
They are a delightful treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you craving more, just like these coconut pecan cookies.
Why Brown Butter?
You may wonder why this recipe uses brown butter instead of regular butter. Well, brown butter adds a depth of flavor that regular butter can't match. When butter is heated, its milk solids start to brown, giving the butter a nutty aroma and taste. This nuttiness pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the sugar in these cookies, creating a truly irresistible combination.
The process of browning butter is simple, but it can make a world of difference in your baking. It's a small step to elevate your cookies from good to great. So, if you've never tried using brown butter in your baking before, this recipe is a great place to start.
Reasons to Love Brown Butter Sugar Cookies
- Soft with a crunch: These soft, chewy, and no-spread sugar cookies will have you going for seconds. It’s the perfect texture that we all love!
- Easy to make: so easy, you can either use a hand or stand mixer. If you decide to mix by hand, it will require a little elbow grease to cream the flour and sugar to get the right consistency. No mixer? That’s fine, too; with a little elbow grease, you can use a whisk and mix everything by hand; just add a little more prep time.
- Anyone can make it: Whether you're a seasoned baker or just starting out, you can quickly whip up a batch of these delicious cookies. This recipe is perfect for a cozy afternoon at home, a family gathering, a cookie swap, or even a holiday party.
These ingredients are all staples in most kitchens, making this sugar cookie recipe delicious and convenient.
All-Purpose Flour: Ensure you use fresh, all-purpose flour for the best texture. If possible, sift it before adding to avoid lumps and ensure an even consistency in your cookie dough.
Butter: Opt for high-quality unsalted butter. Browning the butter adds a rich, nutty flavor, so don't rush this step. Keep a close eye to achieve a golden brown color without crossing into burnt territory.
Sugar: Use a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar. The molasses in brown sugar add moisture and a hint of caramel flavor, while granulated sugar contributes to the cookie's structure and sweetness.
Eggs: They provide structure and moisture to the cookies. If you forget to bring them to room temperature, place them in warm water for a few minutes.
Baking Soda/Powder: These are the leavening agents. They react with the acidic components in brown sugar, helping the cookies rise.
Vanilla Extract: Choose pure vanilla extract for the best flavor. It enhances the overall taste of the cookies. If you're feeling adventurous, try using a vanilla bean for those delightful specks in your cookies.
Step 1: Brown the Butter
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Keep stirring until it turns a beautiful golden brown.
Step 2: Pour the butter into a heat-safe bowl and allow it to cool. I usually place it in the refrigerator to quicken the process. You still want it soft to the touch but slightly solid.
Step 3: Mix the Sugars
Combine the browned butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix until it's creamy and well combined. Use either a stand or a hand mixer.
Step 4: Add Eggs and Vanilla
beat the eggs and vanilla extract until fully incorporated. Then, mix in the vanilla extract.
Step 5: Combine Dry Ingredients
Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl. Gradually add this to the wet mixture and mix until combined; don't overmix.
Step 6: Chill the Dough
Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions of dough and roll them into balls.
Step 7: Preheat and Shape
Roll the balls into the sugar coating and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Step 8: Bake until the edges are golden brown. Use a flat cup to flatten the cookies halfway through, then pop them back in the oven. Keep an eye on them; every oven is different.
Step 9: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
- Once the butter is melted, place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice or the refrigerator for 10 minutes to speed up the process.
- Chilling the dough is unnecessary since we chilled the brown butter for a few minutes. Chilling helps solidify the fat in the browned butter, resulting in a better texture and flavor in the cookies.
- Use a kitchen scale to measure the flour. If your measurement is off, that could alter the texture of the cookies. If you don’t have a scale, use a spoon to scoop the flour onto the measuring cup, then level it with the blunt end of a knife.
- I used a tablespoon per ball; you can use a larger size if you prefer.
- To determine if the cookie is ready, gently pinch the sides. If it springs back, it will be chewy. If the edges are a little crispy, the cookie will still be soft in the middle. If the edges turn brown and don't spring back when pushed, it will result in a slightly soft, crunchy cookie.
- For a better texture of the cookie, you can use a flat cup to press down on it once it has been halfway baked. This step will reveal a more visually appealing cookie texture. Remember, we eat with our eyes first!
While these brown butter cookies are delicious on their own, you can also get creative and spruce things up. Here are a few ideas to try:
- Chocolate Chip: Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips to the dough before baking for a classic chocolate chip cookie twist. The rich chocolate pairs perfectly with the nutty brown butter for the sweet treat.
- Nutty: Add ½ cup of chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, to the dough for an extra crunch. The nuts add a delightful texture and enhance the nutty flavor of the brown butter. I'll be making it next. Stay tuned!
- Citrus: Mix the zest of one lemon or orange to the dough for a refreshing citrus flavor. The citrus cuts through the sweetness of the cookies and adds a bright and refreshing flavor. I like this lemon sugar cookie from Mel's kitchen.
Browning butter can be tricky. Rely on your sense of smell - if it's nutty and toasty, it's good. If it smells burnt, start over.
Overly softened or warm dough can cause excess spreading. Ensure it's well chilled before baking. Also, check your oven temperature; it might be running hotter.
For a firmer texture, it's important to bake your cookies until the edges are golden brown. Soft cookies can often result from underbaking, so avoid this by monitoring your baking time.
You can experiment, but it might alter the texture. Whole wheat can make the cookie denser, and gluten-free flours may require additional adjustments.
Love Cookies? Here are Some Cookie Related Recipes to Try:
These Brown Butter Sugar Cookies are a must-try for any cookie lover. Combining brown butter and sugar creates a rich, nutty, irresistible flavor. They're straightforward to make with just a few simple ingredients. Whether you enjoy them on their own or add some variations, these cookies will become a favorite in your household. So go ahead, grab your apron, and let's get baking!
PEACE & LOVE
Brown Butter Sugar Cookies
- stand mixer or hand mixer
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup brown sugar plus more for rolling
- ½ cup granulated sugar plus more for rolling
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk room temperature
- ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled (about 307g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Sugar roll to coat the cookies (optional)
- ¼ cup brown or granulated sugar
- ¼ cup sanding sugar or sprinkles
- In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, continue to cook the butter, stirring occasionally, until it turns a golden brown color. This should take about 8-10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the butter. (depending on the type of pan used).1 cup unsalted butter
- Remove the saucepan from the heat then pour the butter into a heat-safe bowl and allow it to cool. I usually place it in the refrigerator to quicken the process. You still want it soft to the touch but slightly solid.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cooled brown butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. The mixture should be smooth and creamy.1 cup brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. This ensures that the eggs are evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Then, stir in the vanilla extract.1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry and wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix as this can result in tough cookies.2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Using a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons) or a tablespoon scoop, drop rounded balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2-3 inches apart. (This allows the cookies to spread as they bake without touching each other).
- Place the extra sugar in a shallow bowl, then roll each cookie ball in the sugar until it’s fully coated.¼ cup brown or granulated sugar, ¼ cup sanding sugar or sprinkles
- Bake the cookies for 6 minutes, then gently press down with the bottom of a glass. Continue baking for another 5-6 minutes or until the edges start to brown. The centers may still be slightly soft but will firm up as the cookies cool. This results in a cookie with a soft and chewy center and a slightly crispy edge.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. This allows the cookies to finish cooking from the residual heat and makes them easier to remove from the baking sheet.
- Use a kitchen scale to measure flour for cookies for the best results. If you don't have one, use a spoon to scoop flour into a measuring cup and level it off with a knife.
- I used a tablespoon per ball; you can use a larger size if you prefer.
- Press the sides of the cookie to check its doneness. If it bounces back, it will be chewy. If it's slightly crispy, the center will be soft. If it turns brown and doesn't bounce back, it will be slightly crunchy but still soft.