These brown butter sugar cookies have a soft and chewy texture with crunchy edges and a delicious nutty flavor. This cookie recipe is very easy and I explain how to make your homemade brown butter to make these cookies perfect for any occasion.
Brown butter sugar cookies are a soft and crunchy sugar cookie recipe coated in granulated sugar and with an incredible and irresistible roasted nutty flavor.
The Beurre Noisette is a culinary technique that consists in cooking butter until it gives it a brown color and a pronounced flavor that gives all our sweet recipes a nutty aroma.
The combination of that browned butter in this sugar cookie recipe is just beautiful, the flavor of the brown sugar coupled with the brown butter flavor in these cookies with their chewy center and crunchy edges is just a wonder.
Like my snickerdoodle recipe, the sugar cookies are simply rolled in a sugar mixture which adds a sweet and crunchy layer after baking.
You can add chocolate chips, chopped nuts or spices and decorate them with cream cheese frosting or buttercream topping decorated with colored sugar or sprinkles and they will be perfect for any occasion.
What is Brown butter?
"Beurre noisette" brown butter in English is a process in pastry making that consists in cooking butter in a skillet until it gives it a brown color and a particular flavor of grilled nut.
It is a must for some savory recipes and classic pastry recipes, but it is also more and more used in cookie recipes where browned butter adds a nutty flavor and a more golden color.
Brown butter is a simple preparation that requires only 5 to 10 minutes of preparation, the disadvantage is that during the process the water contained in the butter will evaporate and therefore the quantity will finally be less than at the beginning.
The trick is to either use about 10-15% more butter when browning butter or simply reincorporate the evaporated water to recapture the lost moisture which could be very useful for the texture of the cookie recipes.
Ingredients and substitutions
Here is an overview of the ingredients needed and any substitutions to make this brown butter sugar cookies recipe at home, scroll down to see the quantities in the recipe card.
- Brown butter: Use preferably unsalted butter rather than salted butter to make the homemade brown butter, measure the final quantity carefully with an electronic scale because during the process the butter will lose its moisture that can be filled with the addition of a bit of water.
- Sugar: A mixture of granulated sugar and flavored sugar such as light brown sugar or dark brown sugar.
- Egg: use a large egg at room temperature, take it out in advance or put it in a bowl of hot water to bring it to the right temperature more quickly.
- Flour: Use preferably white wheat all-purpose flour.
- Yeast: a mixture of baking powder and baking soda to make chewy cookies.
- Vanilla and salt: Essential to flavor and bring out all the flavors, use pure vanilla extract and flaky sea salt (kosher salt) or simple table salt.
- Chocolate: Semi-sweet chocolate chips to make a brown butter chocolate chip cookies version.
- Nuts: Chopped nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts and more.
- More: Caramel chips, sprinkles, smarties or m&m's and more.
⚠️ You will find the quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
How to make the browned butter sugar cookies
1 - Browning butter
- Place the chopped butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- While stirring from time to time with a spoon, the butter will first clarify (separation of the fat and whey) to take a light brown color.
- Pass the mixture through a fine sieve to recover the burnt residue.
- Let the browned butter cool in a jar until its texture is no longer liquid but softened.
Tip: The brown butter can be made in advance and stored in the fridge in a jar with a lid, just take it out in advance like the butter so that it has a softened texture.
2 - Cookie batter
- Place the softened brown butter, white sugar and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Add the room-temperature egg and vanilla extract and mix again with an electric mixer to incorporate them.
- Finish by adding the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt and mix this time gently with a spatula or wooden spoon to incorporate them and have a smooth mixture.
Tips: This is when you add your extras, sprinkles, candies, chocolate chips and other goodies.
2 - Make cookie dough balls
- Form dough balls with an ice cream scoop (cookie scoop) or with your hands and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roll each cookies dough balls in granulated sugar previously placed in a small deep bowl until completely covered with sugar.
- Then place the sugar cookie balls back on the baking sheet lined with baking paper, making sure to separate them by about 5 mm so they don't touch during baking.
- And let them rest for about 20 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator to have thick cookies.
Tip: Let the cookies chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to make them more flavorful and to prevent them from spreading too much when they are baked. You can also put them in the freezer for 15 minutes to go faster.
3 - Baking
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C while the sugar cookie dough balls rest in the fridge.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until they are golden brown but still a little soft in the center, they will firm up as they cool.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool a bit on the cookie sheet before gently moving them to a wire rack to let them cool completely.
Tip: Sugar cookies are ready when they are golden brown around the edges but still soft in the center, reduce the baking time for soft and chewy center cookies.
Storage and freezing
At room temperature: Sugar cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container box for about 1 week to keep them fresh.
In the freezer: You can freeze them for up to 3 months after baking when they are completely cooled and placed in a storage bag or box.
Freezing raw cookies: After shaping them into cookie balls, place them in a storage bag and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Take them out and let them defrost for about 1 hour at room temperature on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and follow the baking instructions in the recipe card.
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