Brown Butter Cookies

Brown Butter Cookies

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Chill: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 3 dozen (18 servings)

Classic sugar cookies are taken to a whole new level when prepared with fragrant and delicious brown butter. By following a few easy steps, making your own brown butter is a breeze and you will soon be hooked. These cookies are perfect for entertaining because once the dough is made, they can be simply sliced and baked fresh. Who doesn't like fresh baked cookies from the oven in a snap? This recipe is sure to be family favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white (lightly beaten)
  • 1/3 cup demerara sugar or sanding sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. To brown the butter, heat in a large saucepan over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes (do not burn). 

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. Remove the brown butter from the heat and place in a large heatproof bowl.

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Stir in the brown sugar until well blended.

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. 

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well to combine.

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. Divide and shape the dough into two logs. Wrap each in waxed paper and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. 

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  9. When ready to bake, remove the waxed paper and brush the logs with the beaten egg white. Roll the logs in the demerara sugar or sanding sugar. Gently press the sugar into the log to make sure it sticks. 

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  10. Slice each log into 3/8-inch rounds.

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  11. Transfer the slices to parchment-lined baking sheets. Place 2 inches apart to allow room for spreading. Bake at 350 degrees F just until set, 8-10 minutes. 

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  12. Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet before removing to wire racks.

    Brown Butter Cookies
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  13. Enjoy!

Tips

How to brown butter:

  • Begin by cutting the butter into pieces to ensure that it melts and browns evenly. It is also best to use a light colored pan or skillet to better monitor color changes as the butter transforms.
  • Melt over medium heat until the butter begins to sputter. This is the water content of the butter being cooked off causing the fat to pop.
  • Once the sputtering stops, the butter will begin to foam and change to a golden lemon color.
  • Stir constantly as the butter continues to transform to a warm brown color. You will also notice an alluring toasted, nutty aroma begin to develop.
  • Pay very close attention because now everything will happen very quickly! Brown bits of milk solids will develop at the bottom of the pan and the color will deepen to a tan brown hue.
  • Once the desired color has been achieved, remove from the heat immediately and transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool. (The butter will continue to cook if you keep it in the warm pan.)