Because of the delicious nutty flavor that brown butter adds to recipes, I sneak this ingredient into cookies all the time. You’ll find it in my peanut butter cookies as well as my chocolate chunk cookies. These brown butter sugar cookies have a chewy texture, and you can easily make a batch of these at home. All of the ingredients are basic ones you likely already have in your refrigerator and pantry. But perhaps the best thing about them is that these cookies go right into the oven after you’ve made the cookie dough. No need to wait until the dough chills. Details for making these sugar cookies – along with easy steps with images for browning butter – below!
Ingredients for Brown Butter Cookies
The recipe card contains all the steps and ingredients, but below are a few key items that bring flavor and color to this recipe.
- Pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste – You don’t need expensive vanilla extract for good flavor. I never taste much difference between pricier extracts and more basic ones.
- Dark or light brown sugar – While many sugar cookie recipes use granulated sugar as their only form of sugar, this one uses a touch of brown sugar, too. This ingredient helps create a chewy cookie. If you prefer a deeper flavor, use dark brown sugar. I stuck with light here.
- Brown butter – You’ll melt and brown butter over the stovetop and see it go through several stages. After melting, it begins to foam as its water content evaporates, and the remaining milk solids start to brown, giving the butter a nutty aroma. The result is a deeper, more complex taste compared to melted regular butter.
No-Chill Cookie Dough
Some cookie recipes call for resting your cookie dough before baking it for best results.
Here, though, you don’t need to chill or rest the dough ahead of baking these cookies.
You can learn more about the merits of resting your dough in this post from Bon Appétit. The bottom line is that if a recipe does ask you to rest your dough, do it.
Guide for Browning Butter
Brown butter is a key ingredient here. It gives a rich flavor to these chewy sugar cookies, and the browning process is actually really simple!
Place your sticks of butter in a small to medium saucepan over medium heat for approximately 8-12 minutes. Stir occasionally until the butter begins to foam and becomes golden brown before removing it from the stovetop. Closely monitor to ensure it turns brown and not black, meaning it’s burned.
Carefully scrape all the brown bits from your pot and into your mixing bowl. The mixture will have a nutty smell and will also be very hot.
Preparing and Baking Sugar Cookie Dough
After browning butter, preheat your oven to 350°F.
Using a paddle attachment and the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and hand mixer, cream melted unsalted butter, vanilla extract, and sugars together in your bowl for 3-4 minutes.
Stop the hand or electric mixer. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl before add kosher salt (half as much if using table salt), baking powder, and baking soda as well as half of your eggs, and flour. Mix for about 45 seconds on medium speed before mixer to add the remaining egg and flour, beating again for 30 seconds.
With an ice cream or cookie scoop and your hand, form each round ball of dough. It should be about ⅔ the size of a golf ball. Place the cookie dough balls onto an ungreased aluminum cookie sheet (no parchment paper or silicone mat needed), with about 2 inches between them.
Bake in preheated oven for 13-14 minutes, at which point the edges of the cookies will be done baking.
Transfer brown butter sugar cookies to a cooling rack after they’ve sat on the baking sheet 5 or so minutes outside of the oven and are firm enough to handle.
FAQ for Brown Butter Sugar Cookie Recipe
Cookies can spread if the dough is too moist, without enough dry ingredients to hold it together. It can also spread due to an excessive amount of baking soda.
If you follow the steps in this recipe, though, you won’t have that issue.
In general, adding a bit of baking powder or flour to a cookie’s dough can help prevent them from spreading as much.
If a recipe calls for a chilled sugar cookie, meaning you need to refrigerate the dough before baking it, do it! That step is not part of this recipe, though.
These cookies will stay fresh at room temperature (around 70°F) for 4 or 5 days. They also freeze well. Place them in an airtight container. I add wax or parchment paper between the layers as I stack them. They’ll still be good after about 3 months in the freezer. To enjoy, let come to room temperature before serving.
While delicious as is, these cookies would also look pretty topped with a white sanding sugar. They also have a little more texture this way. To do this, once you’ve rolled your cookie dough into balls, roll it into sanding sugar. They’ll bake up like my pink sugar cookies.
If you like, you could also turn them into cookie sandwiches by placing a layer of homemade vanilla buttercream or almond frosting between the cookies.
Alternatively, you could add American buttercream on top of each of them. It will harden and crust as it dries so you don’t need to worry about the frosting melted or getting on the other cookies if you store them cold or at room temperature.
Bottom line: There are lots of ways to use this versatile cookie!
Tips for Best Brown Butter Sugar Cookies
Below are some general tips to keep in mind when baking these simple sugar cookies and any recipe, really:
- If you aren’t already, use a scale for accuracy in your baking. This ensures you’re following the exact measurements and your cookies will turn out how the recipe intended them.
- Periodically check the freshness of your leavening agents. Mix a pinch of baking powder with hot water to see if it reacts. For baking soda, you can mix a pinch of it with a few drops of something acidic, like vinegar or lemon juice. If your leavening agents have no reaction (i.e. you see no fizzing or bubbling), it means they also won’t help your ingredients rise during the baking process.
- Before diving into the recipe, clear your workspace and set out all your ingredients in front of you. This will make it less likely that you’ll forget to leave something important out of your mixing bowl!
More Dessert Recipes
Looking for more ideas like this like this easy cookie recipe? Check out these strawberry sandwich cookies. They have a pretty pink frosting and strawberry filling inside them!
Or if you’re more in the mood for something a little different, check out my homemade Funfetti muffin recipe – these muffins would be perfect for a birthday celebration!Print
Chewy Brown Butter Sugar Cookies
Browned butter gives a nutty aroma to these soft, chewy brown butter sugar cookies. This no-chill cookie recipe is easy and delicious!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 24 cookies 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- 12 T butter (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted and browned
- 3/4 cup (180 grams) white sugar
- 1/4 cup (45 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large eggs, straight from the fridge
- 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Melt butter over stovetop for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning but waiting for it to brown.
- Cream butter, vanilla extract, and sugars together in your mixing bowl for 3 minutes.
- Stop the mixer and add salt, baking powder, and baking soda as well as half of your eggs, and flour. Mix for about 45 seconds on medium speed before stopping the mixer to add the remaining egg and flour, beating again for 30 seconds.
- Scoop small (about ⅔ the size of a golf ball) round portions of your cookie dough onto ungreased aluminum baking sheets, with about 2 inches between each of them. Bake for 14-15 minutes. Transfer them to cooling racks after they’ve sat on the baking sheets 5 or so minutes outside of the oven and are firm enough to handle.
Keywords: brown butter cookies, homemade cookies, sugar cookies, brown butter sugar cookies