I like it so much that I decided to take a perfectly good sugar cookie recipe and ruin it with brown butter.
Wait, did I say “ruin it”? That’s not right. What I meant was, MAKE IT EVEN MORE FANTASTIC. Because what’s not better with brown butter?
I basically just took the recipe Larissa used for her sugar cookies last Christmas and substituted brown butter. I had to experiment a little, though, because just replacing the regular butter with brown butter didn’t quite work out. The dough turned out crazy crumbly and dry — getting it to stick together just to roll it out was quite the ordeal. So I compensated by adding a few tablespoons of un-browned butter to the dough.
I originally made these as Christmas cookies, but I didn’t get around to writing this post in time. So now I’m billing them as New Year’s Eve cookies! And before you point out that New Year’s Eve is not traditionally a cookie-baking holiday, let me just say that maybe your New Year’s resolution should be to stop being so argumentative and start eating cookies every chance you get.
Recipe: Brown-butter sugar cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food
- 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sprinkles and/or icing, if desired
- A few hours before you start baking, you’ll need to brown the butter for the cookie dough. Heat 1 stick of butter over medium heat in a small saucepan until it’s melted, then let the butter cook until it starts to smell nutty and little brown specks appear. Remove the brown butter from the heat and let it cool until it’s room temperature.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the room-temperature brown butter, 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until combined.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Split the dough in half, and form each into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic and freeze for at least 20 minutes or until firm.
- Preheat your oven to 325˚F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Take a dough disk out of the freezer and let stand for about 5 to 10 minutes. Place the dough between two sheets of floured parchment and roll it out ⅛-inch thick, dusting the dough with flour as needed. Cut out festive shapes with cookie cutters, and place the cutouts on the baking sheets. If the dough gets soft, refrigerate for about 10 minutes. (Chilling the cutouts will help them keep their shapes in the oven.)
- Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the edges are golden, 10 to 18 minutes (depending on size). Cool completely on wire racks; decorate as desired. Store in airtight containers at room temperature, up to one week.
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