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Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

brown butter snickerdoodles

I got a new cookie jar. Watch out.

My old one hasn't had a lid for years, and it was always too small. I've solved that with a beautiful old jar I found at Fairhaven Antique Mall (my new favorite place). It's inspiring when it's sitting there on the counter, all empty and big. My kids are happy about this development.

cookie jar

I made 3 batches of these last week. I stumbled across them on Pinterest, and the photo was enough to change my mind about homemade snickerdoodles. Whenever I've made them, I'm disappointed. They turn out like ho-hum sugar cookies and seem to go stale almost immediately. If that's your experience, prepare to have your mind blown. Or your world rocked. Or your universe expanded. (Wyatt and I like to play with these exclamations. He would say these cookies rock his world off. Or blow his socks up.)

They're made with brown sugar and melted butter. Whenever a recipe calls for melted butter (instead of beating butter with a mixer), I know that's a good sign. It means less air will be beaten into the batter, there will be less manipulation, and the cookies are likely to be more tender than normal. And more brown sugar usually makes cookies softer. You need to refrigerate these, so plan ahead. 

Happy Cookie-Jar Filling. 

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles
Adapted from here. If you don't refrigerate the dough, they will spread out too much. And they cook very quickly, so make sure you watch them and take them out a little before they look done.

2 1/2 c. flour 
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg plus one egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tb. plain Greek yogurt

For rolling mixture:
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon 

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

To make browned butter, melt it over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Whisk it constantly. After a few minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom and separate into solids. Remove from heat as soon as this starts happening and pour butter into a bowl to prevent it from burning.

With a wooden spoon, mix browned butter with sugars. Add egg, egg yolk, and yogurt until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Refrigerate dough for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350. Form refrigerated dough into balls (about 2 Tb. of dough for each one) and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake cookies about 9 minutes, or until set on edges but slightly undercooked in the middle. Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes, then transfer them to a rack and cool completely.

Reader Comments (5)

Brown butter ANYthing is a win in my book. And snickerdoodles are by far my favorite cookie of all time. I'm all over these.
February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMindy
i have had every single one of those bad thoughts about snickerdoodles. usually after making yet another bad batch.

these are so getting made.

(btw, are you ever going to share about whatever wonderful thing that is, hanging behind the table? it's fantastic.)
February 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermolly
I thought brown butter was cooked butter. In your recipe it looks like it just means you add brown sugar to it. Is that all it is in most other recipes? Yay, that sounds much more approachable and easy to me than some special preparation of butter. Can you tell me the difference? Anyway your recipe looks great, I also love snickerdoodles, but agree, that they get stale and hard too fast. I will have to try your recipe above.
Hi Lindsey! No, you actually do brown the butter in this recipe. The instructions are in the first paragraph below the ingredients. But it's not hard! Just watch it carefully.
February 23, 2013 | Registered CommenterSarah MK
Hi! I was wondering if these cookies stay soft.
February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWonton

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