Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

These cookies are absolutely fantastic.  Crispy, chewy, buttery, delicious.  They will quickly become a favorite.

The brown butter gives these cookies a nutty, complex taste.  Browed butter can sound intimidating, but it is actually very easy.  It is important to constanstly keep it moving, and watch it closely.  Also, try to use a light pan to it is easier to detect the color change when cooking.

I have modified the baking of the cookies slightly from the Cook’s Illustrated directions.  In the past, I had some trouble with the cookies spreading into each other, so I now bake fewer cookies per sheet, in two rounds.



Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated, More Best Recipes
Makes 24 Cookies
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (about 1 3/4 ounces)
2 cups packed dark brown sugar (14 ounces), divided*
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons, unbleached all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Adjust oven racks to middle and lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. In shallow dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between fingers, to combined.  Cover with plastic wrap; set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl; set aside.

Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter it is golden brown (it should smell nutty), 1 to 3 minutes.  Watch the butter carefully as it can go from brown to burnt quickly.  Remove from heat and pour browned butter to large heat-proof bowl. Add remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and mix until melted.  Cool for 15 minutes.

Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix to fully incorporate.  The batter should go from a dark brown color to light.  Scrape down bowl.  Add flour mixture and mix to just combined. Give dough one final stir with spatula to distribute any remaining dry ingredients.

Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoon ice cream/cookie scoop works well here), Roll into balls. Roll 12 balls in sugar/brown sugar mixture to coat.  Distribute 6 dough balls per baking sheet.

Bake two sheets at a time, rotating half way though, until cookies are browned and puffy.  The edges should start to set and centers will look soft (cookies will look raw in cracks); 12 to 14 minutes. It is important not over-bake.

Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes.  Remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely.  Repeat above steps, starting with rolling the remaining dough balls in sugar mixture.  Baking pans can be used after baked cookies have been removed.  Parchment can be re-used for second batch.  Cookies can be stored in an air tight container (we’ve only made it three days before eating them all, so I don’t know if they will last any longer).

** Be sure to use fresh dark brown sugar – if your sugar is old/hard the texture of the cookies will not be right. **


  1. J Evans says

    So I made two batches last night. The first was a little off (older ingredients?), but the second turned out great. Everybody loves them! Thanks, Heather!

  2. joey says

    i made these today. i weighed out the flour with a scale. i ended up with 39 cookies but mine didnt look like yours. they didnt crack while cooking–just a little when cooling. they came out pretty good, but not enough of the crispy/chewy i was hoping for. maybe next time i’ll use less flour?

  3. joey says

    Heather–thanks for the response. The eggs were egglands best large eggs and I bought the brown sugar an hour before I made it. it was c&h dark brown. Since I did the flour by weight next time I can just scale back and use 9.5-10.0 ounces next time.
    Not to throw another variable in it, but what after browning the butter–maybe i let it cool too much or not enough… hmmm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *