This is the cookie for brown butter lovers. Every bite of these cookies is packed with the nutty, rich, and toffee-like flavor of brown butter. These cookies bake up and soft and chewy and they are topped with a sweet and flavorful icing.
After making carrot cake with brown butter frosting we have been on a brown butter kick. It is amazing how much this one ingredient can add to a recipe. Although you most often see brown butter in a chocolate chip cookie, this recipe omits the chocolate to allow the flavors of the brown butter to shine. Butter lovers unite – let’s make cookies!
These cookies are
- Soft and chewy
- Flavored with brown butter, brown sugar, and vanilla
- Drizzled with brown butter icing
- Topped with flaky sea salt
- A great alternative to a chocolate chip cookie
The following ingredients are essential to making these cookies the best:
Brown butter – Adds SO much flavor!
Brown sugar – For chewiness and sweetness.
Cornstarch – To help the cookies bake up soft.
Flaky sea salt – A finishing touch to create a salty-sweet balance.
All about brown butter
Brown butter is butter that has been cooked until the milk solids in the butter begin to toast/brown. The flavor is unmatched, brown butter tastes nutty and rich with a deep toffee-like flavor.
Place the butter in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned bits form on the bottom of the pan and the butter begins to turn golden and smell nutty.
When adding brown butter to the cookies and icing those little brown bits disperse all throughout adding incredible flavor and color.
Start by browning the butter. Allow it to cool. Combine butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar.
Add egg and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch.
Scoop and bake.
Once the cookies have baked and cooled, make a quick icing of brown butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. This icing adds another layer of delicious brown butter flavor. Drizzle the icing over the top of each cookie. Top with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
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Brown Butter Cookies
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1½ tablespoons half and half or milk
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- couple drops vanilla extract
- flaky sea salt, for topping
- reserved brown butter, see instructions
- Begin by browning the butter. Place the butter in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown bits form on the bottom of the pan and the butter begins to turn golden and smell nutty. Watch it closely as it can go from brown to burned quickly. Immediately transfer the butter into a bowl along with any accumulated brown bits. Allow the butter to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove 1½ tablespoons of the brown butter (including some of the bits at the bottom of the bowl) and set it aside; it will be for the icing.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining brown butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add egg and vanilla, beating until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch. Add to the sugar mixture and beat until well combined.
- Scoop the dough into 1½ – 2 tablespoon portions and place a couple inches apart on the parchment lined baking sheets. Be sure that the dough balls are mounded, not flattened, so that they bake up with a nice thickness.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are beginning to set but the centers are still slightly under baked. Place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool completely (see note about shaping cookies). Once cool, proceed with the icing.
- If the reserved 1½ tablespoons of brown butter has solidified you can microwave it for a few seconds, until melted. Whisk the melted brown butter and all remaining icing ingredients until smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding more milk to thin or more powdered sugar to thicken. Drizzle the icing over the top of each cookie (I use a ziptop bag with the corner snipped off). Immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.
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