Brown Butter Cookies

Makes 16.
Prep Time:
Total Time:

Just a moment please...

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Brown butter is the base for these simple sugar cookies. If you can eat only one, you must have incredible will power.

Adapted from a Gourmet recipe. RIP.


3/4 Cups (1 1/2 Sticks) salted butter
1/2 Cup dark brown sugar (I used light and I wish I could have a do over.)
1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 Cups all-purpose flour
Demerara sugar, for coating cookies (or any other large grained sugar)
NOTE: If you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 Teaspoon of salt to the dough.


1) Add butter to a small saucepan; place the pan over medium-low heat until it melts. Stir the butter and after a few minutes it will start to foam and then the milk solids will sink to the bottom. Keep stirring or swirling pan and eventually the butter will start to turn a light brown and give off a very delicious, nutty aroma.

2) Once the butter is brown, pour it into a dish and store it in the fridge for about an hour. It needs to be chilled and almost solid before continuing with the recipe. It’s okay if it’s a little liquid still, but it should be cold before you make the cookie dough.

3) Once butter is cool, add it to a bowl along with brown sugar.

4) Mix the butter and sugar together with a mixer (hand or stand) on medium until they light and airy for 3 to 4 minutes.

5) Add vanilla and slowly incorporate flour.

6) Either scoop onto a baking sheet or lie out dough on wax paper and wrap the wax paper around the dough and press down to form a cylinder. Using your hands, press on the one edge of the dough – sandwiching the cylinder of dough between the two sides of paper. As you press down, the cylinder gets longer (and narrower).

7) Sprinkle down a good amount of demerara sugar (or any very grainy sugar like sugar in the raw).

8) Roll dough log around in the sugar until it’s well coated.

9) Wrap dough up in the wax paper and stick it in the fridge for a few days without a problem or freeze it for a few weeks.

10) When you are ready to bake, take it out and slice off as many cookies as you need.

11) Before baking, sprinkle a bit more of the sugar on top of the cookies.

12) Bake them on an ungreased baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are slightly dark.