Salted Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Recently, I was randomly thinking about sugar cookies and how I could make them better. As I have just made a brown butter filling for the pumpkin pie cake, I’ve had brown butter on my mind a lot. It smells amazing and has such a wonderful flavor. I figured making any cookie with browned butter would impart that delicious nutty flavor, particularly the sugar cookie that doesn’t have much other embellishment.

I don’t think I’ll ever make a “regular” sugar cookie ever again. The entire time I was making the dough, I was sticking my face in the mixing bowl to smell the brown butter and making J smell it too (I think a brown butter candle would suit me well). The brown butter adds a lovely flavor, making it almost a toffee-like sugar cookie. These cookies are crisp on the edges but nice and soft in the center. Topped with a lil pinch of sea salt, it’s like the wonder of caramel corn or salted caramel in a cookie!

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  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed organic brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract
  • coarse salt, for sprinkling tops of cookies


  1. Place the butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the butter melts and begins to foam, continue to cook until brown specks begin to appear beneath the foam. The butter will have a nutty aroma. Remove from the heat and transfer to a glass bowl. Allow to cool.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cooled butter, brown sugar, and sugar until combined. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix well.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  7. Using about a tablespoonful of dough, roll into balls and place on the prepared pans. Flatten each ball slightly. Sprinkle coarse salt on the tops of cookies. (The amount of salt is a preference thing. I recommend just barely a pinch.)
  8. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are browned and the centers are set. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5-10 minutes. Then, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from Bake or Break.

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