I can still remember the first time I tried brown butter. I was watching an episode of Anne Burrell’s Secrets of a Restaurant Chef (love her!) where she made a brown butter tilapia dish look so amazingly delicious and most important easy to make, I just had to try it….and my life was forever changed!! If you haven’t tried brown butter, you truly haven’t experienced all life has to offer it is SO good! It’s one of the simplest and easiest ways to add the most delicious deep rich & intense nutty caramelized flavor to your dish. Even the smell of the butter browning sends your taste buds into high gear salivating at the flavor. It’s seriously out of this world! Once I tried it I knew I had to use it in a cookie.
For my very first brown butter cookie, I wanted to use one of my favorite classic cookies…the snickerdoodle. The classic cinnamon flavor complements the brown butter perfectly but as Emeril would say we needed to kick it up a knotch so I also added some caramel bits. So I made super soft & chewy Brown Butter Snickerdoodles with Caramel bits. If you can’t find caramel bits, because I think they only come out around this time of year (for Holiday baking) you can also cut up caramels into little pieces or omit them all together. They will still be delicious!
The key to this cookie is the brown butter. Now I’ll be honest with you guys, I had previously made brown butter a couple times before but even so, in my very first attempt to make it for this recipe, I burned the entire batch of butter. It was awful. Not only was I bummed I wasted all that butter but it smelled horrible. That’s how you’ll know if it’s burned through your nose. It stinks. So my recommendation in making the brown butter for this recipe is to make one stick a time. I know it’s a little extra work but with less butter it’ll be easier to tell once it’s starting to form brown bits at the bottom of the pan, indicating its about time to pull it off the heat and if you burn it you won’t waste as much.
So here’s how to make brown butter. First cut a stick of butter into tablespoon size squares. Place into a pan over medium heat.
Let it melt whisking occasionally.
Once it has melted completely and it continues to cook, it will start to get bubbly. Here’s where I start whisking pretty continually.
The color will start to turn brown and once you see little brown bits forming at the bottom of the pan. Take it off the heat. If you like the subtle almost burned flavor you can leave it on longer, but the butter will continue to cook even after you remove it from the heat so I always err on the conservative side. Remember, butter burns very quickly.
Pour into a bowl for faster cooling to use in the cookie dough. You can see the little brown bits that have formed. This is the good stuff.
This whole process happens very quickly so never start browning butter and walk away. Keep your eye on it at all times. Once it cools down a bit, it is ready to be used in the cookie dough. You can use the butter while it is still melted which actually contributes to a chewier cookie or you can wait until it is solidified a little more. Do not put it back in the fridge unless you are saving it for use on another day. It tends to harden on the top but remain liquid on the bottom. You want the butter to still be soft when creaming it with the sugar. Another note about this recipe, the dough definitely needs to be refrigerated. For all my tricks on making perfect soft & chewy snickerdoodles, check out my classic snickerdoodle post. This cookie is a cookie that will knock the holiday bells off everyone on your list this year that deserves a cookie!
|Brown the 1 1/4 cups of butter (see post for instructions on how to brown butter). Let it cool before mixing it with the sugar.|
|Mix the brown butter and sugar in a mixer until it becomes light & fluffy. Approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time making sure they are incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.|
|Sift the flour, salt, baking soda & cream of tartar in a separate bowl. Add it to the wet ingredients slowly in increments until combined. Mix in the caramel bits. |
Cover and chill the dough for at least an hour.
|While the dough is chilling, in a small bowl combine the cinnamon sugar for the topping. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. |
After the dough has chilled roll about 2-3 tablespoons of dough into balls and roll them in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. The dough will be tough to scoop out at first but the warmth from your hands will soften it very quickly.
|Place them 2 inches apart on a silver or light colored baking sheet with parchment. And bake for 9-10 minutes until you see the edges of the cookies turn a light golden brown color and firm up. Let cool completely before moving or eating. Enjoy! |
Makes about 20-24 cookies.
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