I get excited about any cookie recipe when you can melt the butter instead of waiting until it softens to room temperature. Call me impatient, but my cookie cravings tend to be spontaneous. A drop cookie should be as easy as its name claims. You mix the wet ingredients, then the dry ingredients, stir it all together and spoon the dough on a pan. These brown butter snickerdoodles were simple with just two extra steps.
To brown the butter, I slowly melted it over medium heat until the color turned golden and developed the most wonderful nutty smell. After scooping out the dough, I rolled each ball into cinnamon sugar. They turned out like a bit more grown-up version of a classic cookie. With their cracked tops, the snickerdoodles had a subtle nuttiness that matched their chewy, satisfying bite and crisp edges.
Brown Butter Snickerdoodles
Adapted from Baked Elements by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Makes about 24 cookies
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until it turns golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain the butter and pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On medium-low speed, beat the butter for 5 to 7 minutes until it cools to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
Add 1 cup granulated sugar and the brown sugar to the butter and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the egg-mixture on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and mix until fully combined, about 30-45 seconds.
Add the flour mixture in 3 additions mixing until just combined. Form the dough into a rough ball in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining cinnamon and granulated sugar. Scoop out dough by the scant 1/4 cup, roll into a ball and coat in cinnamon sugar. Transfer to the prepared sheet pans, spacing 2 inches apart. Press the dough down with the bottom of a glass, so it is about 3/8” thick. Bake 10-12 minutes, switching the sheet pans halfway through, until the cookies are golden brown and cracked on top.
Cool the cookies on the sheet pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.