April 14, 2022

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 2 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
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Soft and chewy with crisp edges, these brown butter sugar cookies are such a treat! Sugar cookies are amazing on their own, however, when adding brown butter, they become an elevated treat with deep nutty, caramel, and vanilla notes.

cookies on a table with a glass of milk

Let's be clear, anything with brown butter is delicious. From savory bakes like my Sage Brown Butter Biscuits to one of my most popular recipes of 2021, Brown Butter Coffee Cake - brown butter makes everything better.

Fast forward to this recipe - I love a good buttery sugar cookie, but these brown butter sugar cookies are next level. They're chewy, slightly cakey, full of that nutty caramel-like brown butter flavor - this is the cookie recipe should be bookmarked and kept around at all times.

cookies piled on top of each other

Be it the holidays or just baking for fun, these brown butter sugar cookies will "wow" everyone who eats them.

I often get feedback from some of my recipes that when people have made them, it really impressed their family/significant other. Well friends, here's another one!

list of ingredients to make brown butter sugar cookies

ingredients

Brown Butter: So this is what gives this cookie it's "umph". Brown butter is essentially toasted butter. The milk solids in the butter become browned and that's what releases that beautiful nutty caramel-like flavor.

Powdered Sugar, Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar: naturally, these sugars attribute to the sweetness and flavor of the cookie, but more importantly, they also contribute to its cakey chewy texture.

Egg: the binding agent, it keeps the cookies together. This brown butter sugar cookie recipes calls for one large egg.

Sour Cream and Oil: these increase the fat content of the cookie. The oil specifically makes the cookie nice and chewy and soft while the sour cream adds moisture.

Flour, Baking Powder, and Baking Soda: these all make the structure of the cookie sound and give the cookies their shape and structure. Baking powder and baking soda are leaveners, making this cookie nice and fluffy!

Pinch of nutmeg: because all recipes should have nutmeg! Just kidding, but seriously, the tiniest pinch of nutmeg really plays beautifully with the brown butter. It's so freaking delicious!

brown butter sugar cookies on a cooling rack

how do you know when your butter and sugar are creamed enough?

The color of the butter/sugar mixture will become pale yellow. It will also be fluffy and light. It is possible to over cream your butter so be aware, you typically only need to cream the butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes.

Signs of overmixing include a soupy/grainy texture to the butter so be sure to keep an eye on your butter while mixing and stop when it becomes a light yellow color.

steps 1-4 on how to make sugar cookies

how to make brown butter sugar cookies

  • The most important step is to brown the butter. (If you don't know how to brown butter, check out this guide) Essentially, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat until the butter becomes nice and foamy and you begin to see little brown specs. As soon as you see this, remove from the heat and allow the butter to cool.
  • Place butter in a container and allow it to firm back up - this takes about 1-2 hours. You can add it to the refrigerator to speed up the process but you don't want it to be hard, just back to room temperature and in solid form.
  • Once the butter has solidified, add to the bowl of a stand mixer and add the powdered sugar, brown sugar, and sugar. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture has a light yellow color.
  • Slowly pour in oil then add the egg, vanilla extract, and sour cream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for about 1 more minute, until all of the ingredients are combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt, and nutmeg. Then add to the stand mixer and mix for about 15 seconds, just until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Scoop about 1 ½ tbsps of cookie dough and roll it into a ball. Then toss the ball in sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes and allow it to cool.
rolled balls of cookie dough on a cookie sheet

These are the best sugar cookies you'll ever make! The brown butter, the vanilla and nutty caramel flavors, and the tender yet chewy texture, it's truly amazing!

See below for how I made these cookies, they're really easy to make and pretty fun too 🙂

watch me make sugar cookies!

tips for making brown butter sugar cookies

  • Use unsalted butter to make this recipe. When browning butter, it's easier to burn salted butter so unsalted is best for this recipe.
  • Do not over crowd your cookie sheet when baking. It's best to separate these cookies about 2 inches so that they can spread and bake beautifully.
  • Measure you flour properly!! This is one of the make or break factors when baking. It makes a huge difference in the texture of the cookie. See how to measure flour here.
  • Be sure to check the freshness of your baking powder and baking soda. You can do this by adding a pinch of each to hot water - if it bubbles, you're good!
  • H3: how long do cookies stay fresh / can I freeze cookie dough
brown butter sugar cookies on a serving tray

more brown butter bakes!

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Let's stay connected on social media and continue to cook together! Also, if you decide to make this recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @BritneyBreaksBread on Instagram and hashtag #britneybreaksbread so I can see your creations! I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do!

brown butter sugar cookies on a serving tray

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

These are the best brown butter sugar cookies you'll ever make. Soft and chewy with a nutty caramel flavor. These are the best cookies ever!
Serving: 16 servings
Prep Time: 2 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Calories: 261kcal

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer optional
  • Mixing Bowls
  • parchment paper or nonstick baking spray
  • cookie sheet (half sheet)
  • cookie scoop, optional

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter browned
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp oil neutral oil, I used vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • pinch Nutmeg

Directions

  • . Over medium low heat, add butter to a skillet (preferably a lightly colored skillet so that you can see when the butter is browned). Allow butter to melt. Simmer until foamy and brown bits begin to collect on the bottom of the pan. Pour in a container and refrigerate for about 1-2 hours, until butter has solidified.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spoon butter into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat butter, powdered sugar, sugar, and brown sugar together on medium speed for about 3-5 minutes, until mixture is fluffy and lighter in color. While continuing to mix, add oil and increase speed to medium and add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for another minute.
  • Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt, and a pinch nutmeg to a separate bowl and whisk together. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined, about 15 seconds.
  • Put ¼ cup of sugar into a mixing bowl. Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, spoon about 1 ½ tbsps and roll into a ball. Roll the cookie around in sugar and place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with nonstick baking spray.
  • Bake about 5-6 cookies at a time for 12-14 minutes.

Watch The Video

Notes

  • To get butter to solidify faster, pour into a flat container such as a tupperware container.

Nutrition

Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 374IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Cookies, Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine: American

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Recipe Rating




  1. 5 stars
    Holy wow! I pulled these cookies out of the oven and took a bite and just HAD to leave a review. These are by far the best and most flavorful sugar cookies I have ever made! I added in some almond extract as well and it’s delicious with the flavor of the browned butter as well. This is going to be my new staple sugar cookie recipe. Thank you so much for the amazing recipe!!

    • This makes me SO happy! Thanks so much for your review, I'm so glad that you loved this recipe! 🙂

  2. I don’t know how you came up with this recipe but it is by far the best cookies I ever made! Like not even joking! I’ll be making these all year and especially at Christmas in my annual cookie box!

  3. 4 stars
    The brown butter definitely kicks up the flavor in these sugar cookies! I don't know why, but when I baked these cookies they barely spread out, so the end result was a much thicker cookie than I usually think of for a sugar cookie. Still very delicious, but almost too fluffy in the middle. I didn't think the butter was too cold because the dough was very soft, so not sure where I went wrong.

    • 5 stars
      Hi Megan! So glad that you enjoyed them! It's possible that the butter a bit too cold and not really room temperature. Sometimes this happens and when it does, I bang the pan against the counter so that the cookies flatten a bit. You can also press them down into flat disks if they don't spread much. Also, if you opened the oven while the cookies were baking, this causes a drop in temperature so the cookies won't cook as evenly during the amount of time in the oven. I hope that this helps!

      • Thank you for the tips! I will try some of these next time. My coworkers are all RAVING about these, so there will definitely be more made soon. 🙂

  4. 4 stars
    You forgot to add the measurement for the oil to your recipe. Oops! (I winged it.) Other than that, recipe was delish!

    • Ahh! Sorry about that, I just fixed it! It's 2 tbsps of oil but I'm SO glad that you enjoyed the cookies! Woohoo!

  5. 5 stars
    You've taken my favorite cookie to a whole nother level. The caramelization and texture of the brown sugar cookie was amazing. Made it for a bunch of my friends as well and we have none left. Would love to see more of this thanks Britney!!!!