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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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) 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.
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 🙂
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
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. 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.
What is the best sugar for cookies?
It depends on the type of cookie and the type of texture and flavor you want!
What makes cookies fluffy?
Creaming together butter and sugar add air into the cookie batter resulting in a fluffy cookie.
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. 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 butter in a container, with the brown bits, 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
To get butter to solidify faster, pour into a flat container such as a tupperware container.