Browned Butter Sugar Cookies

When I first moved into a place of my very own, a good friend of mine gave me four sets of lovely, well-made, white dishes along with a whole host of matching tableware.  Tucked in one of the numerous boxes she sent me home with was a cookie jar from the collection.  When we unpacked it, Roark’s eyes lit up, and he asked me if we could always keep some cookies in the jar for him.  From then on, I would make sure to get a package of cookies when at the store so the jar was always well stocked.

Cookies have always been our dessert of choice at home.  Even when we have ice cream, it’s a variation on cookies: Cookie Dough or Cookies and Cream.  In our efforts to eliminate the processed foods from our diet, I occasionally make a batch on the weekend for us to have as dessert through the week.  These cookies usually contain little to no processed sugars and or bleached flours, so they are on the healthy side.

But that all goes out the window when the holidays are here.  I like to treat myself to a bit of goodness by going out and actually purchasing some white sugar from the market.  There are certain cookies that I reserve all year to make at Christmas time, such as these Mexican Chocolate Cookies and this recipe for Browned Butter Sugar Cookies I’m sharing with you today.

These cookies get their rich, nutty flavor from browning the butter until it starts to caramelize.  With the addition of maple syrup and turbinado sugar, they have a sweet, earthy taste that is perfect for the colder months.  My favorite thing about this recipe is that it comes together quickly and requires no refrigeration before you start to roll out the dough, which is a total time saver.

I made these cookies as a part of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, organized by the two food blogs The Little Kitchen and Love and Olive Oil.  Every blogger that signed up made 3-dozen cookies and sent them ‘secret Santa style’ to three different blogs.  In return, each blogger receives three different dozens of cookies from other bloggers.

The swap was sponsored by OXO, who matched the proceeds of entry to make a large donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  If you want to help out in supporting this wonderful cause yourself, OXO has a “Good Cookie” Spatula that you can purchase where 50% of the proceeds go to pediatric cancer research.  I personally was able to test the spatula out since they kindly sent one to me, and it worked perfectly removing my cookies from the pan with it’s really flat edge.

If you are interested in seeing all of the cookie recipes from the swap, The Little Kitchen has posted links on her site.   Finally, I want to share the blogs that were kind enough to send me some tasty cookies:

  • The Pancake Princess– Vegan Sandies (So good you would never think they were vegan!)
  • Baking With Basil– Pomegranate Chocolate Chunk Cookies (So rich and delicious.  Roark was loving them so much you would have thought they were made for specifically him.)
  • Sterling and Oats– Ranger Cookies (Just the perfect amount of sweetness and crunch!)

If you’re looking for the perfect sugar cookies to make this holiday season, I hope you give these a try.  I really hope you and my blogger friends enjoy them as much as I did.

Browned Butter Sugar Cookies with Maple Syrup Icing
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
Adapted from Cooking Light
  • 9 T Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Egg Yokes
  • 2 T. Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • ¾ Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 T. Almond Milk
  • 1 ½ T. Maple Syrup
  • ¼ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ⅓ Cup Turbinado Sugar
  1. In a large skillet, heat the Butter on medium-high until it turns brown. This can take around 12 minutes or more, but you will know for sure when it is brown. It will give off a caramel smell, and you will really notice a change in color. If you don’t see anything, just keep waiting since this is the most important step!
  2. Once the Butter has sufficiently browned, pour it into your medium sized mixing bowl to cool for 5 minutes. Then, add the 1 Cup of Sugar and Vanilla, beating everything together with a mixer until the sugar starts to dissolve. Next, add in your Egg Yokes and 2 T. of Maple Syrup, beating them until everything is well blended.
  3. Combine the Flours, Salt, and Baking Powder in another medium bowl with a whisk until everything is well blended. Bit by bit, add the Flour Mixture to the Butter Mixture until it is just combined.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Turn the dough out on a sheet of waxed paper or a dough ready surface. Kneed it together with your hands and roll it into a smooth ball. Using a covered or floured rolling pin, softly roll out the dough until it is ¼-inch thick. It may crack a bit on the edges if you don’t do it gently. Use holiday cookie cutters to cut out your cookie shapes, transferring them to a cookie sheet lined in wax paper 1-inch apart. Re-roll the scraps making cookies until you run out.
  5. Bake one cookie sheet alone for 6 minutes, and then rotate the pan. Continue baking for another 6 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and place the cookies on a wire rack immediately to cool completely.
  6. While the cookies cool, you can mix the frosting in a smaller mixing bowl. Combine the Powdered Sugar, Almond Milk, Maple Syrup, and Vanilla Extract with a whisk until there are no lumps remaining. Spoon ½ tsp. of icing on to each cookie and spread it out with the back of a spoon. The icing tends to run, so let the cookies rest on a covered surface. Before the icing dries, sprinkle them with the Turbinado Sugar.


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3 Responses to Browned Butter Sugar Cookies

  1. Sugar cookies are always good, but with browned butter??? Over the top! I love this recipe–judging by the ingredient list, I think we have very similar pantries :) Also, I love CookingLight! Their lightened up brioche (for French toast) is on my list!

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