Archive for January, 2016

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

January 30, 2016

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Sugar cookies are always a delicious treat. From just plain ones dipped in milk, to ones dipped in chocolate, to ones frosted with all sorts of decorations, it is a very versatile cookie. As a kid I remember making my mom’s sugar cookies that were thick and buttery. The best part was the butter dipped glass pressed in a mixture of sugar and nutmeg, that you used to smash down the cookie before baking. My mom is a phenomenal baker, her pantry is always stocked with the best quality ingredients. Even if she is on a tight budget you won’t see anything but Ghirardelli chips in her chocolate chip cookies, she would never skimp on her cooking ingredients.

As the years went by she switched to a new favorite sugar cookie recipe, her brown butter sugar cookies. Anytime she made it for me we ate up the cookies in record time. But I never tried making them myself until recently. These brown butter sugar cookies are delectable. They are sweet and savory and the brown sugar adds a whole other level of flavor, with rich molasses and maple notes. I made them for a recent visit from our best friends to our new ranch, we recently relocated and that is why I have not posted in a bit. So if you are a sugar cookie fan and you want to try something new, you need to check these out!

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter

1/4 Cup granulated sugar

2 Cups packed dark brown sugar (fresh brown sugar is best, older sugar will make a drier cookie)

2 Cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Heat 10 tablespoons of butter in a 10 inch skillet (if you use a dark non-stick skillet it will be hard to see when the butter browns) over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is a dark golden brown color and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. This is an easy way to make the brown butter you see in many recipes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large, 12×18, baking sheets with parchment paper. In a shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between finders, until well combined, then set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Add remaining 1 3/4 Cups brown sugar and salt to the bowl with the cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined, about 1 minute. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 Tablespoons, rolling between hands into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, toss balls in reserved sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, 12 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be uses but it will take 3 batches).
  5. Bake ONE sheet at a time until cookies are browned still puffy and the edges have begun o set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone; see photo), 12-14 minutes (depends on oven, I did mine 10), rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overtake.
  6. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes, use wide metal spatula to transfer cookie to wire rack to cool to room temperature. Then pour a big glass of milk and enjoy!

 

 

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