I love browned butter in baked goods; it gives them such a nutty, rich flavor. So when I saw this recipe for browned butter brown sugar cookies I just had to make them. These cookies are phenomenal! With nutty, caramel notes from browned butter and a fair bit of salt and vanilla to balance the flavors, these cookies will become an instant favorite.
Rolling the dough balls in a combination of brown and granulated sugar give these cookies a delicious sugar crust. Cook’s Illustrated nails it again with a cookie that has a soft, chewy center, a crackly-crisp top and a flavor that screams brown sugar.
Yield: 24 cookies
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
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
In 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat 10 tablespoons butter until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to the heat-proof bowl of a stand mixer. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter to melt; set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
While butter is cooling, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between fingers, until well combined; set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.
Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter; attach paddle and mix on medium-low speed until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix on medium-low speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
Roll two heaping tablespoons of dough into ball between your palms, roll the ball in the sugar mixture, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet spacing the balls about 2 inches apart (you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet).
Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone); 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.
Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
Recipe Note: Use fresh brown sugar, as older (harder and drier) brown sugar will make the cookies too dry.
Source: Cook's Illustrated March, 2007
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