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Pile of brown butter sugar cookies

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Kathleen
  • Total Time: 57 minutes
  • Yield: 36 cookies 1x


Brown Butter Sugar Cookies are soft, chewy, and a major upgrade from regular sugar cookies. They’re drop-style so easy to make. Roll in sugar or sprinkles to make them festive for the holidays. Brown butter adds a rich, slightly nutty, and warm flavor.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, omit if using salted butter
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • sprinkles or granulated sugar, optional for rolling


  1. Brown the Butter. First, set out a large heat proof bowl to have at the ready. Place butter chunks in a medium-large light colored skillet.  Melt the butter over medium heat, whisking occasionally. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will start foam and then brown. You’ll start to see brown specks on the bottom and it will have a nutty aroma. When finished the butter will be an amber, golden brown and the specks will be brown. Be careful not to burn! The specks can go from brown to black very quickly which means the butter is burnt. Better to stop a few seconds too early than too late. If you accidentally burn it, throw away and start over. Otherwise it will taste bitter. Once browned, pour into the bowl immediately and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Prepare Dry Ingredients. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. Mix Wet Ingredients. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar to the slightly cooled brown butter. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until mostly combined – about 1 minute. Then beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. Add the Dry Ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and mix together on low speed, slowly working up to medium speed until combined. The dough will be thick and slightly greasy.
  5. Roll into Balls. Roll the dough into balls – about 1 tablespoon of dough each. Due to the dough’s texture, you may need to kind of press them into balls versus rolling. Do the best you can. Press the tops of the balls with sprinkles or sugar or roll and cover completely.
  6. Chill Dough Balls. Place the balls on a lined baking sheet or a few plates, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30-45 minutes to chill
  7. Preheat Oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  8. Bake. Line the baking sheets with the chilled balls – a few inches apart (sprinkles/sugar up). Bake for 12-13 minutes until lightly browned around the edges and just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


Storage: Cookies stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days.

Make Ahead: You can make the cookie dough, roll into balls as directed and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezer: Baked cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Dessert, Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Brown Butter Cookies, Brown Butter Sugar Cookies, Holiday Cookies, Brown Butter Tips, Sugar Cookies

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