Browned butter and dark brown sugar combined equals something delightful. These cookies are pretty sweet yet I’m pretty sure you’ll find yourself reaching for a second one.
We came across the original recipe in Cook’s Illustrated. While we enjoy reading the magazine and watching TV programs by the same producers, I think they tend to overwrite their recipes. I’ve tried to simplify the instructions while giving you advance notice that some ingredients are used in different steps.
Brown Sugar Cookies
Servings: ~30 cookies
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes
- 14 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups packed dark brown sugar, divided
- 2 cups plus Tbsp. all-purpose flour (~300g)
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. table salt
- 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line 2 rimmed baking pans with parchment.
- Place 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a bowl of a stand mixer and set it aside. Heat the remaining butter in a stainless-steel skillet over medium heat until melted. Continue to cook until the butter is dark golden brown and you smell a nutty aroma. You’ll want to swirl the melted butter after it melts to ensure even browning. Add the browned butter to the mixer bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- While the butter cools mix the granulated sugar with 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar in a shallow dish, such as a pie plate, until well combined. In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, soda, powder, and salt). Finally combine the egg, extra yolk and vanilla in a small bowl and beat until blended. All 3 bowls can be set aside.
- When the butter is cooled add the remaining dark brown sugar and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg mixture. Beat again until combined and scrape once more. Finally, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. This is a dense dough so you might want to give your mixer a break if it sounds like it is straining.
- Use a disher to scoop out 12 balls of dough. Roll each between your hands and then toss with the reserved sugar. Place 12 coated dough balls on one of the baking sheets. Bake for 7 minutes, rotate the pan and finish baking for 6 additional minutes.
- While the first pan of cookies bakes you can scoop up, form and coat the remaining dough. I usually end up with about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
I use a #40 disher to get ~30 cookies. You can tell the disher size by the number stamped into the sweep inside the bowl of the disher. In theory, the stamped number indicates the number of scoops necessary to fill a 32 oz. container. Dishers are widely used in food services to control portion size.
I have also made these with chocolate chunks added. I roughly chopped 8 oz. total of chocolate “wafers” that I bought back in September at King Arthur Flour. I used 4 oz. of Guittard Bittersweet Onyx Chocolate Wafers and another 4 oz. of Belcolade Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers. Rather than trying to scoop these, I weighed out 40-gram portions.