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Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

These brown butter sugar cookies are here to change up your cookie game! You won’t believe how a handful of pantry ingredients are transformed into something truly special by adding brown butter and a sprinkle of flaky salt.

stack of Brown Butter Sugar Cookies on a white plate

Easy Brown Butter Cookies

I don’t often buy store-bought cookies. All the homemade stuff makes that unnecessary. After we moved, however, I stayed out of the kitchen until we could get settled into the new place. During those days, I discovered Brooklyn’s own The Good Batch at a local market.

On impulse, I bought a package of their Brown Butter Salty cookies. These amazing cookies are a soft shortbread made with browned butter and topped with a pinch of salt. I was hooked immediately. So, I set out to make something similar.

I decided to go the sugar cookie route. I don’t make sugar cookies very often. They’ve just never been at the top of my list when I get a cookie craving. But, these. These! These are way beyond sugar cookies.

First of all, they start out with browned butter, which is one of my favorite things. All that rich, nutty flavor takes an everyday sugar cookie and turns it into something truly special. Plus, these brown butter cookies have that wonderful crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside thing going for them.

With all the recipes I’ve shared over the course of my blogging career, it’s difficult to make really big proclamations about a particular one. But, that’s exactly what I’m doing with these. I’m always a fan of sweet and salty desserts, and these brown butter sugar cookies are quite possibly my new favorite realization of that.

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Here’s what makes these brown butter sugar cookies a guaranteed winner.

  • Nutty brown butter. Need I say more? It’s irresistible in Brown Butter Pear Crisp, Brown Butter Banana Bread, and Brown Butter Strawberry Muffins, and it’s equally fantastic in these brown butter cookies.
  • Soft and chewy texture. If you’re not a fan of crispy (or, let’s be honest, hard) sugar cookies, then these are for you. They’re lightly crisp on the edges, with a chewy interior—the best of both worlds.
  • Simple recipe. These cookies don’t require any fancy ingredients or complicated steps. Just some basic baking staples and you’re all set.

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

What Is the Best Salt to Sprinkle on Cookies?

I like using a flaky sea salt like Maldon or fleur de sel to sprinkle on these cookies. The larger flakes add a nice crunch and concentrated flavor, but feel free to use whatever coarse salt you have on hand.

overhead view of Brown Butter Cookies on a wire rack

How to Make Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

I love this recipe because it’s so easy and straightforward. Just keep an eye on the butter as it browns because it can burn fast!

  • Brown the butter. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once it begins to foam, continue to cook until brown specks appear at the bottom of the pan and the butter has a nutty aroma. Remove from the heat and transfer to a glass bowl; cool for 10 minutes.
  • Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Mix the wet ingredients. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the cooled butter, brown sugar, and sugar until combined. Then, beat in the egg and vanilla.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the dry ingredients until combined.
  • Chill. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350°F near the end of the chilling time. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  • Form the cookies. Scoop a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Set it on one of the pans and flatten it slightly. Repeat with the remaining dough, then sprinkle a bit of salt on top. 
  • Bake. Place the pans in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are browned and the centers are set. 
  • Cool. Set the pans on wire racks to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, transfer the cookies directly to the wire racks to finish cooling. (Learn more: Why Every Baker Needs Wire Cooling Racks)

Tips for Success

Read my baking tips for beginners, then follow these additional hints and pointers for perfect brown butter sugar cookies:

  • Don’t skip the refrigeration. Chilling the dough allows the flavors to develop and also makes it easier to handle the dough. Even more importantly, it keeps the cookies from spreading on the pan since you’re starting with melted butter.
  • Slightly under-bake for soft cookies. And, on the flip side, if you prefer your cookies a bit crispier, leave them in the oven for an extra minute or two.
  • Let the pans cool if you’re reusing them. If you want or need to reuse the same pan to make all of your cookies, you will need to let it cool completely before adding more dough to it. This prevents your cookies from over-baking on the bottom and spreading on the pan.


These cookies are delicious as-is, and I don’t recommend tinkering with the dough itself. That said, you can drizzle melted chocolate over these brown butter sugar cookies for an elegant touch, or dip the cookies in chocolate.

They also make a wonderful base for sandwich cookies, ice cream sandwiches (try them with butter pecan ice cream), or you can simply slather them with brown butter frosting and double-down on that glorious brown butter goodness.

Overhead view of salted brown butter sugar cookies on wire rack

How to Store

Store brown butter sugar cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

I highly recommend making a double batch of these cookies and freezing some for later—you’re going to want them on hand at all times! Freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To thaw, simply let them sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before enjoying.

Browned Butter Salty Sugar Cookies

Yield about 36 cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Browned Butter Salty Sugar Cookies are simple sugar cookies with a rich, nutty flavor. These are a must for sweet and salty fans!

stack of Brown Butter Sugar Cookies on a white plate


  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • coarse salt, for sprinkling tops of cookies


  1. Place the butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the butter melts and begins to foam, continue to cook until brown specks begin to appear beneath the foam. The butter will have a nutty aroma. Remove from the heat and transfer to a glass bowl. Allow to cool about 10 minutes, or until warm to the touch but not hot.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cooled butter, brown sugar, and sugar until combined. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix well.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  7. Using about a tablespoonful of dough at a time, roll into balls and place on the prepared pans. Flatten each ball slightly. Sprinkle coarse salt on the tops of cookies. (The amount of salt is a preference thing. I recommend just barely a pinch.)
  8. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are browned and the centers are set. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5-10 minutes. Then, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

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    80 Comments on “Brown Butter Sugar Cookies”

  1. you know I love the salt addition!

  2. These sound awesome! I think I would be crazy and add butterscotch chips. 😉

  3. What an excellent twist on a basic sugar cookie, I can’t wait to try!

  4. These sound heavenly. I will be trying them this week.

  5. Sugar cookies are my weakness (one of many), and brown butter is my happy place. These cookies look amazing!!

  6. I have never tried brown butter…anything really…I know where have I been for the last years 🙂 I think this is the recipe to ease me into the idea of brown butter and salt 🙂

  7. These look amazing! I love the browned butter twist on the classic sugar cookie!

    • So, weird thing happened……some of the cookies from the same batch same out perfect and tan, and then others came out so dark and burnt tasting. It was all from the same batch, same baking sheet, same everything. It was about every other cookie was a completely different color, which affected the taste. I made a different cookie recipe cause I thought it was maybe my oven, but those came out perfect. Not sure what happened. So weird!

      • Hi, Karen. If it varies per pan and you’re reusing pans, make sure they’re cooled before using them again. It doesn’t sound like hot spots in your oven if other cookies didn’t do the same thing. Otherwise, I’m stumped. My only guess is that the dough wasn’t mixed well and the ingredients weren’t evenly distributed per cookie.

  8. Not only are these so pretty, they sound amazingly yummy!! Can’t wait to try them.

  9. I’m a sucker for browned butter! These look delicious!

  10. These were absolutely delicious! Though, mine didn’t turn out quite as pretty as yours for some reason.

  11. These came out fantastic! My friends liked them because they’re a little different than the average cookie, and mentioned liking the salt, too. I rarely eat what I bake but these were too good to pass up! I added a few butterscotch chips to some and those got good reviews, too! Thanks for another great recipe!(^o^)

  12. Wowza! These are on my weekend baking list. Can not WAIT to try.

  13. Just made these and they are fantastic! Love, love, love them. The salty and sweet is perfection 🙂

  14. Making these today for a Halloween treat- I looooove salty-sweet, so I can’t wait to try them! 🙂

    • These are so delicious but there always darker then yours look and they always turn out flat no matter what I try.  Any suggestions of something I can try and do to make them look like yours?  (I chilled my dough 45 minutes, use Nordicware pans with parchment, weigh all my ingredients). Help!!

      • Hi, Kimberly. In my experience, letting the butter get too cool usually leads to these cookies being flat. It should still be warm to the touch when you start mixing. Be sure not to over-mix the dough, too.

  15. I was at the Food Blogger bake sale that Saturday (May 2013) and bought these cookies and ate every last one! My grand-daughter who accompanied me, didn’t want any, so…

    Really, really good! And soooo buttery!

    How did you all make out? Did you reach your goal?

  16. I made these today. All I can say is WOW!!! They are amazing!! Thank you for sharing.

  17. Wow, I am so impressed! I never make sugar cookies because I think of them as being quite boring. But these are incredible! I pulled a double batch out of the oven 15 mins ago and there are only 5 left! They were SO good. 😀

  18. Found these through a food blog on tumblr, been dying to make them and I finally did today! Mine came out a bit darker (not overdone, though) and they are kind of flat? But perfect texture and taste!!! I took them one step further since I love salted caramel anything lately, and made caramel frosting for them which is amazing. I just left the salt off until they were frosted 😀

  19. Just a warning to anyone planning on cutting this recipe in half, you need a little bit more flour than you think. I ended up with thin and crispy cookies that were huge and spread out over the pan (not that I’m complaining, they were delicious).

  20. I was looking for a cookie that was primarily buttery and brown sugary and these were delicious! The flavor kind of reminds me of homemade carmels. The only thing I didn’t like was that the dough seemed too crumbly to easily roll into balls so maybe next time I may add an extra egg yolk.

  21. These are delicious!

  22. Other than Oreos I cannot recall the last time I bought cookies. Seems like an insane idea when I have cookies coming out of my ears on a regular basis. These cookies look as lovely as they sound.

  23. at top of recipe you state prep time of 25 minutes, bake time of 10 minutes…but then later you say to bake for 12-15 minutes…

  24. I just made them and these are wonderfull. I made only half of the recepie and all gone after 5 min from the oven. Next time I’ll put more sea s. on the top. Thanks for the recepie. Ou, I forgot to mention that I eat all by myself… ha, ha

  25. Wow. Not only are they pretty they are delish. I think I will sit the salt a little next time though. Thanks for this recipe. The browned butter is amazing.

  26. These cookies are DELICIOUS! I made them last night and they were a big hit with my family.

    I left the first tray of cookies in for 13 minutes and the resulting cooled cookie was very crisp. While it was still quite delicious, I prefer a softer cookie. I baked the rest of the cookies for 9 minutes and the result was soft and delicate. Regardless of how long I baked the cookies for, they are beautiful. They bake down into nicely flattened circles and the tops crackle just like the pictures on this blog. The browned butter adds a ton of flavour! I highly recommend you all try this recipe.

  27. I was wondering do use real butter for this recipe or margarine? I love real butter, so of course that would be my first choice, but was just wondering about using margarine. Thank you for your time and for your recipe

  28. Simply amazing.  And that is all I have to say about that!

  29. My husband and I split a giant brown butter cookie a couple of days ago from our favorite bakery and were instantly obsessed. I found your recipe that night and baked these as a surprise for him while he was at work yesterday. OMG these are SO so good and addicting!! Hubby says they’re better than the bakery’s version. This is my new favorite cookie recipe, so thank you for sharing. I am excited to try your other recipes <3

  30. My cookies dough is really dry… is that normal?

  31. Well these have jumped up to my lists of favorite cookies. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  32. Would these hold shape if they were rolled and cut?

    • Hi, Terri. I’ve not tried that, so I can say with any certainty.  Cookie dough that’s rolled and cut usually has a different texture than a dough used for drop cookies, so I would guess that it wouldn’t work that well.

  33. This is one of my absolute favorite cookies EVER. I like to load up them up with tons of sea salt. Brown Butter has got to be one of the best flavors in existence. I would definitely recommend this recipe. WARNING: HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!!!!

  34. Would it be possible to also roll this dough out for cutting shapes?

  35. I have now made these several times with great success! Amazing recipe! Tonight I whipped together a salted caramel drizzle for the cookies it might be too much I guess we will wait and see.  

  36. Totally yummy!! Never baked with brown butter.  Added caramel turned crispy but still very good.

  37. I’ve made this recipe twice now. Both times they turned out darker then the picture, no crackle on top and flat. The flavor is there but I know there not quite right. I followed the recipe as written. Any suggestions to make them like yours next time? Thanks for the recipe and your help. Can’t wait to try them one more time.

    • Hi, Kimberly. They’ve come out flat for me a couple of times, too. I have a few theories, but I think it’s most likely either an over-mixing issue or the temperature of the browned butter. It’s also possible that humidity plays a part, too.

  38. I had made some brown butter that I wanted to use and found this recipe. I love salty with sweet together. I added a tsp of corn starch and they turned out perfectly. I’d make these again. Buttery goodness.

  39. DELICIOUS & Highly Recommended recipe. The brown butter is the magic ingredient. Love them & just finished my 3rd batch in 2 months. Requested by my friends & family.

  40. I stuffed the center of these with dried apple pieces…  It’s like a caramel apple in cookie form! Swoon!  

  41. These were soooo good. My adult son  and my 1 y/o granddaughter loved them, the browned butter makes them top notch. Thank you for the recipe.

  42. the best cookie I’ve ever had!

    what kind of salt, pls?

  43. Why did my dough come out extremely dry and crumbly!? They didn’t bake well and I’m so disappointed. I’m a very experienced baker and I can’t imagine what I did wrong. Especially with so many good reviews. 

    • Hi, Ashely. I’m sorry you had troubles! My first thought with dry dough is that there’s too much flour. If you’re not measuring by weight, be sure you’re using the spoon and sweep method. (You can read more about that here.)

  44. How long do these keep? I love these cookies so much, but am afraid it makes too many for me to finish before they might go bad!

  45. I made these (84 cookies) for a Christmas Cookie Swap party. Certainly, I tested the finished product prior to bagging up 14 bags of 1/2 doz. each. Awesome! This may be my favorite cookie. The buttery sweetness with the salt on top of the cookie is so good. There is no “infighting” in this cookie between chocolates, nuts, or fruit fillings, just buttery sweetness topped off with salt. Cookies do not get better than this one. Thanks Bake or Break!

  46. Absolutely my favorite new cookie recipe EVER!!!  I have baked multiple batches and have taken to double batches now!!
    I did try using honey once and they were tasty, but it obviously did change the texture slightly! 
    Everyone who has tried them has loved them!  

  47. This was a big miss for me. At least 1/2-3/4 tsp too much baking soda than a standard cookie recipe. It was so much baking soda that you could taste the metallically-ness of the baking soda. It’s also about 2 tbs short on flour, as the edges spread and burn. Usually with 1 cup butter, recipes call for 2 1/4 cups flour (if using 2 eggs), so with 1 egg, it should be about 2c+2tbs flour.  

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