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Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

These incredible brown butter snickerdoodles are irresistibly soft, chewy cookies with crisp edges and rich, nutty flavor from brown butter. Rolled in plenty of cinnamon sugar for crunch!

Close up of brown butter snickerdoodles.

Soft and Chewy Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

If there’s one cookie that I can never resist, it’s snickerdoodles. My classic snickerdoodle recipe is an heirloom passed down from my husband’s side of the family. And I honestly didn’t they could get any better… until now! These brown butter snickerdoodles are rich, tangy, chewy sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar, with crispy edges and gooey, break-apart-soft middles. And the flavor? Game-changing. Every bite is filled with the nutty, caramel-like flavor of toasted, melted butter.

Why You’ll Love Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

  • Brown butter flavor. Taking the simple extra step to brown the butter for these cookies results in the most irresistible toasty, caramelized flavor (a bit like my brown sugar cookies). These brown butter cookies are rich and buttery, rolled in the signature Snickerdoodle cinnamon sugar coating, of course.
  • Perfect texture. “Melt-in-your-mouth” doesn’t even begin to describe the texture of these snickerdoodles. They’re crisp where the cookie bakes against the pan, gooey and soft in the center, and extra moist thanks to the brown butter. Seriously swoon-worthy!
  • Easy to make. I know, I’ve been describing these cookies as though they’re luxurious and totally gourmet. But the BEST part? This recipe is so simple. Right down to browning the butter. You’re going to love it.
Three brown butter snickerdoodle halves stacked on a wire rack.

What Is Brown Butter?

So, what’s so special about brown butter? Brown butter, also called beurre noisette, is a French technique for cooking melted butter on the stove until the milk solids begin to brown. This imparts a rich and toasted, nutty flavor to the butter, and it can be used as an ingredient in everything from these cookies to savory dishes. If you’ve never tried it, I can’t wait for you to taste the difference!

Brown butter on the end of a white rubber spatula.

Ingredient Notes

I’ve included some notes on the key ingredients below. Remember to scroll to the recipe card with the full ingredient amounts and recipe instructions.

  • Brown Butter – Brown butter works some serious magic in this snickerdoodle recipe. If you haven’t made brown butter before, you can check out the technique in detail in my step-by-step tutorial. I also outline how to do it below and in the recipe card.
  • Cream of Tartar –  When combined with baking soda, cream of tartar gives the snickerdoodle cookies their classic chewiness and softness, with a slightly tangy flavor. It’s hard to substitute cream of tartar in snickerdoodles. See the recipe card for substitutions.
  • Cinnamon Sugar – You’ll make a quick mixture of ground cinnamon and granulated sugar, for coating the cookies.

How to Brown Butter

I have an in-depth step-by-step tutorial on how to brown butter, but the process is super simple! Simply boil butter in a saucepan until it becomes amber in color, then immediately pour it into a heat-safe, freezer-safe container. Chill the browned butter in the freezer for 20-25 minutes.

Portions of the butter will turn solid, but you should still have some liquid left on the bottom (photo below, on the right). If there’s a lot of liquid in the bottom of the bowl (photo on the left), return the butter to the freezer for a few more minutes.

Afterward, vigorously stir the liquids into the solids. The resulting texture may be a little bit lumpy, but the butter should have a soft and spreadable consistency. You can make brown butter ahead of time or on-demand for this recipe. See further on for details on how to store brown butter that’s made ahead of time.

How to Make Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

With your brown butter ready to go, it’s time to bring everything together. Let’s get baking!

  • Combine the wet ingredients. First, cream together the brown butter with sugar until it’s light and fluffy, then add the eggs and vanilla.
  • Add the dry ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients separately, and gradually add them to the bowl with the wet ingredients, mixing until the dough forms.
  • Roll in cinnamon sugar. Next, portion the Snickerdoodle dough into balls (I use a large cookie scoop, big time saver!). Then, roll each dough ball in cinnamon sugar to coat. 
  • Chill the dough. Transfer the rolled cookie dough to a lined baking sheet and place the dough into the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
  • Bake. Finally, take the cookies out and bake them at 350ºF for 10-12 minutes. Once they’re out of the oven, leave your snickerdoodles to set on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack.

Recipe Tips

Brown butter is quickly becoming an obsession around here. You’re going to LOVE how these cookies come out! Here are some final tips:

  • Scrape all the butter from the pan. You’ll notice brown flecks in the bottom of the pan after your butter is browned. Make sure you scrape all of those into the bowl. Those flecks are where all the toasted flavor lies.
  • Cream the butter and sugar well. I usually spend a good 2-3 minutes creaming together the brown butter with the sugar for the cookie dough. This ensures a soft, lofty cookie.
  • Portion the dough before chilling. Pre-scoop the cookie dough and roll it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture before refrigerating. Chilled dough will be extra firm and hard to scoop.
  • Line the baking sheet. To prevent the bottom of the cookies from burning, bake them on a Silpat or line the baking sheet with parchment paper. The added layer also helps to keep the cookies from spreading.
  • If the cookies are spreading too much, this is because the dough is too soft. Make sure that you don’t skip chilling the cookie dough, and chill it for long enough (1 hour or more). The cookies should appear puffy when you take them out of the oven, and they’ll flatten out a bit as they cool.
  • Leave the cookies underbaked. For the best soft, chewy texture, pull your brown butter snickerdoodles out of the oven before they’re fully baked. They should be just set in the middle.

Assorted brown butter snickerdooles on a baking sheet.

Variation Ideas

I’ve used my favorite Snickerdoodle cookie recipe as a base for dozens of other recipes throughout the years, from this brown butter version to festive pumpkin snickerdoodles. Here are some easy ways to make these brown butter snickerdoodles your own: 

  • Cookie bars. Instead of portioned cookies, make sugar cookie bars by pressing the dough into a baking pan and sprinkling the top with cinnamon sugar.
  • Extracts. Take inspiration from my almond cookies and trade the vanilla extract in this recipe for almond extract. You can also try lemon, peppermint, or orange extract.
  • Add-insToffee bits would be amazing in these buttery snickerdoodles! Other mix-in options are white chocolate chips, shredded coconut, or, make colorful M&M cookies
  • Frosting. These snickerdoodles are delicious as they are, but you can never go wrong with a swirl of brown butter frosting or tangy cream cheese frosting. You can also make a batch of easy sugar cookie icing for decorating during the holidays.
A stack of brown butter snickerdoodles on a countertop.

Can I Brown Butter Ahead of Time? 

Yes, you can get a head start by browning the butter a day or two before. Simply follow the directions and, instead of chilling in the freezer, refrigerate the butter until you’re ready to use it. It will resolidify in the fridge. When you’re ready to make your Snickerdoodle cookie dough, quickly microwave the brown butter at 50% power, 30 seconds at a time, until it’s soft enough to stir (but not melted). If you happen to overheat it, toss the melted butter into the freezer for a few minutes until it firms back up a bit.

Brown butter in a glass jar on a countertop.

Can I Make the Dough In Advance?

Also yes! The prepared cookie dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days ahead. Cookie dough that’s refrigerated for longer than 2 hours will need to sit for about 15-20 minutes at room temperature before baking. If you’d like to make this cookie dough more than 2 days in advance, I recommend freezing the portioned dough balls airtight, in a container or freezer bag. Defrost the dough in the fridge, and take it out 10-15 minutes ahead of baking.

How to Store

  • To Store. These brown butter snickerdoodles will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days when stored airtight at room temperature.
  • Freezer. To freeze the baked cookies, wait until they’re completely cool, and then store them in an airtight container or freezer bag with parchment paper between layers. Store them frozen for up to 2-3 months. Thaw out the cookies at room temperature, and enjoy!

More Easy Sugar Cookie Recipes

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Close up of a brown butter snickerdoodle cookie.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

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  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 90 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 41 minutes
  • Yield: 20 Cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Brown butter snickerdoodles are irresistibly soft, chewy cookies with crisp edges and rich, nutty flavor. Rolled in plenty of cinnamon sugar for crunch!


Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1 1/4 cup (282g) Unsalted butter, browned
  • 2 cups (380g) Granulated sugar
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) Pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups (420g) All-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon Baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon Cream of tartar

For the coating

  • ¼ cup (47.5g) Granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (7.5g) cinnamon

Instructions

  1. To brown the butter, use a small saucepan, and cut the butter into pieces. Melt the butter over medium heat and allow it to boil and bubble. Once it starts boiling, stir it frequently and it will slowly start to turn an amber color and releases a nutty aroma. Remove the butter from the heat and place in the freezer for 20-25 minutes (but no longer!) and then stir until creamy.
  2. In your stand mixer, combine the butter with the sugar and beat on medium speed until well creamed together. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, mixing until well combined. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar, and add to the wet ingredients. Beat on medium-low speed until well combined and dough starts to form.
  4. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar. Use a large cookie scoop and scoop cookie dough into the cinnamon sugar and roll to coat the cookie.
  5. Place the cookies on a silicone-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 60 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on your baking sheet. If your cookies have been refrigerated longer than 2 hours, allow them to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before baking.
  7. Bake at 350° F for 10-12 minutes. Allow the cookie to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Notes

  • A large cookie scoop will yield about 20 large cookies, a medium-sized cookie scoop will yield 36.
  • For more tips on brown butter, be sure to read through my tutorial. To prepare the brown butter ahead of time, refer back to the blog post for notes and how to prepare. 

Storing and Freezing

  • Make ahead: You can make this dough ahead of time and leave it refrigerated until ready to bake. If refrigerated for more than 2 hours, let them rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes prior to baking.
  • Store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
  • To freeze the cookie dough, pre-scoop the dough, roll in cinnamon and sugar and then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to an airtight container and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, remove 15-20 minutes before baking. Or defrost for 1-2 hours on the counter. You may need an extra minute or two to bake.
  • To freeze baked cookies, cool them completely then transfer them to an airtight container and freeze. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 222
  • Sugar: 18.8g
  • Sodium: 34mg
  • Fat: 10.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Protein: 2.3g
  • Cholesterol: 40.9mg

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3 comments on “Brown Butter Snickerdoodles”

  1. I love this recipe. I’ve made it many times and it’s always a favorite that turns out perfectly each time!






  2. Yum, yum, and YUM! I l-o-v-e snickerdoodles, and I kinda re-invigorated my love for them a few weeks ago when made white chocolate snickerdoodle blondies. These ones look amazing too! I’ve yet to try a brown butter recipe, but they’re showing up everywhere and I have a feeling I need to get moving and try it out! 🙂