It's a quick post today, but an oh so delicious one. Yesterday I told you all about our traditional sugar cookies that we decorate each year. Well, in the course of making them this go around, I had a brain wave. What if.... what if I browned the butter before using it in the dough?
I had just made Half Baked Harvest's brown butter and sage mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving (if you haven't tried those yet, do it!) and I made a cake for my dad's surprise birthday party the week before that infused rosemary into the butter before creaming it. Those two things coalesced in a moment of epiphany and here we are.
I love using browned butter in anything I can. That caramelized, nutty goodness is heavenly. To compliment that, I also substituted brown sugar for the granulated sugar in our recipe and the combination gives these a wonderful almost butterscotchy aftertaste.
I think in the future I'll play around with a variety of glaze flavors - there are several I can see really complimenting the brown butter. But for a first go, I wanted to keep it simple and let the cookie's flavors carry the day. They are more than up to the task!
What are your favorite uses for browned butter? Let's talk about it in the comments!
brown butter sugar cookies
yield: 4-5 dozen, depending on shapes
1 cup browned butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1½ cups powdered sugar
4-6 tsp water
Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until it melts, then froths and foams, whisking the browning butter to keep the brown bits from adhering to the bottom of the pan and burning.
Almost as soon as the brown bits form, remove it from the heat and set aside to cool. Pour the browned butter into a airtight container and refrigerate at least one hour or until firm. This step can be done a day or two in advance.
Once the butter has solidified, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and eggs. Add salt, baking powder, vanilla, and flour and mix well until thoroughly combined.
Roll the dough on a floured board and cut into your favorite shapes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Place on wire rack and cool, then ice with glaze when cooled.
To make glaze, add the powdered sugar to a glass measuring cup with a pour spout.
Add in water one teaspoonful at a time until the sugar is dissolved and the glaze can be painted on, but hold its shape.
Divide into bowls and add food coloring to make your favorite colors.
Tip: a muffin tin is perfect for dividing out the glaze into cups of different colors. Keep toothpicks on hand to stir it.