Warm & Cozy: Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookies

February 20, 2015

My personal idea of a cozy winter is cuddling up by the fireplace with a good book, my favorite people and my two dogs and definitely eating some warm and delicious baked goods. That hasn’t really been how my winter has gone this year, even on weekends, but this recipe can almost make up for it.

I live in California, and there’s a bakery on the coast called the Brown Butter Cookie Company. The base of the cookie is it’s brown-butter flavor, but they also add sea salt on top of each cookie, which is already a short-bread texture, and it just makes it the perfect, most melt-in-your-mouth flavor. The browned butter gives the cookie the best warm flavor, which is why it’s a perfect cookie for fall and winter.

I found a “mock” recipe of these cookies and I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it my own. The most important thing is to pull them out before they get too toasty – they’re much better moist, and not crispy. And, as a plus, it’s a really easy and fast cookie to make!

Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookies

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
sea salt for sprinkling (preferably fleur de sel)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until it starts to caramelize. It should smell nutty and you will see brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to burn the butter – in which case you will have to start over. Pour browned butter into a medium bowl and stir in brown sugar and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture until combined. Let cool to room temperature.* Using a tablespoon or small scoop, drop dough onto cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and lightly press into top of cookies. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly golden. (Don’t overcook, or cookies will be too dry and crumbly.) 

*A tip, this dough does not refrigerate well. It’s quick & easy to make, but scooping it too warm or too cold affects the way the dough bakes. It’s sensitive, but easy too!