Brown Butter Snickerdoodles


If you're a die-hard sugar cookie fan, just wait until you've tried these snickerdoodles.

brown butter snickerdoodles
Photo: Photographer: Isaac Nunn, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins

You won't need to sit by a fire to warm up on chilly evenings when you have a freshly baked batch of these snickerdoodles on hand. The cinnamon-sugar mixture in these cookies creates a delicious aroma through your whole kitchen while they bake. You'll experience a warming sensation from the spices after one bite. The brown butter, which adds a slightly nutty flavor, will have your guests asking: "What's different about these snickerdoodles cookies?" Who knew brown butter could be such a fun secret ingredient? We wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to share this recipe with anyone. The tender center with lightly crisp edges makes these snickerdoodles ideal for dunking in a cold glass of milk. We know Santa would certainly enjoy them!

The trickiest part of this brown butter snickerdoodles recipe is browning the butter. Be careful not to burn yourself while whisking—the butter gets extremely hot. Once you've prepared the dough, you can store it in an air-tight container and freeze for up to one month. Be sure to roll the dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture before freezing. When you're ready to bake the dough from frozen, add two minutes of bake time to ensure they're fully cooked. If you're preparing a big batch of cookies, you can store the rest of the dough balls in the fridge while one set bakes. Whether you're looking for this season's bake sale winner or just craving a new late-night snack option, these snickerdoodles are sure to become a go-to recipe.


  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 2 ¾ cups (about 11 ¾ ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, divided

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside until ready to use. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium. Cook, whisking often, until butter begins to brown and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Carefully pour browned butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, and chill in refrigerator until set, but not firm, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (The texture of the chilled brown butter should be like softened butter.)

  2. Whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add light brown sugar and 1 cup of the granulated sugar to softened browned butter in bowl; beat with a paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add eggs and vanilla, and continue beating until well combined, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture, and continue beating until just combined, about 1 minute. Cover and chill until firm, at least 45 minutes or up to 24 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 375°F with oven racks positioned in upper and lower thirds of oven. Stir together cinnamon and remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Using a ¾-ounce scoop or a kitchen spoon, scoop dough into 36 portions (about 1 ½ tablespoons each), and gently roll each dough portion into a ball using your hands. Roll dough balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture, and place on prepared baking sheets at least 3 inches apart. Discard any remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. (Make Ahead: Dough balls can be kept frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month after being rolled in cinnamon-sugar mixture.)

  4. Bake cookies in preheated oven until golden brown and edges are set, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through bake time (increase bake time by about 2 minutes if baking cookies from frozen). You can also bake cookies in batches and keep prepared dough balls in the refrigerator while each batch bakes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

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