Friday, September 30, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cookies with Browned Butter

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This batch of classic cinnamon sugar coated cookies are a cold weather after dinner family favorite. I LOVE anything cinnamon sugary, like my Homemade Churro Bites, one of my fav recipes! The warm cinnamon spice makes them perfect for a fall or even as a yummy Christmas cookie. On the outside they look pretty plain, but with their crispy edges and chewy center, it is almost impossible to eat just one. Although they aren't as fancy as other decorated cookies, and they aren't dipped in chocolate or covered in frosting, these are one of my favorite cookies, along with my good ol' standby, the Chocolate Chip Cookie, of course. 

Baking in small batches is so easy and quick. Start by browning the butter (click here for a step-by-step tutorial). You can skip browning the butter if you want, but it is what really sets these cookies apart from any other snickerdoodle. They browned butter lends a warm nutty/toffee flavor and mixed with the brown sugar, the caramel notes take these cookies to the next level. 

Then, simply beat together the butter and sugars.

Next beat in the wet ingredients. I use a combo of vanilla, milk and just the egg yolk for an ultra rich, flavorful and chewy, never cakey, cookie. (I always save the whites for a healthy egg white omelet or a small-batch of my low-fat/gluten-free Flourless Chocolate Cookies so they never go to waste! Click here for my trick for separating an egg)

When baking in small batches, every little bit of ingredient makes a big difference in the outcome, so be sure to watch my video on How To Properly Measure Flour, to avoid accidentally adding too much flour, which will create dry, dense cookies, that don't spread properly. After you have weighed or measure out your flour, slowly stir it in.

Here comes the best part... Roll into balls and cover in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place on your cookie sheet. My small-batch cookie recipes make 8 perfect cookies... if you make them a little larger, you can get 6 slightly larger cookies. Bake as directed and enjoy!

Sinckerdoodles {Small Batch}

Yield: 8 cookies*

*For a larger batch, double recipe below, replacing the egg yolk and milk with 1 whole large egg.

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, browned
  • 3/4 cup (90g) all-purpose flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


First you need to brown your butter (Do not skip browning the butter, it is what gives the cookies and incredible rich, caramel flavor! Click here for a step by step tutorial). To brown butter: Over medium heat, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stirring constantly, continue to cook butter until it starts to foam. Keep stirring until brown specks start to appear at the bottom of the pan and butter has turned an amber color and gives off a warm nutty/toffee scented aroma (about 3-5 minutes total; shorter than average because it is such a small amount of butter). Immediately remove from heat and pour into a shallow heat proof bowl (do not over cook butter, it can burn very easily and turn from a perfect caramel scented brown hue to burnt and blackened within seconds! If you have burnt your butter, you will know by the scent). Place in the refrigerator to cool to room temperature and firm up slightly. 

In a small bowl, whisk together flour,
cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl beat the cooled butter and sugars together on medium speed. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla on low speed until incorporated. Gently mix in flour mixture just until combine. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour until firm. 

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a shallow bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the coating. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll into 8 balls. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar until well coated and place about 1-2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. 

Bake for about 8 minutes, until edges just start to turn golden brown but centers are still soft and puffy. Do not over bake. Cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes and then transfer cookies to a wire rack. Store at room temperature in an air tight container. 

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