At the first respite of this heatwave, I made browned butter snickerdoodles.
Why? OCBD; obsessive compulsive baking disorder. If I stop baking for too long, I go on withdrawals! A terrible thing for sure, so I just had to make something. That’s where snickerdoodles come in.
So what makes snickerdoodles so special one may ask? They are after all just a sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar, right? Absolutely wrong! A good snickerdoodle is a thing of art, having just the right balance of textures and flavors. It is made up of a crunchy crust with warm cinnamon flavor contrasting to the soft and slightly chewy inside. A subtle tang and a beautiful craggily top is characterized by it’s magic ingredient; cream of tartar. This ingredient gives them that wonderful soft texture.
As amazing these cookies are already, I couldn’t help adding browned butter to amp up their flavor. Oh, the wonders of browned butter! Who knew that cooking butter until it browns develops the most wonderful warm, nutty, aromatic flavors. I did! And am taking full advantage of it by combining that browned butter flavor with those tangy, cinnamon-vanilla cookies. Perfection!
Browned Butter Snickerdoodles
Yield: 2 dozen
2¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat and put in refrigerator and chill.
*Melt butter in small saucepan over high heat and cook, swirling the pan constantly until it is frothy and browned and has a nutty aroma (watch carefully).
Let cool 3 minutes; pour into container and freeze 15 minutes. Stir butter and freeze 15 minutes longer.*
Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
Gradually stir in the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until the flour is blended.
Chill the dough for at least 45 minutes.
In the meantime, mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Scoop 2 tbsp balls of dough and roll in the cinnamon and sugar mixture to coat.
Place on chilled cookie sheet about 3 inches apart and chill until firm, about 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes.
Chill the dough and cookie sheets between batches.
Let cookies set on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Store cookies in an airtight container.
*You can skip this step and use softened butter if you want regular snickerdoodles.