Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles.

I think if my boyfriend had to make a list of all the things he didn't like about me, "not making the same cookies twice" would be somewhere near the top. For me, baking is kind of like reading. I love it, but unless it's mind-blowing, can't-put-it-down, literary perfection... I'm not going to read it again. I'm just not.

Chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies, snickerdoodles... these are the classics. I'll bake them maybe once or twice a year. They're good, but nothing I crave...  except, every so often, when the mood strikes and I'll set aside a rainy afternoon to revisit them. 

Like Twilight. Or anything really by Nicholas Sparks.

Most of my reading falls into the "that looks new and exciting." It's how I stumbled into The Hunger Games and, my new love: anything Stephanie Plum. It's a much-needed jolt from my predictable daily life. 

Then there's the Harry Potters and the Pride and Prejudices. The books I can't stop thinking about. Whenever I close the last page of whatever I'm reading, I run right back to thinking about them. I want them in my life again as soon as possible.

Basically these brown butter snickerdoodles fall right into that category. 

Snickerdoodles just might be my least favorite cookie, but these. THESE.

They're crispy thin, yet have these sugary, chewy centers I can't explain... except I just did. Between the brown butter and that sultry dark brown sugar, they taste like a cross between snickerdoodles and gingerbread.

Basically I ate every last one of these cookies like it was my job... including the ones I froze for "cookie trays." I did that and I am not ashamed. They are the Pride and Prejudice of Christmas cookies and, if I may be so bold, I'd just like to drop this truth here and now: brown butter in snickerdoodles = Mr. Darcy to every girl ever. Mind-blowing. Can't put it down. Perfect.

I think you know. 

Brown  Butter Snickerdoodles

Printable Recipe
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt (I used regular vanilla yogurt

For rolling cookies in: 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 3 tablespoons cinnamon 

Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until butter foams up and turns golden brown (more info on browning butter here). Immediately pour into a small bowl and allow to cool for several minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

With an electric mixture, beat the cooled brown butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients slowly until just combined. 

Chill dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350°F

Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick baking spray. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar with 3 tablespoons cinnamon. 

Roll dough into 1 1/2-tablespoon balls. Roll in cinnamon-sugar, place on baking sheet 2-inches apart, and flatten slightly. 

Bake for 8-11 minutes or until cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Bake longer if you like crispier cookies. Cool cookies for two minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Source: Ambitious Kitchen, featured on Tasty Kitchen.