These soft and chewy brown butter snickerdoodles are literally comfort in a cookie. Made with brown butter, lots of cinnamon and vanilla bean paste, these soft baked cookies are simple to make and don’t require any chilling!
Snickerdoodles are such a classic cookie and I had to have a recipe on the blog for them! Just like peanut butter blossoms, this is one of those cookies that I think we all have nostalgic memories for.
I’ve amped up the cinnamon flavor in these cookies by adding extra cinnamon in the cookie dough, and then brown butter to get those delicious nutty and toasted flavors.
Why you’ll love these brown butter snickerdoodles!
- These are made with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry!
- The brown butter in these snickerdoodles makes them extra special, but if you don’t want to make brown butter then you can use regular butter.
- They’re made with extra cinnamon and vanilla bean paste, so they’re a bit more indulgent and fancy than a regular snickerdoodle!
- These brown butter snickerdoodles are SOFT. No crispy crunchy snickerdoodles here! These are the perfect snickerdoodles to me.
- You don’t have to chill the cookie dough.
Sugar: you’re going to use white sugar in the cinnamon sugar topping and in the cookie dough.
Flour: I have only tested this recipe with all purpose flour. Let me know if you try it with gluten free flour!
Cream of tartar: this is what makes snickerdoodles different to a regular sugar cookie. It is more acidic than baking soda and baking powder, giving a slight tang to the cookie dough. It’s also what makes these cookies puff up!
Unsalted Butter: I always use European style butter since it is much richer and creamier.
Cinnamon: ground cinnamon is used in the cinnamon sugar and also in the cookie dough.
Vanilla Bean Paste: I love using vanilla bean paste in more simple recipes to really make them shine, but you can use an equal amount of vanilla extract.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Start off by browning your butter. You can do this a day or two before you start making the cookies if you want to! Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted, increase to medium heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The butter will begin to foam and bubble. You should then see white milk solids at the bottom of the pan, and the foam should begin to subside. Keep stirring until the milk solids turn a light brown and it smells nutty and toasted. Pour the melted butter into your stand mixer bowl or a large bowl and let it cool for a bit, then place in the fridge to solidify. Take it out when it is still a bit soft – as you can see my finger left an imprint in it when I touched it which is the texture you want!
Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon.
Step 3: In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the brown butter with the sugar and light brown sugar for 2 minutes on medium speed. It should become light and fluffy.
Step 4: Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add your egg, egg yolk and vanilla bean paste. Beat again on medium speed for 1 minute.
Step 5: Pour in your dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Stop as soon as it is combined. Whisk the cinnamon sugar topping together in a small bowl.
Step 6: Roll cookie dough into 1.5 tablespoon balls (I use this cookie scoop ) and roll in the cinnamon sugar topping until completely covered. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake at 375°Fahrenheit/190°Celsius for 9 minutes. Any cookie dough balls that aren’t being baked immediately should be placed in the fridge.
Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Baking Tips & Tricks
- Measuring – I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. It makes a huge difference to your baking and is the most accurate way to bake!
- Fluff and Sprinkle Flour – if you aren’t weighing your ingredients and are using a measuring cup, then use the fluff and sprinkle method to measure your flour. Go to this link here to find out how to do that. If you don’t measure your flour properly you might have dry cookies.
- Bakery Style Cookies – Once the cookies are out of the oven, use a biscuit cutter or a large mug to gently ‘scoot’ the cookies into a perfect circular shape.
- Overbaking – It is better to slightly underbake these cookies if you want them to be soft and chewy, so keep an eye on them in the oven! If you overbake them then they will come out dry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Brown butter will give these cookies a delicious nutty and toasted flavor. If you don’t want to make brown butter or don’t have time, you can use regular butter. Skip straight to the step where you beat room temperature butter with the sugars! In the recipe card I note down how much regular butter you will use if you want to do that.
We want to cream the butter with the sugars to create a light and airy base, you can’t do that with melted butter in this case so you will have to wait for the butter to solidify in the fridge.
They should be puffed up and the edges will have started to crack and split. You want the center of the cookie to be slightly underbaked though as it will continue baking when you take it out of the oven.
For these to truly be snickerdoodles, you do need to use cream of tartar. It is what gives it it’s classic tangy taste!
Storage & Freezing
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can freeze the unbaked cookie dough balls for up to 3 months. You might have to just add an extra minute to the baking time for these.
Brown Butter Snickerdoodles
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- Over medium-low heat, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted, increase the heat to medium and let the butter begin to foam. Keep cooking and stirring with a spatula, until the milk solids begin to brown and gives off a nutty smell (2-3 minutes).
- Pour into a medium bowl and let cool. Place in the fridge to solidify. In the fridge it took about 1 hour, so you can make this the day before. Don't want to use brown butter? Check out my notes below to use regular butter.
- If you made your brown butter the day before, take it out of the fridge so it can come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 375°Fahrenheit/190°Celsius and line two baking pans with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cream of tartar and salt together. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the brown butter and both sugars together on medium speed for 2 minutes. When scraping the brown butter out of the bowl to place into the stand mixer, make sure you scrape out all the brown bits!
- After 2 minutes the mixture should be light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla bean paste. Beat again on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Pour the dry ingredients in and beat on low speed until just combined.
- Whisk the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl.
- Use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out the cookie dough balls. You should have 22-24 cookies. Roll each cookie dough ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart. I put about 8 cookie dough balls per tray. For any cookie dough that isn't being baked right away, place in the fridge.
- Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes. If you want a crispier cookie and not a soft one, bake for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will have slightly puffed up and cracked. If you want your cookies to be flatter, press them down gently with the bottom of a measuring cup when they come out of the oven.
- Let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.