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Brown Butter Plain Cookies

Brown Butter Plain Cookies Recipe By: Cece Kirkwood This post may contain affiliate links.

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You asked and I am a woman of my word! I present to you the Brown Butter Plain cookies! And while the name might suggest that the flavor might be “lacking”, I can promise you, these are nothing but deliciously perfect. 

Close up photo of Brown Butter Plain Cookies

This is the best cookie dough base I have ever created. Truly, when I developed it last year, I could not stop baking it. I turned it into a base for my single serve cookie and then dressed it up for my ebook exclusive apple caramel cookie. Then, well… I couldn’t stop

But then I thought… what if I stopped adding fillings to the cookie base and instead, just had it as a cookie. I’ve taken simplicity to a whole new level by infusing rich, nutty flavor into every bite with the magic of browned butter.

Imagine a cookie that’s perfectly balanced – not too sweet, not too bland – just irresistibly delicious. That’s what you’ll get with our Brown Butter Plain Cookie. 

Trust me, once you try these Brown Butter Plain Cookies, you’ll never look at plain cookies the same way again.

So, shall we dig in? 😉 

The Ingredients for the Brown Butter Plain Cookie Cookies 

The cookies are created using your basic cookie ingredients. 

  • Butter: Butter gives cookies its structure and rich flavor. When creamed with sugar, butter can also act as a leavening agent, giving it an extra “lift”. Finally, this butter will be browned in the recipe which gives the cookies an extra nutty flavor and gives the cookies a wonderful chew on the outside, while still maintaining a soft inside. 
  • Flour: While butter does help with structure, flour is the real structure queen. Without flour, there would be nothing for the flour and other ingredients to bind to. 
  • Baking soda: The main leavening agent. Baking soda is purely “sodium bicarbonate”, but it needs to be activated by an acid in order to produce CO2. When it’s combined with the flour and sugar, the gas is released and the cookies rise! 
  • Morton’s Kosher salt: Salt is a great balancer to the sweetness of the brown sugar and vanilla in this recipe. Kosher salt is extra salty so make sure you stick to the right amount of it in the recipe! Learn more about all the different types of salt here! 
  • Our sugars – brown sugar and granulated sugar: Sugar gives both moisture and flavor to our cookies, but too much of one or the other can alter the baked good, so be sure to measure carefully! 
  • Vanilla: flavor, flavor, flavor. Vanilla is the best flavor enhancer in a cookie and without it your cookies may turn out flat!  
  • Egg: Using the whole egg in your cookies provides structure, flavor, color and binding! Without an egg, these coffee cake cookies won’t bind together fully when baking. 

The Process 

Brown the butter and let it cool:

  • To brown the butter, grab a light colored pan (this helps with being able to spot when the butter is browned enough) and place it over medium heat. 
  • Add the cubed butter to the pan and continuously stir with a wooden or rubber spoon to keep the heat moving evenly across all the butter.
  • The butter will quickly melt and start to foam and sizzle. This is good! Keep things going for another 5-8 minutes until the butter turns a nice golden brown. 
  • Hint: Once it starts to smell nice and toasty and nutty, you are about 3 minutes away from it being done! 
  • Immediately remove the butter from heat and place it into a heat proof container to completely cool to room temperature. 

Prepare my go-to cookie dough base: 

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF and pre-measure the ingredients into separate bowls.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set that aside. 
  • In a medium sized bowl, add the butter, both sugars.
  • Mix together using a rubber spatula or whisk until fully combined. 
  • Add the egg and vanilla and continue to mix until just combined. 
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix using a rubber spatula until everything is combined. Be sure to wipe down the sides of the bowls to make sure everything is evenly incorporated. 

Scoop and bake the cookies:

  • As there are no fillings to add to these Brown Butter Plain Cookies, next up, scoop the cookie dough into 1 inch balls and place them onto a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or silicone mats are my favorite). 
  • Bake the cookies for about 9-11 minutes, until just set. I like to check mine right around 9 minutes. You want the edges to just barely set and the middle to look a little “unbaked”. 
  • Remove from the oven and top with a sprinkle of sea salt to finish.
  • Leave the cookies on the pan for about 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to finish.

The Tips 

Why is this recipe in Grams?

Baking is a science and in science you want things to be exact and precise. The best way to do this is by weighing out your ingredients using a simple scale. Ever baked a cookie using the same recipe, yet somehow it turns out slightly different each time? That is because when measuring by volume, you can’t be as precise. It is vital that your ingredient ratios are accurate for a reliable bake every time. 

How long do Brown Butter Plain Cookies last in the fridge?

I find that in an air-tight bag, the Brown Butter Plain Cookies will last about 1-2 weeks in the fridge! 

Absolutely, you can! I love these cookies plain because my goodness, they are delicious just as plain and perfect as they are. BUT, you can add anything from chocolate chips, to cinnamon, or even strawberries to the mix! Check out my other cookie recipes which use this dough as a base:

Brown Butter Plain Cookies

The Brown Butter Plain Cookies Recipe

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Brown Butter Plain Cookies

Stacked Brown Butter Plain Cookies

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And while the name may suggest the flavor to be “lacking”, I promise you, these Brown Butter Plain Cookies are nothing but delicious.

  • Author: Cece
  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 35 min
  • Yield: 9 Cookies 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 stick of butter, browner and cooled
  • 160g all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp morton’s kosher salt
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 85g packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • Sea Salt to top

Instructions

Brown the butter and let it cool:

  • Grab a light colored pan and place it over medium heat.
  • Add the cubed butter to the pan and continuously stir with a wooden or rubber spoon to keep the heat moving evenly across all the butter.
  • The butter will quickly melt and start to foam and sizzle.
  • Keep things going for another 5-8 minutes until the butter turns a nice golden brown.
  • Immediately remove the butter from heat and place it into a heat proof container until lightly cooled

Prepare the cookie dough base:

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF and pre-measure the ingredients into separate bowls.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set that aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, add the butter, both sugars.
  • Mix together using a rubber spatula or whisk until fully combined.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and continue to mix until just combined.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix using a rubber spatula until everything is combined.

Scoop and bake the cookies:

  • Scoop the cookie dough into 1 inch balls and place them onto a lined baking sheet
  • Bake the cookies for about 9-11 minutes, until just set.
  • Remove from the oven and top with a sprinkle of sea salt to finish.
  • Leave the cookies on the pan for about 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to finish.

Did you make this recipe?

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Baking By Cece is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Influencer Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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