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Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

Extraordinary brown butter snickerdoodles with a caramel like flavor from brown butter. These snickerdoodle cookies are rolled in cinnamon sugar for a crunchy exterior with a chewy middle. These incredible cookies will be your new go-to snickerdoodle recipe!

Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
50 mins

This snickerdoodle cookie recipe was first published back in 2012 and it continues to be one my personal favorite and most popular cookie recipes on Ambitious Kitchen.

Snickerdoodle cookie on parchment paper with a bite taken out

Brown butter snickerdoodle cookies with a bite taken out

original photos from 2012

Apparently, this cookie has become so popular that Tasty (along with a few others) decided to steal the recipe; but trust when I say that this is the original, real deal beloved brown butter snickerdoodle that I developed from scratch while living out in LA back when I was just 23 years old.

Seven years later, these brown butter snickerdoodles are tried and true and perfect for the holiday season. I’m sharing them with you again today, except this time, there’s new photos and updated instructions to ensure the utmost success!

brown butter snickerdoodle cookie dough

First off, let me say that these cookies are extraordinary. And when I mean extraordinary, I mean that they taste like no other snickerdoodle in the world.

IN THE FREAKIN’ WORLD PEOPLE.

Yes, all caps necessary.

brown butter snickerdoodle cookie dough

What’s a snickerdoodle cookie?

If you aren’t familiar with what a snickerdoodle is, let me explain: snickerdoodle cookies are traditionally a sugar cookie rolled in a cinnamon-sugar mixture with the addition of cream of tartar in the dough for that bit of tang flavor.

They’re absolutely amazing, and I swear there’s just something about snickerdoodles that are cozy and comforting around the holiday season.

brown butter snickerdoodle cookies on a baking sheet

Ingredients in brown butter snickerdoodles

  • Brown butter: these cookies require you to brown butter, and trust me, it makes ALL the difference to a rich, chewy caramel flavored cookie. If you don’t know how to brown butter, I’ve created a step-by-step tutorial show you how to make the magic happen.
  • Dark brown sugar + regular sugar: I used dark brown sugar in my dough, because frankly, it’s awesome and I find that a higher ratio of brown sugar vs. granulated sugar always makes a cookie more chewy and rich with that tiny hint of a caramel flavor.
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk: the extra add provides moisture and a rich texture.
  • Vanilla: always & forever.
  • Greek yogurt: a tablespoon is all you need to help create an epic textured cookie with just the right amount of chew. Don’t skip it! Of course, sour cream is a great substitute.
  • All purpose flour: this is the best flour for these cookies.
  • Baking soda: essential to the cookies texture. Make sure your baking soda is no more than 3 months old.
  • Cream of tartar: this creates a slight tangy flavor, which is a classic trait of a snickerdoodle!
  • Cinnamon: no snickerdoodle cookie is complete without a healthy dose of cinnamon.
  • Salt: adds additional flavor!

stack of brown butter snickerdoodle cookies

Tips for making the best snickerdoodles

  • Make sure you follow the recipe as directed. Do not use substitutions. This is a tried and true recipe and if made correctly, will easily become a family favorite!
  • Make sure your brown butter is cool enough to touch before using. I usually set it aside to cool for 10 minutes before making the recipe.
  • Scrape every little bit of brown butter from the pan. We want that flavor!
  • Don’t forget to add greek yogurt. If you don’t have greek yogurt, sour cream is a great substitute.
  • If you want to make it easier to bake the cookies, I suggest rolling them into balls before chilling the dough. That way you can simply place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake! Up to you.

stack of brown butter snickerdoodle cookies with bite taken out

How to freeze cookie dough for later

I LOVE freezing extra cookie dough because that way I can pop them in the oven whenever I want and it’s great when you want to bring something to a party or to a loved one’s house, but don’t feel like having a baking extravaganza. To freeze cookie dough for baking later:

  1. After dough is done chilling in the fridge for at least an hour, roll the cookie dough into balls and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes. This is known as a flash freeze.
  2. Once the cookie dough balls firm up, you can transfer them to a reusable freezer-safe bag or container. Cookie dough will keep well for up to 3 months.
  3. When ready to bake, simply bake cookies as directed in the recipe. You’ll likely just need to add a few extra minutes of baking time! Enjoy.

How to freeze baked cookies for later

If you want to freeze the already baked cookies for later, simply wait for them to cool completely, then transfer them to a reusable freezer-safe bag or container lined with wax or parchment paper. I like to place them in a single layer to avoid any cookies breaking. Cookies will keep well for up to 2 months. Once ready to eat, simply thaw out at room temperature and enjoy.

brown butter snickerdoodle cookie with a bite taken out

These cookies are simply perfect in texture and flavor. The outside is crispy, but the inside is gooey, flavorful (from that brown butter baby), and incredibly soft. Could you imagine eating these while sipping a chai tea latte?! Swoon!

So I know you probably have a million things to do this week, but perhaps you can add these delicious little cookies to your list too?

brown butter snickerdoodle cookies

If you make these brown butter snickerdoodles, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe — it means the world to me and helps others know how you enjoyed the cookies! xo.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

5 from 9 votes
Course Cookies, Dessert
Keyword snickerdoodle cookies, snickerdoodles
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Serves 24

Extraordinary brown butter snickerdoodles with a caramel like flavor from brown butter. These snickerdoodle cookies are rolled in cinnamon sugar for a crunchy exterior with a chewy middle. These incredible cookies will be your new go-to snickerdoodle recipe!

Ingredients

  • Dry ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Wet ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • For rolling mixture:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions

  1. First, brown your butter: add butter to a large saucepan and place over medium heat. The butter will begin to crackle, and then eventually foam. Make sure you whisk constantly during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a medium bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes or until cool enough to touch.

  2. Once brown butter is cool, add all of it to the bowl of an electric mixer, along with the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix on medium speed for about 1 minute.

  3. Next, add in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and yogurt and beat on medium speed until well combined, smooth and creamy; about 1-2 minutes.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Slowly the dry ingredients to the bowl of the electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed just until combined.

  5. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours or up to overnight. If you are super eager, place in freezer for 30-45 minutes, although I cannot promise the same results if you do this. Fridge is always best! If you desire a 'puffy' cookie, place them in the fridge overnight.

  6. Helpful tip: If you want to make it easier to bake the cookies, I suggest rolling them into balls BEFORE chilling the dough. That way you can simply place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake! Up to you. I simply roll them into balls, place on a plate or baking sheet and place in the fridge for a few hours.

  7. Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough is chilled measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. If dough is too hard to roll into a ball, you may need to let it sit out at room temperature for 10-20 minutes while your oven preheats.

  8. Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a bowl. Roll dough balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture, then place on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.

  9. Bake the cookies 8-12 minutes or until the edges of the 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.

  10. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 5 minutes. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes about 24 cookies.

Recipe Notes

Helpful tip: If you want to make it easier to bake the cookies, I suggest rolling them into balls before chilling the dough. That way you can simply place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake! Up to you.

To freeze cookie dough for later: see the post for helpful instructions.

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

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