Bless the soul who left a pot of butter on the stove a tad too long and after seeing it turn brown, still decided to use it to bake off a batch of cookies. I’m certain that’s how browned butter cookies were born. Cos, honestly, when my melting butter turned from rich golden to a nutty brown, I was certain I had ruined a perfectly good stick of fat. But apparently, that’s exactly what this recipe calls for. Browned butter. I wish I had taken photos of the process but I was a little panicky about how long I should leave the butter on the heat so I didn’t dare fiddle with getting a camera during the cooking process. But I think it suffices to say the butter has to become brown…not a golden brown, but brown. Like sand. It’ll give off a heady, almost nutty scent. Really the most intriguing thing.
As are the baked cookies. I think I added a pinch more cardamon than the recipe called for and I’m so glad I did. It was a lovely note of sweet spice to the buttery crisps. So much more delicate than the usual run of cinnamon or cloves in cookies and cakes. If I closed my eyes, I almost felt as if I was biting into an Indian or Middle-eastern dessert, laced with butter and cardamon it was. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
Browned Butter Crisps
(recipe from Egullet)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar (the original recipe called for 1 cup-way too sweet)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (I must have added close to 1/2 tsp)
1/8 tsp salt
- In a small heavy saucepan, melt the butter and continue to cook until it browns. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn. Let cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, mix browned butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the egg and mix until smooth.
- Stir the flour and spices until spices are distributed evenly; add to butter mixture and mix until blended thoroughly.
- Drop by teaspoonfuls on parchment lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, or until edges are turning golden and the tops have begun to crinkle.
- Let cool on the sheets for a few seconds, then remove and cool completely.