While frantically studying for my final anatomy exam, I stress-ordered a cookbook from Amazon, like normal people totally do. Right? Anyway, said cookbook was Baked Elements, the third offering from the Baked bakery team. I own the first two, only seemed necessary to get the third. And oh boy. I took it with me on exam day to relieve some stress, and a few classmates and I spent most of our time before the exam drooling at the recipes.
I knew I had volunteered to bake for a bake sale the coming week, so when I saw "Browned Butter Snickerdoodles" I knew what I'd be baking first. Snickerdoodles are one of those of cookies that I often tend to forget just how much I like until I have them again. It's so easy to see the decadent cookies full of chocolate and caramel and peanut butter and who knows what decorating the pages of Pinterest and think that a simple cinnamon-sugar chewy cookie is boring. But mention snickerdoodles, and pretty much everyone will go "oh my gosh I love snickerdoodles!" They might be a little plain, but that doesn't make them any less delicious.
All of this is just a really long way to say, I made snickerdoodles. Chewy ones. With lots of cinnamon. And browned butter. And they were delicious. The browned butter adds a nuttiness and depth that makes these just a little more special than your average snickerdoodle. And these have a great chew: nice, firmly chewy, not just the soft and crumbly that gets passed off as chewy. Of course, a substantial segment of my readership probably actually had them at the bake sale, so you guys don't need me to tell you any of this!
Browned butter snickerdoodles
Adapted from Baked Elements, by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito
Like most Baked cookie recipes, you need to let the dough rest at least an hour or up to 24. I did 24 just because it was more convenient for me to split the baking between nights. Also, the recipe recommends straining the browned butter but the authors note this isn't necessary, so I left that step out. I also used almond milk since that's all I had on hand, but I think actual milk might be a better choice.
8 ounces (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until the foam subsides and the butter turns nut brown. Watch it carefully, it can go from brown to burnt very quickly, and remove from heat, pouring butter directly into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat butter on medium-low speed for 5 to 7 minutes to bring it to room temperature.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon.
In a small bowl, combine the eggs and milk and whisk gently.
Once butter is cooled, turn of the mixer, add 1 cup of granulated sugar and the brown sugar and beat on medium about 2 minutes. Scrape down the side and bottom and beat another few seconds. Turn mixer to low and pour in egg mixture in a steady stream. Beat until thoroughly combined, about 30-45 seconds.
Add flour mixture in three parts, beating on low after each addition until barely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and and form dough into a mound in the middle of the bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or up to 24.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, stir together the remaining sugar and cinnamon.
For bigger cookies, use a 2 tablespoon ice cream scoop to scoop dough into balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar. Or if you are me, and want slightly smaller cookies and have no scoop, use a tablespoon to spoon out dough, roll into a ball with your hands, and then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Place on cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart and bake for about 10 minutes (less for smaller cookies, around 8-9 minutes), until cookies are cracked with set fissures.
Cool for 10 minutes in pan and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for about 3 days.