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Just baked brown butter snickerdoodles on a sheet pan.

Brown Butter (+Bourbon) Snickerdoodles


These brown butter snickerdoodles are sugar-crusted, soft and chewy, and scented with toasty notes of brown sugar, bourbon, and vanilla. The bourbon absolutely can be omitted — I’ve made them without it — and the cookies are still divine.

As with all baking, for best results use a scale to measure the ingredients.

Adapted from Jesse Szewczyk’s Cookies: The New Classics

Jesse’s notes:

  • Any whiskey or dark, spiced rum can be used in place of the bourbon.
  • The dough can be made ahead and stored in the fridge several days before baking. If too firm to scoop, let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. (I like to portion the softened dough; then stash the dough balls in the fridge.)
  • The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.



  • 16 tablespoons (226 g) unsalted butter
  • 2.5 cups (320 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) kosher salt
  • 1.25 cups (250 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 0.5 cup (100 g) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) bourbon, optional, see notes
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) cinnamon


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue cooking, until the butter foams and then darkens in color slightly and is very fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the butter immediately to a heatproof bowl, and let it cool at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 350ºF. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. As the butter is cooling, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, 1 cup (200 g) of the sugar, and the brown sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Add the cooled brown butter, the beaten eggs, the vanilla, and bourbon. Stir with a spatula until you have a cohesive dough.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar and the cinnamon.
  5. Using a medium 1.75-inch (#40) scoop (which is about 2 tablespoons) portion the dough into balls. Note: I use a digital scale and portion the dough into 50 gram balls — not necessary, but I love knowing the balls all weigh the same and so in turn will bake the same. 
  6. Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon and sugar and transfer 8 to the prepared sheet pan. (NOTE: Some commenters have had trouble with the cookies spreading. If you are worried about spreading, consider chilling the portioned dough balls for 1 to 3 hours or even longer before baking. I often portion cookie dough balls, transfer them to an airtight container, and chill for 24 hours.) Bake for 8 to 11 minutes — dough balls will puff up and they will look not completely cooked, but you should remove them anyway — they’ll collapse and continue to cook as they cool. I do find that overcooking snickerdoodles renders them more light and cake-like and less chewy. Remove the pan from the oven. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheets; then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Repeat with the other dough balls or transfer them to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: snickerdoodles, brown butter, Christmas