Sunday, July 7, 2013

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

These brown butter salted caramel snickerdoodles just simply sound amazing.  So many words, flavors, and things are going on in the title alone: the butter will be browned, meaning it adds a nutty flavor; there are pieces of caramel baked into each cookie; the salt has been increased from an average snickerdoodle recipe, and the cookies are sprinkled with coarse sea salt so you get that salty-sweet experience... just in reading the title, I knew immediately I had to try them out.  I figured they would fit in perfectly with my cookie tray that I planned to bring to the Cormiers' lake house in the White Mountains, so I made a double batch.  Snickerdoodles, meet your evil but oh-so-tempting twin, brown butter salted caramel snickerdoodle!

This was my first time making brown butter, and I admit I was a little nervous!  I have read about it before and I know that adding brown butter to any recipe ramps it up a bit, and so I was excited but worried.  I know there is a fine line between brown butter and burned, bitter butter!  I watched it carefully and took it off in time.  The color gets darker even after you take it off the heat, so make sure you take yours off before it is that dark brown color that brown butter should be.

The caramels get cut into squares and hidden in the center of each cookie, so that you get a little surprise in each one!  I cut my squares pretty small, so I probably could have added more than one piece, but I liked that the caramels weren't overwhelming.

I'd have to say the best part of the cookie is the salty-sweet flavor.  There is a half teaspoon of sea salt in the cookies themselves, and you sprinkle them with a bit more once they're formed.  It's not super salty, but just enough of a bite to contrast with the sugar.  I always like salty-sweet, but my family is a bit pickier; however, these cookies proved that, when done right, sugar and salt can be enjoyed by everyone.  Everyone loved them and they went fast!  Kelsey says she hates salty-sweet but loved the cookies somehow anyway.  They were just a fun and interesting little cookie!


brown butter salted caramel snickerdoodle
yield: 2 dozen cookies


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, sliced
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1 cup caramel squares, cut into quarters

for rolling the cookies:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

sea salt, for sprinkling after baking


1)  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.

2) To brown the butter, heat a thick-bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced butter, whisking frequently.  Continue to whisk the butter until melted.  The butter will start to foam and browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan.  The butter should have a nutty aroma.  Watch the butter carefully because it can go from brown to burnt very quickly. Remove the butter form the heat and let cool to room temperature.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown butter and the sugars.  Mix until blended and smooth.  Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla and yogurt and mix until combined.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  

4) Form the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  You can chill the dough overnight.

5) When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls.  Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand and place a piece of caramel in the center of the dough.  Wrap the cookie dough around the caramel, making sure the caramel is completely covered by dough.

6) In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar.  Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Place the dough balls on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Make sure the cookies are about 2 inches apart.  Sprinkle the cookie tops with sea salt.

7) Bake the cookies 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown.  The centers will still be soft.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, or until set.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

The snickerdoodles are the non-marshmallow ones!

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