Brown Butter Bourbon Snickerdoodles
Traditional snickerdoodles taste like the best version of a cinnamon sugar cookie and are generally soft and chewy, thanks to the addition of cream of tartar. These snickerdoodles, however, take it a few steps further with the addition of both brown butter AND bourbon. Adding those two ingredients adds a richness and makes for a warm and comforting combination that makes these cookies infinitely better than their standard counterpart. The best part? These snickerdoodles are a small batch baking recipe that comes together quickly and yields just 8 perfect cookies.
- All-purpose flour: Only 1¼ cups of flour is needed for this small batch recipe.
- Baking soda: To help our cookies puff up nicely.
- Cream of tartar: A traditional snickerdoodle ingredient; it helps keeps these cookies soft and chewy.
- Cinnamon: These are snickerdoodles, after all... You'll use some for the dough and some for the rolling mixture.
- Salt: To help balance out the sweetness; don't skip it!
- Butter: I prefer using unsalted butter; however, if you only have salted butter on hand, just leave out the additional salt that the recipe calls for!
- Sugar: These cookies use a mixture of dark brown sugar and granulated sugar. You can use light brown sugar instead of dark, if that's all you have!
- Egg yolk: Instead of a whole egg, these snickerdoodles only need 1 large egg yolk.
- Bourbon: Our flavor enhancer. I like to use Angel's Envy Bourbon Finished in Port Barrels because it has subtly distinct flavor nuances that enhance the whiskey without challenging it.
- Sour cream: This provides a hint of tang to the cookies; you can replace it with an equal amount of Greek yogurt!
Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
Can I leave out the bourbon?
You can! For a more traditional (kid-friendly) version of these snickerdoodles, just replace the bourbon with vanilla extract!
Do I have to chill the cookie dough?
Technically, no! These cookies can be baked right away; just note that skipping the recommended chill time will result in snickerdoodles that are much flatter! If your dough looks or feels a little too mushy/warm, a short 10-15min chill in the fridge wouldn't hurt!
Can I double this brown butter bourbon snickerdoodles recipe?
Yes! You can easily double the recipe. You can adjust the ‘servings’ slider from 8 to 16 in the recipe card to get the proper measurements.
Help! My cookies came out crumbly and dry! What did I do wrong?
If you used cup measures as opposed to weight measures, your ingredients were probably a little off. As weird as this sounds, measuring cups aren’t as accurate as you think. For example, somebody who scoops the measuring cup into the flour will have way more than somebody who uses a spoon to scoop the flour into the same sized measuring cup. (And the person who spoons the flour into the measuring cup will probably still have more than the needed amount). This is why you should really be measuring by weight with a kitchen scale instead; it’s much more reliable and completely eliminates any inconsistencies.
Alternatively, if you measured your ingredients by weight and the cookies still came out too dry, you overbaked them, which is pretty self-explanatory.
Brown Butter Bourbon Snickerdoodles
For the Cookies:
- 150 g all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 113 g unsalted butter cubed
- 110 g dark brown sugar
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 15 g bourbon
- 8 g sour cream
For the Rolling Mixture:
- 25 g granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- For the cookies, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt until they are well combined. Set aside the mixture.
- Place the butter in a light-colored skillet. (A light-colored skillet will help you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, the butter will start to foam. Keep stirring. After 5 to 8 minutes, the butter will begin browning; you’ll notice that lightly browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan, and you’ll start to smell a nutty aroma. Once the butter is browned, immediately remove it from the heat and pour it into a medium heat-safe bowl.
- Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar to the brown butter, and whisk until they are combined. Add in the egg yolk, bourbon, and sour cream, and whisk until fully incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients and mix them with a silicone spatula until the flour is completely incorporated. Put the bowl in the fridge, and chill the dough for 15 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and make the rolling mixture. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then set it aside.
- Using a large (3-tablespoon) spring-loaded cookie scoop, scoop the dough into eight pieces and roll them into balls. Toss the balls in the rolling mixture, then place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are lightly browned on the sides; the centers will look very soft. Remove the pan from the oven, and cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days