Sunday, December 22, 2013

Browned Butter Crinkles

Browned Butter Crinkles - made December 15, 2013 from Mmm....Cafe
This is one of those recipes where it had me at "browned butter" in the title. The cookies were easy to make and I formed them into thick discs before freezing them.  When I had my marathon holiday baking session, I just popped them into the oven to bake while I made the frosting. I'm not a big fan of frosted cookies but since that's what earned them the right to use browned butter in the title, I had to make the frosting.
But my secret confession is I hardly ever follow the exact measurements when it comes to frosting. I know that goes against the "science" part of baking where everything is supposed to be exact but when it comes to frosting, I'm a rebel. Since I'm not a frosting person and find most frostings too sweet and applied too thickly on baked goods, I tend to do my own thing.  Meaning I started with half the amount of powdered sugar the recipe called for, added the browned butter and vanilla then alternately mixed in powdered sugar and heavy cream until the frosting was the taste and consistency I wanted. I know I didn't want it too sweet because I wanted the browned butter flavor to come out and not be overpowered by the sugar.
For the most part, I think the tactic worked.  The recipe made too much frosting for the 2 dozen or so cookies I ended up with but that's probably because I didn't pile the frosting onto each cookie.  It set like a royal icing which was good because I could wrap each cookie individually in plastic wrap and stack them gently on top of one another in the treat bags and boxes I made up and didn't have to worry about the frosting smearing anything. Although the frosting worked decently well with the cookies, I also thought the cookies were good without the frosting. It's just a basic sugar cookie when it's "naked" but still good. Although I guess then they would just be called "crinkles" without the sexy brown butter appellation.
2 sticks butter, softened 
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups flour
sugar for rolling cookie dough balls in  
  1. Beat the butter and sugar together. Add the egg yolks and salt and mix well. Add the baking soda and vanilla extract then fold in the flour. Stir until combined.
  2. Form balls the size of walnuts and chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Roll each of the balls in sugar and press flat with the bottom of a glass and place on an ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let the cookies stand for 1 minute on the cookie sheet. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely, then frost with browned butter frosting. 
Browned Butter Frosting 
1 stick butter (4 ounces or 1/2 cup) 
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream or more for desired consistency
  1. In a small skillet, brown butter over medium heat until golden brown flecks appear. Butter will become a little foamy. Stir now and then to make the butter cooks evenly. Remove from heat and cool slightly. 
  2. Add butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and cream to a large bowl. Beat on medium high until a creamy texture to your liking forms. Spread onto cooled butter crinkles.

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