Dear brown butter… let’s run away together. We’ll make beautiful cookies, and live happily ever after.
These are not your average sugar cookie. They are nutty and fragrant, packed with spices like cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon. The smell alone will make you swoon. One bite through their crunchy exterior and soft, chewy interior and you’ll be hooked. The brown butter and brown sugar give these a depth of flavor most snickerdoodles lack, and make them dangerously addictive alongside a cup of tea or coffee.
As much as I love these cookies, I had to exercise some serious restraint to keep from eating them all. This batch wasn’t for me… they were getting ready to be packaged up and shipped off to be part of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013!
This is the third year of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and each year I’ve wanted to participate, but somehow missed the deadline, or been too busy to fit it in. Not this time! This time I sprung into action and donned my oven mitts with pride.
In case you aren’t familiar with The Swap, it was all started by two of my favorite bloggers — Lindsey of Love & Olive Oil, and Julie of The Little Kitchen — as a way for food bloggers to connect and share with each other. After the first year’s success, they partnered with Cookie’s For Kid’s Cancer, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for children’s cancer research. This year more than six hundred food bloggers participated in the cookie swap, and together they helped raise over 13,000 dollars! Not to mention spread some serious cookie love.
Each blogger who signs up receives the names and address of three other participants, chosen at random, and ships one dozen cookies to each. That means that this year alone, more than 22,000 cookies got shipped all over the world. That’s a lot of cookies!
Today, all of those bloggers are posting their cookie recipes on their blogs. They will all be compiled into one big round up, which I’ll post the link to once it goes live. You can also check out all the cookies from the previous years here, and here.
I mentioned earlier that I had to restrain myself from eating all of my cookies before shipping them off… but my willpower was rewarded by the incredible cookies I received! Thank you to Emily (The Answer Is Always Pork), Rebecca (Corks and Cake), and Laura (A Healthy Jalapeno), for all the delicious cookies!
Russian Teacakes (top), Peanut Butter Cookies (left), and White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies (right)
And thank you to Lindsey and Julie for making this cookie swap happen, and introducing me to some incredible bloggers!
Now, who’s ready for some cookies?
Brown Butter Chai Spiced Snickerdoodles
Makes about 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on size
1 cup (2 sticks, or 8oz) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp. fine grain sea salt)
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper
1/8th-1/4 tsp. cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3rd cup granulated sugar + 1 TBSP cinnamon, for rolling
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.
2. In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter starts bubbling, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter smells nutty and has turned golden brown. Be careful not to cook the butter too long, or the small browned bits at the bottom of the pan will burn and turn bitter. Once browned, pour the butter into a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) and set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
4. Once the brown butter has cooled, add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat together thoroughly, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
5. Stir the flour mixture into the butter, sugar, and eggs, mixing until there are no dry spots left. In a shallow dish (I like to use a pie plate) mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon.
6. Using a small cookie scoop (about 1 1/2-2 TBSP) shape the dough into balls and then roll in the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place the dough balls on your prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Flatten the top of each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the center of the cookies are just barely set and the tops have begun to crack. They may look slightly under-done, but will finish cooking as they cool. For a crispier cookie, bake a little longer. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Once completely cooled, cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week… but they probably won’t last that long.