Sunday, September 16, 2012

Salted Caramel Browned Butter Cookies

These were delicious!!  The nutty flavor of browned butter combined with the salted caramel flavor is just wonderful.  Don't skip the sea salt on these- I tried one without and the flavor wasn't nearly as good as with the salt.  If you don't have any kind of sea salt (it doesn't have to be fancy!), try kosher salt, but I wouldn't use plain table salt to top these, as that flavor can be too harsh. 

My butter wouldn't brown at first; it was just sizzling away without changing color.  I figured maybe there was too much butter to brown, so I poured some out, and the remaining butter seemed to brown almost instantly.  Then I just mixed all of the butter together and it was perfect. 

For the frosting, I used part Smucker's caramel ice cream topping, part squeezable Dulce de Leche.

Salted Caramel Browned Butter Cookies
adapted from Cooking Classy

1 cup salted butter, diced into cubes
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for rolling cookies

1.  Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook just until butter has browned, swirling occasionally (butter will go through stages- it will melt, then splatter a bit, then foam and golden bubbles will begin to appear in the center on the surface with little brown specs - this is when you want to remove it; don't burn it). Pour butter (and scrape out all of the browned butter with a rubber spatula) into a heat proof bowl. Allow butter to cool until just warm to the touch, about 20 - 25 minutes.

2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. Add cooled butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and light-brown sugar to an electric stand mixer and mix until well blended. Add in egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until combine. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

3.  Place 2 Tbs. sugar in a small bowl.  Scoop dough out 1 1/2 Tbsp at a time and form into balls; roll balls in sugar to evenly coat. Place sugar coated dough balls onto a Silpat lined or greased baking sheet. Using the bottom of a flat measuring cup or drinking glass gently flatten each ball to 1/2 inch, then bake in preheated oven 8-11 minutes.

4.  Allow to cool several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost each cookie with Salted Caramel Frosting (recipe below) and sprinkle each cookie evenly with a small pinch of sea salt immediately following (so the salt sticks before frosting sets). Store cookies in a single layer in an airtight container.

Salted Caramel Frosting

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp caramel sauce, caramel ice cream topping, or squeezable Dulce de Leche
1/4 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

pinch sea salt
about 3/4 tsp coarse sea salt

1.  In a large mixing bowl, using and electric hand mixer on low speed, whip together caramel sauce, butter, vanilla and pinch salt until pale and smooth; about 1 minute.  Add in powdered sugar and mix until well blended and smooth.  Frost cooled cookies.  Use coarse sea salt to sprinkle over frosted cookies.

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LadyJayPee said...

I know I would love this. Browned butter makes everything better!

What a Dish! said...

And sea salt!