Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

When Productivity Levels Are High, Snickerdoodles Happen

Good morning!

My cold is gone and I’m back in action. After two days of nothing but soup and rest, I’m happy to report that I had the most productive day of all time yesterday. Disclaimer: that might be an exaggeration. I’m quite pleased with myself and the laundry list of tasks I completed, starting with… laundry… and ending with a big batch of snickerdoodles.



Let’s talk a little more about the snickerdoodles.

121114 snickerdoodle pile

Holy crap you guys. These are GREAT. I told Andrew he could pick two holiday cookies he wanted me to bake this year. One of his picks was a snickerdoodle, a cookie I’ve long been a fan of but never attempted to make at home. I’ve baked a lot of cookies in my day, but most snickerdoodle recipes call for cream of tartar, an ingredient I don’t typically have on hand. Well, my kitchen is now stocked with a full container – minus two teaspoons – of cream of tartar. So any neighbors-in-need out there, you know who to call.


Once I had decided to attempt a more involved cookie recipe (it takes but one unusual ingredient to be deemed ‘a lot of work’ in my book, apparently), I figured I might as well go all out! Having unchecked all my usual requirement boxes (ie. must have all ingredients on hand, dough must not need to be refrigerated, no separating of whites from yolks, etc), I quickly found a drool-worthy recipe. Not only did it come from a very trustworthy source, Ambitious Kitchen, but I had an immediate feeling the recipe could end up becoming a permanent card in my recipe box.


So how ‘involved’ is this recipe, you ask? Quite. Maybe sit down for this:

  • Cream of tartar
  • Greek yogurt
  • Dough needs to be refrigerated for three hours
  • Calls for one egg, plus one egg yolk
  • Brown butter (!!!)


I had never browned butter before this recipe, but it really wasn’t so bad. I read the instructions three times before starting because browning butter seems like something you only get one shot at. You basically melt the butter over medium heat, whisking constantly while bubbles form and then become smaller until a foam forms and the butter turns a caramel color. Supposedly, the butter also takes on a nutty smell when it’s reached the perfect level of browning, but my smell receptors are still recovering from my cold earlier in the week, so I missed that particular signal. My point is, don’t be afraid of recipes that call for brown butter. It’s very doable.

121114 snickerdoodle bite

Ok, enough already. How about that recipe?


Brown Butter Snickerdoodles
Makes about 3 dozen cookies



2 ½ cups flour
1 t baking soda
2 t cream of tartar
½ t cinnamon
½ t salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1 t vanilla
1 T plain greek yogurt

For the rolling mixture:
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 t cinnamon

121114 snickerdoodle ball


1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, whisking constantly until foamy and dark brown. Pour into a separate bowl to cool completely. I actually put mine in the refrigerator for about 15 mins. You want it to be cool to the touch.

3. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs, vanilla, and greek yogurt.

4. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours. (Note: While 3 hours is probably ideal, I’ll admit I was too impatient to chill the dough for 3 whole hours. I stuck mine in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and then the freezer for another 30. The dough was nice and chilled and easy to work with, and the cookies baked up perfectly.)

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form dough into balls and roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture to coat. Place on a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Press down on each ball slightly.

6. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. These took 11 minutes in my oven. Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

121114 cooling cookie

Despite my initial rant, these cookies really weren’t that much work. Chilling the dough gave me time to clean up the kitchen, I learned how to make brown butter, and now that I have cream of tartar on hand, I can whip up another batch of snickerdoodles at a moment’s notice.


If you’ve got a little bit of patience and a crowd to please, I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. You shall not be disappointed.


Happy baking!



Question: What’s your favorite holiday cookie? I’ve always loved peanut butter thumbprints with hershey’s kisses and of course sugar cookies, but I made some gingerbread cookies with lemon icing last year that I liked so much I might need to make them again this year.


(Full credit to Ambitious Kitchen for this one; I only made minor modifications)

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