Brown Butter Cookies with Sea Salt

Brown Butter Cookies with Flaky Sea Salt

I can’t get enough brown butter. Show me any recipe that says it and I will pretty much make it. These brown butter cookies with sea salt are similar in flavor to these brown butter shortbread cookies, but with a softer texture and a nice hit of salt. I love the sweet/salty combo so these hit all the right notes for me.

These cookies are super fast to make and I love that about them. It only takes a few minutes to make the dough and you can bake them right away, no time in the refrigerator first. I topped these with this flaky sea salt, but any sea salt with larger grains will work. I also use this sea salt in my salted caramel sauce, and any other place where nice flaky sea salt is used. I used one of my favorite cookie scoops to scoop them out.

Cookie Balls

Let’s talk a little more about making brown butter. If you haven’t made it before, it is easy to overbrown it and burn it, so here are some pictures of how it should look.

Unmelted butter

Place your cold butter in a light colored sauce pan so you can observe the color. Heat over medium heat.

Foaming butter

Initially, as the butter melts and heats, it will foam up. Gently swirl the pan to observe the color under the foam and keep heating over medium heat. The smell of the butter changes as it starts to caramelize the milk solids so you can observe the color and also the smell.

Starting to brown

As the milk solids start to caramelize, you will see these brown bits start to form around the edges of the pan and in the bottom. Keep swirling and observing these. You want them to brown to golden but you don’t want them to burn.


See how the browned bits have started to darken to a nice golden brown color? This is where you stop and immediately pour this butter out of the hot pan and into a heat safe bowl. Scrape the pan with a silicone spatula to remove all those good browned solids. It is ready to use!

Brown Butter Cookies with Sea Salt

Tasty brown butter cookies with sea salt topping
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 14 cookies


  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • flaky sea salt


  • Heat oven to 325 and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Brown the butter as show in the post. Heat over medium, swirling, until the butter is golden brown and then pour into a mixing bowl.
  • Add the brown sugar and vanilla and whisk.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and baking soda together.
  • Stir into the butter until just combined. Will look like wet sand.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to scoop balls onto tray and sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake for 7-8 minutes until golden brown, rotating half way through. Cook on the sheet for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.
Keyword Cookies, Dessert

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