Brown butter makes these sweet and salty Pumpkin Spice Brown Butter Cookies magically nutty and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. They are perfect for welcoming in fall!
What is it about browning butter that makes it so magical? I mean, butter is pretty freaking delicious to begin with. But browning it takes it to a whole new level. I used to be kinda scared to brown butter, thought it was something only fancy pastry chefs could do. But the secret is really just keeping an eye on it. As long as you watch it and keep stirring it, it’s actually pretty easy.
We spend a decent amount of time wine tasting in Paso Robles, since it’s the closest fun thing to do to where we live (which is kind of the middle of nowhere). In fact, Molly has already been twice, on top of a couple times she went in-utero! Besides going to all our favorite wineries, there are a couple other places we have to stop every time we head out there. One spot is a cheese shop that has the most amazing creamy caramelized onion cheddar– oh em gee.
The other is a little place called The Brown Butter Cookie Company (their main store is in Cayucos, CA). They sell only one thing– you guessed it– brown butter cookies.
The first time someone told me about this place my response was — meh, I’m not a huge fan of crunchy cookies. Especially not crunchy cookies that cost $15 for half a dozen teeny tiny ones. But one day, while walking downtown, we decided to stop in. They have 6 or 8 flavors of their cookies and are always passing out generous samples of all the flavors. Well, color me corrected. Not only did I like these crunchy cookies, I loved them. And even understood their high price tag. They are amazing. Magical, addictive and amazing.
Sooooo… of course I had to find a copycat recipe! Because I need brown butter cookies in my life all the time, not just when I make a trip to wine country or the coast. Turns out the internet is in love with these cookies too, because I found a few different variations. Since it’s fall and all, I decided to make a pumpkin spice version– of course. You can never go wrong with a little pumpkin spice!
These Pumpkin Spice Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookies are little bites of heaven. I shared with friends, who questioned whether or not I put drugs in these– considering how addictive they are. Seriously. If you’re not a crunchy cookie fan, you’ve got to try these. They’re light and melt in your mouth, and will definitely change your opinion!
If you’ve never browned butter before, check out this tutorial.
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- Coarse sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
- Heat the butter in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, keep an eye on it, stirring constantly. Cook until the bits of milk solids are golden brown, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and continue stirring while the carry-over heat cooks the butter to a toasty brown.
- Transfer the brown butter to a large mixing bowl.
- Add brown sugar and vanilla and stir until well combined.
- In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
- Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes together and is well combined.
- Roll the dough into about 15 1-inch balls and place on lined baking sheet. Flatten each ball slightly. Sprinkle each with sea salt.
- Bake 15 minutes. Cool cookies completely, then serve or transfer to an airtight container.
Hurray for pumpkin season!! I can’t wait to make these!
These flavors sound incredible and I love the touch of sea salt!
These are the best! Pretty much like Cayucos version. My two kids are in Cal Poly and we discovered the same little store in Cayucos a while back. I’m so glad I found this recipe. Made them a couple of times now and shipped all the way from Texas to Cali for our kids and they love them. Thank you for posting.