Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies with Lemon Buttercream

by Heather on May 25, 2011

Have you ever browned butter before?

Lord help me, I just might burn my tongue trying to lick the pan the next time I brown butter.  That nutty, buttery (duh), rich aroma is only slightly indicative of the massive amount of nutty, buttery, richness that will befall your tastebuds and I almost can’t stand it.  I’m afraid that if Nate hadn’t have been standing right next to me I would be typing this with gauze taped to my tongue.

Hey, anything could happen.

But what if – just what if – you balance the richness with a little zing of lemon zest?  OH, and extra butter?  AND SUGAR.  Whoa now, I’m getting a little excited…but I just can’t help it.

Sometimes I meet people who say crazy things like, “Oh, I don’t like dessert,” or “I forgot to eat food today.”  Really?  I don’t believe that…food is the guiding force of my day.  I think in terms of food.  I decide my day on when I’ll eat, what I’ll eat, how good it is, and how I can blog about it.  I dream about menus and grocery shopping and what pairs well with what thing, what’s in season, how can I make that thing over there – that healthy stalk of celery – how can I make that decadent.

OK that’s a lie – I hate celery and would likely never make you eat it.  Unless it’s flavor is masked by bacon.  Or garlic.  I do this out of love.

Really though, imagining a world without food – scratch that, a DAY without food – is pure insanity to me. Purely.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter sliced thinly + 4 Tbsp at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • zest and juice from 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350.  In a small skillet over medium low heat brown the butter by adding it to the pan and let it bubble, stirring constantly.  As you start to see some brown in the color take note; it won’t take long to finish from there.  Pour immediately into a cold bowl to stop cooking.  Cream together the browned butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  If you’re at a higher altitude then refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  Roll into 1 tsp balls and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes until the edges are just slightly brown.  Let cool completely before adding the frosting.


For the frosting beat together the 4 Tbsp of softened butter with the 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Add the lemon zest and half of the juice.  If the icing is spreadable, stop there; if it needs more liquid add just a touch of the lemon juice.  Spread on the cooled cookies and enjoy!

Oh goodness.  Oh me oh my.  Sorry, my mouth is too full to talk…

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