Brown Butter Walnut Sugar Cookies

Brown Butter Walnut Sugar Cookies




  • 1 cup Santé candied walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 oz reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 oz reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

For Decorating


  1. Whisk together chopped walnuts, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until creamy; beat in cream cheese and egg until combined. Beat in vanilla until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; beat just until incorporated.
  2. Divide dough in half and roll out each half into just shy of a 1/4-inch thickness between two pieces of parchment paper. Transfer to the freezer (keep flat) and chill until firm, about 45 minutes (chilling the dough is essential). Once the dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the top layer of parchment paper from the dough and use cookie cutters to cut out cookies before transferring to prepared baking sheets. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 14 to 16 minutes, until lightly golden and tops and edges are set. Let cookies cool completely on baking sheets before decorating (cookies can be baked a day ahead).
  4. For the frosting, cook 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown. Pour brown butter into a mixer bowl and let cool to room temperature. Add butter and cream cheese, and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla and salt. Beat in powdered sugar on low speed until incorporated, then on medium speed until soft and creamy. If frosting is very soft, chill for 30 minutes before using.
  5. To decorate, use an offset spatula to spread swirls of frosting over cookies. Top with candied walnuts and sprinkles.


Yield will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutters. Make ahead: Shaped, unbaked cookies can be frozen up to 3 months and baked directly from the freezer, adding 1-2 minutes to baking time.

Keywords: Brown Butter, Walnut

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