brown butter walnut sugar cookies

Brown butter walnut sugar cookies are the perfect roll-out cookie for the holidays! Dressed up with candied walnuts and festive sprinkles, I’m dreaming of these rich and buttery cookies as a delicious treat while gift wrapping, decorating, and enjoying a mug of hot cocoa!

Brown Butter Walnut Sugar Cookies

In the spirit of the holidays, I’ve teamed up with my friends from Santé Nuts to bring you the ultimate recipe for your holiday cookie exchange!

With finely chopped candied walnuts incorporated into the dough, the soft and tender sugar cookies hold their shape in the oven and pair beautifully with swirls of brown butter cream cheese frosting. With a melt-in-your-mouth texture, these cookies are irresistible down to the last crumb!

Brown Butter Walnut Sugar Cookies

Brown Butter Walnut Sugar Cookies

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Brown Butter Walnut Sugar Cookies

Brown Butter Walnut Sugar Cookies


Brown butter walnut sugar cookies are the perfect roll-out cookie for the holiday season! Try these rich and buttery cookies for your next cookie exchange.



  • 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

Brown Butter Walnut Sugar Cookies

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Santé Nuts. All opinions expressed are my own.

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  1. Love how you created a fancier sugar cookie by browning the butter, adding candied walnuts, a special frosting and holiday sprinkles for a more festive holiday sugar cookie! Just brilliant, Laura. 🙂 As always, thank you for sharing. Pinning!

      1. Got your candied nut recipe . Perfect ,ty. Using a Star of David cookie cutter and blue sprinkles . Same great cookie, different holiday !

    1. Thanks Karen! You can store the decorated cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Loosely cover the tray with plastic wrap after they’ve chilled for at least 30 minutes (the frosting sets up nicely with a brief chill). Hope that helps! 🙂