Brown Butter Icebox Cookies

Brown butter cookies (click through for recipe) I adore simple slice and bake cookies. They are the perfect companion to an afternoon or evening cup of coffee. Although I must say, I'm getting to the age that I just can't have caffeine past 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening if I want to sleep that night. I used to never understand why my grandmother, Norma Jean, would serve decaf coffee after a family dinner. But now I totally get it. Coffee tastes great with dessert, but I still want to sleep later that night. 🙂

Or maybe this has nothing to do with age. I don't really know. I just used to be able to drink coffee anytime of day and it didn't really affect me, but that has changed in the last year or so. Anyway, let's focus on the cookies for a second. 🙂

Brown butter cookies (click through for recipe)  Brown Butter Icebox Cookies, makes about four dozen.
Adapted from Taste of Home: The Ultimate Cookie Collection (first cookbook I ever owned).

1/2 cup brown butter (4 ounces)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water

Cream together the (softened) brown butter and sugar. I'm using some brown butter I saved from making brown butter popsicles. You can use regular butter if you like, but I highly recommend at least trying brown butter once, as I think you'll be amazed at the flavor difference (it's a little more sweet and nutty). Stir in the egg and vanilla extract. 

Measuring brown butterIn another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir this in with the butter mixture. If your batter seems too crumbly, add a tablespoon or two of water until a firm dough ball forms. I needed the full 2 tablespoons of water, so likely you will too.

Slice and bake cookiesRoll the dough into a long cylinder. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight. You can also leave this in the freezer, if it's well wrapped, for weeks and weeks and have it ready in case you have impromptu guests over or something. Always impressive to have homemade cookie dough ready in a snap.

When you're ready, slice the dough as thin as you can. It doesn't have to be perfect, trust me (see above). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Bake at 325°F for 10-12 minutes.

Brown butter cookies (click through for recipe)   Once the cookies have cooled slightly, drizzle or dip them in chocolate (or white chocolate), and add a sprinkle of sea salt. This part is totally optional, but I just love it.

Brown butter cookies (click through for recipe)Enjoy these and happy baking! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with Stella of the Signature Collection.

  • Hi there! I actually did a variation of this recipe and wrote about it on my blog:

    Just thought you might be interested in checking it out! The cookies came out truly delicious! 🙂


  • Like Jessie above, I have never seen brown butter before. I’m not sure we have it here in the UK. Will have to investigate!

  • Emma! I’m just done with this recipe (well, actually the bawl is in the freezer..héhé), and I just wanted to share a small tip as to make this recipe I didn’t have any eggs left in the fridge. To replace the egg, I used a spoon of corn flour and two small spoons of milk, and it works really good!

  • I can’t wait to make these! And yes, the brown butter makes a HUGE difference in taste. We make a brown butter mushroom polenta on the reg around here, and that nutty taste really makes it. I love your cookie posts, the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt cookie recipe from awhile ago is a house staple for us;)

  • Well these look absolutely incredible! Brown butter is one of my favorite flavors, and I can never get enough of thin, crispy cookies of any kind!

  • I made these yesterday and omg! Completely delish! They got a little crumbly when making the dough, but by adding a bit of water, it helped a lot. 🙂

  • This is such a great idea; I need to whip these up ASAP! I love the idea of keeping them in the freezer for impromptu guests such a brilliant idea, way more homely than just buying a cookie doll roll from the grocer.
    Beauty – Fashion – Healthy Living

  • First, I love love love your blog. Second, you mentioned coffee in the post, so I can only assume that’s what’s in the mug next to the cookies? Where did you get the clear coffee mugs? I think I need some now.

    The cookies look fantastic, and because they’re thin, eating just one of them isn’t going to break your calorie bank for the day! Thanks for sharing. 😀

  • These look so so so so so lush. Great post A Beautiful Mess. x

  • These look so delicious. I really like how thin they are. I kind of really love little taste teases. 🙂

  • I’m from New Zealand & we don’t have brown butter – what is it?

  • Anything with brown butter makes me SOOO INCREDULOUSLY HAPPY!!!!!! Loving these icebox cookies!!!!!! Would love to have 6 dozen of these with my evening coffee, please! <3

  • I’m a sucker for anything involving brown butter. I actually just bought a container of Vanilla Brown Butter Ice Cream earlier tonight (from Carmela’s Ice Cream in LA), so I’m going to have to try these cookies! Thx for the recipe! <3

  • To answer your little caffeine problem – I think it’s because over the past few years you’ve been eating and living healthier and that’s why your body turned more sensitive to caffeine 🙂

    Greetings from the Polish seaside! I love your blog, you guys 🙂

  • Brown butter, white chocolate and sea salt?! Omg…these cookies sound absolutely divine!! Unfortunately, I’m on a naturopath-prescribed diet that doesn’t allow me to eat either dairy or wheat…I’m so sad!! 🙁

  • Gah I’m the same but my cut off is about 2pm in the afternoon. Even a coke with dinner gets me, decaf it is 🙂 Delish!

  • These look really yummy. Looking forward to making some soon! 🙂

  • This reminds me of a cookie I made when I was in Taiwan. Good memories <3 The ingredients in here look simple so I’m eager to try this out!

    How much brown sugar should we add if we use regular butter?

  • Probably making these tonight. If not for any reason other than to eat that cookie dough. mmmmm!


  • These look so good! Will definitely have to give them a try! xx

  • I’ve never seen or heard of brown butter. Is it something I can make? It looks delish!

  • Sounds great. Any favorite brands of decaf coffee? It can be tricky to find a good one.

  • these sound so good! simple + yummy!


  • Good tip about having cookie dough in the freezer…I love the smell of home cooked cookies!!

  • Those cookies are looking fantastic and they’re so much fun to make!

  • LOL! We made the ridiculous-awesome brown-butter popsicles over the weekend (blog link to follow soon!) and I saw this post and thought, “hhm, well, here’s what to do with the leftover brown butter!” (That’s after my girl made brown butter frosting this weekend for her own blog…) Well done – another irresistable recipe we must try from you all!!

  • these look so yummy and easy too ! great recipe
    Lauren x
    Please nominate my blog for Best Lifestyle Blog and Newcomer here !
    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography –

  • I have actually never made homemade slice and bake cookies. The only ones I have made are the Tollhouse holiday ones. Looks yummy

  • this looks yum..and i love the idea of freezing for weeks! Thanks for sharing.


  • These look amazing! Love how thin they are! Perfect with a morning cup of coffee! 🙂

  • These don’t look very good to me. What was the texture like? Could they be left in longer to get a brown (read, baked) color?

  • Yum! And how clever to have the dough available in the freezer for surprise visitors (although I don’t think I would have managed to keep it there for too long.. ) 🙂


  • I got a decaf latte the other day because I wanted coffee but also wanted to be able to sleep at night… man I’m getting old. 🙂

  • I definitely can’t have caffeine too late in the day anymore unlike when I was young and could also drink it all hours and then pass out with no problem. Ah, youth. These cookies look absolutely delicious, though!

  • Mmmm these look delicious, I would definitely eat up the whole batch just by myself… I love it when biscuits are really thin, cause then I don’t feel bad eating loads ?

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