Thursday, December 20, 2012

Meltaway Cookies

This recipe is also in a cookie book my mom had when I was a kid, and I have since stolen from her. They're not really a traditional Christmas cookie, but it's a Christmas cookie book, so I usually make them in December. I'm not sure why I don't make them more often—more often than chocolate chip cookies, even, because they're probably my absolute favorite.

When I was younger, I just melted the butter because I didn't know what it meant to brown butter. Now that I do know, it took these cookies from delicious to incredible. Sadly, I'm giving this batch away to some coworkers today as part of a cookie exchange. If any of them don't like the cookies, I'm demanding that they return them to me.

The recipe below is modified slightly from this blog post to match the original in my cookbook and my notes.

Meltaway Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting
(makes 30 small cookies)

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour

1/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp milk, as needed

1. Beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat well. Add flour and stir until mixed in. If the dough doesn't come together, add a little milk until it does.
2. Form into 1-inch balls and flatten. They should be about 1/4″ thick. You can crowd them because they will barely spread.
3. Bake for 7-9 minutes until just barely starting to brown.
4. While cooling, brown the butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium low to medium heat. Mix the browned butter, powered sugar and vanilla together. Add milk 1 tbsp at a time until frosting is thick but creamy and spreadable.
5. Frost cookies immediately. Allow frosting to set before storing in an airtight container.

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