Birthday party tonight. Springtime is coming. I want to bake. Those are enough reasons to dig out the cute springtime cookie cutters I bought last spring, that were never used, and bake some cookies! I didn’t have a lot of time, so I wanted a simple recipe. Sugar cookies are really easy to make and don’t require many ingredients. Looking up some recipes, I noticed that classic sugar cookies are not particularly health-friendly. They’re mostly made of flour, lots of butter, and lots of sugar. I decided to try doing a version that’s a bit healthier. I switched most of the flour for whole wheat flour and didn’t use as much butter. I used 3 tablespoons of butter, as opposed to the 1 cup of butter in most recipes. I also used brown sugar, and less of it. I browned the butter and added a bit of spice to the cookies, which I think also cut some of the sweetness. I passed on the colourful, sugar-loaded (but so pretty) royal icing and opted to do just a light sprinkle of sanding sugar over top. I still got the springtime pastel colours I wanted!
Get baking! Spring is here!
Spiced Browned Butter Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- coloured sanding sugar/sugar crystals to sprinkle over top
In a medium-sized bowl, mix both flours, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
Now you’re going to brown the butter. Do this in a small skillet or pan on low heat. Keep stirring until fragrant and you can see it has become a slight light brown colour. It may take a few minutes (1-3). Don’t take your eyes off it, you don’t want it to burn. I love that buttery smell!
When your butter has slightly browned, remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool. Once it has cooled off, use an electric mixer to mix the browned butter together with the egg, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended.
Add the wet mixture to your flour mixture. Mix on low speed until it’s combined. (I started using my hands.)
Using your hands, flatten the ball of dough into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (you can leave it for up to 2 days).
When done refrigerating, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and remove the dough disc from the fridge. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough. I made mine pretty thin. 1/8 of an inch is usually pretty standard.
FYI, you don’t need as much flour as in the picture above. I got a little flour-happy. Too much flour will dry your dough out and cause cracking.
Now for the fun! Cut your cookies into fun shapes! I stuck to my springtime theme of ducks, bunnies, flowers, umbrellas, lambs, and chicks. Transfer the cut cookies to your lined baking sheets. I used a butter knife to help me pick them up (or you could use a floured spatula).
Once your cookies are all transferred, sprinkle them coloured sugars to make them extra pretty!
Bake your cookies for 6 to 8 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Let them cool for a couple minutes before you move them from the baking sheets. I ended up baking mine a little too long, and some of them were burnt. 😦
Now, try a few! (I said FEW, NOT ALL.)
These cookies should stay good in an airtight container for about a week. Ha! They won’t last a week anyway. So tasty!
Happy springtime baking, friends!