Spiced Brown Butter Cookie Brittle

October 29, 2014
1 Ratings
  • Makes about 30 cookies
Author Notes

I've been going a little nuts for cookie brittle since I found a version by Moon Dance Baking on the shelf of our local market. It's this crazy, buttery, crunchy treat that is technically a cookie but thin and decadent and rich like candy. After tracking several online versions down to a Nestle recipe site, I had a roadmap. In went the brown butter, out went the chocolate chips and nuts. In went all the great spices of Fall, plus pepper and a hint of coffee, because, in the spirit of inventors everywhere, why the hell not? The results...amazing. Invent your own version asap, or just copy mine. I'm fine with that. —cheesypennies

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. After the butter melts, continue cooking for 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently. It may foam up, which is fine. Watch carefully, as your goal is to see the milk solids and salt in the butter begin to turn brown, but you don’t want to have them burn. When the butter is a light tan/golden color and begins to smell toasty, immediately remove from heat.
  3. Allow to cool slightly, then stir the vanilla and the spices into the saucepan. Feel free to get creative with the spice list, but the key is to add them to the warm brown butter so they get an extra boost in the cookies.
  4. Stir in the brown sugar, sugar and salt with a wooden spoon or a spatula, then stir in the flour. The mixture will start off smooth but become drier and almost crumbly as you stir and the butter cools.
  5. If you want your brittle to be shaped like biscotti, divide cookie mixture into two equal portions on your prepared baking sheet. Using your hands, form the dough into two long rectangles, each about 6 inches across, and press down with your fingers to a thickness of about 1/3 of an inch. Otherwise, you can press all of the dough out into one large rectangle on the baking sheet, and press away. It may not fill up the entire sheet...that's fine!
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown in the center and slightly darker on the edges.
  7. If you are forming biscotti shapes, immediately cut through the long rectangles with a sharp knife, at about 1 inch intervals. The cookies will harden quickly as they cool, making cutting difficult, so you want to do this while they are fresh out of the oven. Otherwise, allow to cool completely, and break up into tasty pieces by hand.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kirsten Holtje
    Kirsten Holtje
  • cheesypennies
  • Cyndi Miner
    Cyndi Miner

4 Reviews

Kirsten H. December 18, 2015
When I tried these, my dough never got "drier and almost crumbly" as I added the flour. I ended up adding probably another 1/2 c of flour as I stirred so the thick batter consistency turned more dough-like. My cookies also turned out more of a darker, ginger-bread color than the ones shown here. I used the same spice blend.
cheesypennies December 21, 2015
Hi Kirsten - thanks for trying the recipe and letting me know that your dough turned out differently. Sometimes I find that it depends on your butter. Browning does remove some of the liquid volume, so it could be that a particular brand might evaporate less than another, making the dough more or less dry as you add the flour. I've noticed myself that consistency may vary. How did they taste in the end?
Kirsten H. December 21, 2015
I used Kerrygold butter. It was hard to tell when they were finished baking because the butter kept bubbling up the whole time they were in the oven. But they taste alright in the end!
Cyndi M. December 19, 2018
Kerrygold is an amazing butter for spreading. I'd just as soon have that on my crackers as cheese. But it does have a different consistency or, shall we say chemical makeup. I don't know the science of it, but you might try this recipe with Land O Lakes, Challenge, Breakstone's, Tillamook, or any grocery store brand. Just please get UNsalted butter! It may seem counterintuitive, as most prefer to spread salted butter on things, but when baking, always opt for unsalted (unless the recipe calls for salted). Unsalted butter is made with the best quality cream and will give your baked goods that wonderful, buttery flavor we love. Try this test if you don't believe me, unwrap the stick of salted butter and smell it. Now, open the stick of unsalted butter and smell it. I believe you will smell the difference. I did, and it changed the way I look at the two.